Mariner’s Ridge

This was a GREAT hike… It was Omar’s very first hike in Hawaii. We hadn’t had the chance before he deployed and I had hiked plenty while he was gone… but I finally got to drag him with me! This is … Continue reading

King Kamehameha’s Summer Palace Ruins Hike

Oh my goodness. This hike was killing us. This was our THIRD time trying to find the trailhead and thankfully this time we actually found it!

I cannot recommend this hike enough, it is a very short hike and leads to an amazing set of ruins. I would just caution to not walk on them or disturb them because the walls are crumbling.

First things first: How to get there. Once again this is another hike of Nu’uanu Pali Dr. off of Pali Highway. Park near the Water Supply building and head up the road just a bit. You should see a gap in the bushes like so:

ruins1Continue on the trail, do NOT take the first left at the big tree, that will loop you around and take you back to the road. Head straight until you see a large path to the left while you are in the bamboo forest. The trail should start to climb a bit. You should start seeing lovely stone walls around you… This is good, you are headed the right way!

All of a sudden you should see this beauty in front of you:

ruins2Ten thousand people here for a luau?! Can you even imagine? I would have LOVED to be at that party.

ruins3It’s sad to see these ruins so neglected. When I was looking online for information about them, it said by the 1870s, just 30 years after the famous luau, they were already ruins. The history of these islands and their rulers is fascinating to me… I keep joking that I am going to start sitting in on Hawaiian studies classes at the University so I can keep learning!

If you have a time to fit this hike it, I recommend it. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to hike in and would make for a great picnic or photo background location. I think there may also be another waterfall tucked away in here, but that is another hike for another day!

Lulumahu Falls

This was SUPPOSED to be our ruins hike but yet again we just cannot get to the right trailhead! But I do love hiking with Cat because we just go with the flow and find our way somewhere else! We thought that we were on the right trail this time as we were finding our way through a bamboo forest and seeing some pretty cool walls here and there:

not the right wayBut when we hit a stream we knew it wasn’t the right trail. We did suspect that we were now on the trail to Lulumahu Falls, as many people do the ruins and the falls in the same day. I am going to post photos in the order that you should do this hike, I took some of them on the way back to the car to use as landmarks.

Lulumahu Falls!

Take Pali hwy to Nu’uanu Pali Dr. Follow this up to where it almost reconnects with Pali and park in the small parking area.

This is your trailhead. This hike is probably trespassing but as the land isn’t in use any more by the Board of Water Supply I don’t think it is TOO serious.


Make your way to the left, the should be a trail through the ti leaves that ends at a big grassy ridge.

first leg

There is a trail as well as some old steps that lead to the top. Stop, realize once again that this is the coolest place to live, and take a million pictures. There is a great view as well as a reservoir.


Take the gravel road pictured above to the right. It should lead to a set of concrete stairs. Follow those up and you should see a fenced in water holding tank. There is a small trail leading behind the fence. Take that. If you follow the big wide trail it will just loop you back around.


Just keep following the trail. It is a beautiful walk through the woods!



Word to the wise, wear shoes that you don’t mind getting soaked. There are lots of stream crossings. At the dam you can walk right along the top, it wasn’t slick and was easier than trying to hop from rock to rock. We criss-crossed the stream many more times that day!


Finally after lots of scrambling we made it to the top! And what a reward for the work!



It is a beautiful spot to eat some lunch and take a break.

topoffallsI loved this hike!

As far as difficulty level, I wouldn’t really recommend this hike for small kids or carrying a kid on you. While we had both it was difficult at times, there are some tricky areas. Lots of scrambling, stream crossings, over and under and climbing boulders. Our kids and dog just happen to be pretty bad-ass!