Maakua Ridge Trail and Papali Gulch

#2 of 3 trails in Hauula Forest Reserve
Maakua Ridge Trail and Papali Gulch is a 2.7 mile loop trail located near Hauula, HI. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

2.7 miles 836 feet Loop
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Cat S.
11 months ago

We did this loop and part of Papali ridge on National Trails Day. The loop trail is well graded but there are many fallen trees blocking the path. The interesting part of the hike was the short jaunt up Papali ridge. It was choked with uluhe and lantana which proved to be a nuisance especially if one was wearing shorts. We went as far as we could and we promise to return with long pants and long sleeve shirt!

Michael Maughan
1 year ago

28 Completed28 Reviews

We were looking for another hike to do on my daughter's birthday. This one seemed to be what we were looking for: short, easy(~ish), and great views. Here is what we found:

The Trail:
- Distance: about 4.4 miles from where we parked. The Loop is about 3 miles.
- Terrain: some hills, but a well-marked path with switchbacks keeps it from being too steep
- Mud: not really. Lots of leaves and hills keep most of the water from pooling.
- Parking: don't park at the trailhead! There is a sign that warns of a high theft area. We parked a couple of streets away near a cemetery and walked to the trailhead, not very far.

The Good:
- Wonderful views! There are sections where you get a great panorama of the Windward side.
- Switchbacks. The trail goes up and down hills a few times, but it never is too steep. All my little kids made it with no trouble.
- Shade. And better, shade without bugs. We did not have one bite among us.
- Loop: I love it when the whole trail is a different view. Out and backs are OK, but loops are better.
- Restrooms nearby on the main road right before you turn off to find the trailhead.

The Not So Good:
- No parking right at the trailhead
- No water
- Some areas of the trail are narrow with steep slopes on each side. Be careful.

Bottom Line: Great day hike for the whole family. This is one of 2 loops in the area. You will see the right-hand turn for the Hauula Loop before you find the left-hand turn off for this trail. Both are about the same length. If we get the chance, we'll come back here and do the other one. Not 5 stars because while we had a couple of good views, we did not have as many as we would have liked.

Matthew Lichtenauer
2 years ago

29 Completed9 Reviews

A few nice views of the water once you make the initial climb then the rest is valley and woods. Make sure you scout out the area before you park. You will notice entrance is in the back of a neighborhood but may not be best place to park. Consider parking across the way at the beach park.