Hiking in Hawaii With Kids - Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

Okay, so this turned out to be our favorite hike ever.  So far anyway.
We first attempted Wililinui Ridge Trail on Mother’s Day.  We got this fantastic picture, and then set out on the hike.

Less than half a mile in, we knew we were in trouble.  These clouds did not look inviting.

And then, it started pouring.  We contemplated forging on, but it was just too much.  The ground was too slippery to walk on, and the rain was just pouring into my eyes.  And honestly, we are just really fair-weather hikers.  Simple as that.  So we turned around.

We did make sure to get a family selfie though.

So although we had to find different fun on Mother’s Day, we decided to return to this trail today.

And again, the sky was looking ominous.  But this time, we all had baseball hats on (which would hopefully help if it started sprinkling), and we had our fingers and toes crossed for a dry day.

Audra brought an old camera along, and she’s definitely learning a lot from her momma!

We got started, and James made sure to get a picture of me early.  (He hates that I’m never in the shots.)

We were really excited about this hike.  He had read that it was the easiest of the major windward ridge hikes.  We had already done Kuli’ou’ou Ridge and Hawai’iloa Ridge.

As always, Aidan took off ahead.  He’s still not loving these hikes, and he wants to get them done.  Now.

Selfie with my new hat!

As is the case with many of these trails, the terrain changes constantly.  It’s awesome.

A little view as we were walking along.

The trees here!

Our bossy little lady commanded the boys to stop so she could get a picture of them.


We started noticing new clippings in the path.  And then we came along a man using a weed whacker.  So thankful for the people who keep these paths clear!

Right before the trail got a little bit more strenuous, we came across this swing.  There was even a message on the bottom of it.

I guess this is where the real fun begins.

And then we stopped for a snack.

We realized we had to get way up there.  And I kind of panicked.

Look at the pretty flower!  But I have no plant knowledge, so all I know is that it’s pink and it looks spiky.

Lots and lots of steps.  But they were in great condition, unlike the ones we encountered on Hawai’iloa.

James could see our town and it pointed it out to the kids.  They didn’t care.  But I thought it was cool since we live on the other side of the island.

I loved these two pictures that Audra shot. (And yes, I asked her for permission to use them!)

Even though we were just there today, this view still seems nothing short of impossible.

As it turned out, getting up to this peak wasn’t too bad.

It wasn’t the top though – we had to keep going just a little bit farther.

We made it!

There were a ton of people up there, and we swapped group pictures.
The view from the top! Although this is just one side of it.

We spent some time, ate our food, chatted a bunch, and then headed back down.

I didn’t take pictures of this part on the way up because I was too busy trying not to die.  But on the way down, I was less nervous.  And at this point, we were waiting for the group in front of us to get through the sketchy section that required somewhat relying on a rope.

It was far less scary than Hawai’iloa was and I think that made it a lot more fun.

There was a bit of mud in some places, but overall it wasn’t bad at all.

Almost done, and she busted out the camera for a sibling selfie.  Oh my.

I have no idea why they’re glowing in this picture.

By the time we arrived back at the van, James’s phone app said we had hiked 5.5 miles.  I’m not sure exactly how accurate that is, but the trip took us just under 4.5 hours.

The trailhead is located inside of a gated community – you have to get a pass from the guard shack to go up.  So as we were driving down through the neighborhood, I snapped some pictures of the views these people have from their front yards.  Incredible!

I think we loved this trail because it was a little scary, but not so scary that you spend the entire hike in fear.  But I did not find it easier than Kuli’ou’ou at all.  This one was kind of the perfect mix for our family – amazing views combined with a decent amount of challenge and distance.  I can definitely see us hiking this again.
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