Part of the Kokee State Park trail system, the Awa’awapuhi trail offers stunning views of the Na Pali Coast and the Nu’alolo and Awa’awapuhi Valleys. The difficult rated trail starts past the Kokee Museum on Kokee Road or state road 550.
An unpaved area at the trailhead allows parking for several cars. The beginning of the trail passes through rain forest and can get slippery and muddy. While I wanted to run, the tree branches combined with the mud had me moving slower than I wanted.
The well marked trail is mostly downhill to the lookout so be prepared for a harder, uphill climb. However, it is well worth it as it passes through lush rain forest as well as high desert terrain and eventually leads to stunning vista views.
I loved the view of the ocean. It’s not something I get to see everyday and I can’t describe the awe inspiring feeling of getting to the end of the trail and soaking in that view.
There is a fenced at the end of the trail which all of the guide books warn about not going past. With the drop off and the unstable ground, I would definitely recommend heeding the advice. I didn’t think the trail was that hard but the climb out would present a challenge for young children or inexperienced hikers. The length of the trail varies with different guides but my GPS had it about 3.2 miles each way for a 6.4 mile round trip hike. I wore my regular running shoes but because of the mud, I wished I had worn my trail running shoes for better grip.
I had my running pack which allowed me to easily carry my water bladder and snacks. While I didn’t need the snacks, I used most my water. I recommend carrying at least 1 liter or more depending on the temperature and how quick you think you will finish. It took me about 2 1/2 hours but could take the average person 3-5 hours.