"You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough."
Updated: March 13, 2016
Location: Located next to the Royal Hawaiian Country Club in Kailua. The three prominent peaks seen driving from Kaneohe and Kailua. One of the most strenuous climbs to beautiful 360 views!
Type: Forest/Ridge hike
Hike Difficulty: Advanced
Total Time: 5 hours round trip (to 3rd peak)
Distance: ~ 4.1 miles
Elevation: ~1800 feet
Things to Consider
Your hiking backpack
Take either Kalanianaole Highway or Kamehameha Highway towards Kailua. Turn right onto Auloa Road. However, don't follow the road all the way, or you will end up on Maunawili Road and will be heading towards Maunawili Falls. Instead take a sharp left and follow the road, Luana Hills Road. Soon there will be cars on the left and right side of the road. This is where you park. Then walk along the road past the guard for about 10 minutes or so through the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club. The trail will be on the left with a sign stating Olomana Trail after about a quarter mile past the guard shack.
Olomana is not for the faint of heart. If you are attempting all three peaks be cautious, especially heading up the third peak. I have done the hike 2 or 3 times before finally reaching the third peak. There are some dangerous sections, like contouring around the key hole rock, and the sketchy rope section just before the peak. Even heading down the second peak can be really sketchy. Do not put full body weight on any of the ropes and seek information, on the strength and time the ropes have been there. You wouldn't want to be on the news for falling off the side of the cliff because one of the old ropes broke on you. Please be careful and smart at all times when hiking. Safety first! With that said, we started the hike around 1030am. We reached the official start of the trail and sign around 11am.
Heading up Olomana's first peak is very taxing on the body. Be sure to save your water for the journey back, because you will need it. After the forest section, follow the trail and be sure to turn right at the junction. You will begin gaining elevation at this point. Continuously going up and up. Remember to take breaks if you need to. There are some minor rope sections on peak one, but nothing too difficult. There are two rock climbing sections, that could be scary if you have never done anything like it before. There are lots of foot holds and ropes to ease your way up. We reach the first peak after about an hour and a half.
Heading down the first peak to second peak isn't too bad. Just be careful because the dirt is loose and crumbly. Crawl or slide on your butt if you have to. Looking down the second peak, you will see why most people do not attempt all three peaks. It looks like an almost vertical drop down. There are a lot of ropes to aid your way down, but please go down one at a time on each rope. Do not put too much weight on the ropes or they will eventually break. Took us about a half hour to get down this section.
Once at the bottom, in between peak two and peak three, take a break. This will be the only shade you have for the rest of the hike! Heading up peak three is for advanced hikers only. The rope sections are sketchy and are near vertical drops on both sides. The ridge line for peak three is very narrow. A lot of people also stop at the key hole rock. After contouring around the rock, the last crazy part is up the vertical rock face with the flimsy rope that has been there for so many years. Rocks are crumbly here and one false step and you will fall to your death. After the rope section, its just a little further and you reach peak three! You may continue to the end and look down into Maunawili Valley or even to the back side where some people hike up from there. Either way, this hike is very taxing on your body but worth the pain. No pain no gain, and this is one of the hikes where I just cross it off my list and won't go back for years.
Making our way through the forest.
After about a half hour to 45 minutes through the forest,
it's an uphill climb to the first peak.
We encountered two boulder climbing sections on our way up the first peak.
Lots of ropes to help you up the steeper parts of the mountain.
First boulder section. We probably shouldn't have climbed it all at once.
But eh...just for the picture I guess. Lol
Use the ropes if you need to, but don't rely your life on them.
Up the second boulder section. Not as bad as the first one.
After climbing the second boulder, you get a clear view of why you hiked this far through all your sweat and tears.
Just a little further...
Looking back down from where we came from. Can you see your cars?
Contouring around rocks trying not to fall off the edge.
Amazing 360 views at the top!
I had to jump for joy after we reached the top!
Expect to take about an hour and a half to reach the first peak.
After a short break, we headed down the first peak and onto the second peak.
After reaching the second peak in maybe ten to fifteen minutes,
this is what your looking at.
Going down?? No turning back now! Sheer vertical drop!!
Crazy drops going down the second peak,
and a lot of old raggedy ropes to guide you down the the base.
Hold on to the trees if you have to.
Looking out towards peak three.
At the base, take a rest because this will be your only source of shade for the rest of the hike. It can get extremely hot and tiring. Drink water!
Within ten minutes from climbing peak three, you will see the key hole rock. You can either contour around it or climb over it.
Looking out to the valley, ready to contour around the rock.
The only rope between you and the sheer thousand feet drop on your left.
Use the rope as a guide as you go around. Stay close to the rocks on the right.
This is the key hole rock, or I like to call it the "Shaka Rock"! \m/
And now the hardest part. The vertical rock climbing!
Looking down at what you're climbing! Just past the key hole.
Olomana peak two and one in the distance.
There was no other way to get up without the help of the rope.
My life was in the hands of the rope.
After the rope climbing section, its a breeze to the top of peak three.
After you pass through a couple of thin ridges you come to a lookout point.
Peak three is very narrow at most of the climb up.
This is the final view at the top at peak three.
Awesome! Check it off your list that you completed Olomana 3 Peaks! I won't be back here for a while. Maybe heading up from the backside next time!
And then the long journey back. We ran out of water.
This is between peak one and peak two.
Add a comment about this post! Was it helpful? Love the hike? Comment below.