Hiking Hawaii's trails with kids - Hau'ula Loop Trail

So okay, we actually hiked this trail way back in March.  I’m still working on getting all caught up.  But it’s our first post since we transformed the blog.  What do you think?  It’s lovely, huh?!

But back to Hau’ula Loop Trail.  I have three main things to say about this trail: insanely muddy, full of mosquitoes, and a photographer’s lighting nightmare.

Other than that, it was a great time! Ha.

The drive there though?  Whoa.  Incredible.  It’s up near The Polynesian Cultural Center, and that whole area is just so pretty.


We parked at Hau’ula Beach Park and walked up the street to the trailhead.

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It’s always good to know you’ve made it to the right spot!


However, this is never something you want to see.  Thankfully, we were aware of this problem after doing our online research, so we heeded the warning and removed all valuables from our van.  (That’s something we do during every adventure, because unfortunately, this is a problem island-wide.  Many people even suggest leaving your vehicle unlocked so it’s obvious that it’s empty.)IMG_0461 We made our way up the access road.  The road leads to the actual 2.5 mile loop.IMG_0466 IMG_0467And then the mud began.IMG_0469

I didn’t grab a picture of the beginning of the loop, but it’s well marked.
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Since most of our hikes are ridge trails, we don’t often cross streams.  It’s a fun change of pace.


And I really don’t want to go on and on about the mud, but it’s something we have to get better about if we really want to enjoy this island.  It rains a lot here.  We need to suck it up!IMG_0475 IMG_0477

I absolutely adore the constantly changing scenery on our hikes.  It’s impossible to get bored.IMG_0719 IMG_0478 IMG_0479


Finally, a view!

On these loops, we always get these amazing “courtyard” views.  But it never comes across the same way on the camera.  So you’ll just have to pretend that you see how beautiful this is.IMG_0480

I can’t recall how big this waterfall and pool was, but it’s fun nonetheless.  (Except for the mosquitoes it brought!)IMG_0483 IMG_0485 IMG_0490

Oh, how I adore these three!IMG_1320

I will never be able to accurately describe to you how much more incredible this sight is in person.
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We’ll definitely still be taking selfies when we’re 80 years old.IMG_1322

It’s been so long now that I can’t remember if these stairs were after the halfway point or just before it.  But I do know that they were somewhere around there.IMG_0499

Like other trails we’ve been on, erosion has removed any aid these steps provided.IMG_0501 IMG_0502

An unhappy Captain Morgan?IMG_0503 So when you see a big incline like this, you just know there’s gonna be a big, amazing view at the top.  So James decided to climb up and investigate.IMG_0504

Then we joined.

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Ah, there she is.IMG_0507

Unfortunately, there was no one else around that day, so we didn’t get a family picture.  But we got this one.  And I love it.  (Even if Aidan’s eyes are closed.)

IMG_0734 IMG_0735 Getting down is the tricky part.IMG_0511 IMG_0512

James always catches them though.  I’m still not running to him.  I just crab walk down.IMG_0513And then we made our way back down.
And when the sun went behind the clouds for two seconds (and took with it the spotty lighting), I made the kids pose for a picture.

IMG_0515We encountered even more water on the second half of the trail.  I never could get good shots of it though.IMG_0517 IMG_0518 IMG_0519 IMG_0521 IMG_0523

I do remember that this part was a little sketchy.  That path wasn’t very wide and it’s a loooooong way down.  But our kids do a great job of paying attention.  (Usually.)



And just the last bit of mud before the end.

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And done!  I don’t think it ended taking us too long – maybe two hours? Three?  We stopped plenty and hung out halfway for a bit.  I’m glad we did this one because the views really were incredible.  But like I mentioned above, we are gonna have to learn to embrace getting dirty.  We just aren’t quite there yet. 😉IMG_0527

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