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Waialua, Mokuleia and Haleiwa from Mt. Ka’ala

Waialua from Ka’alaView All Sizes

JOURNAL : June 6, 2005

Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Ka’ala

Oahu > Hawaii > United States

Series Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Ka’ala

Mount Ka'ala has loomed over my house at Mokuleia for at least as long as I've lived there, so once in awhile we climb all of its 4,096 feet.

Majestic Mt. Ka’ala

Majestic Mt. Ka’ala

Wild Orchid found on Mt. Ka’ala

Wild Orchid

The photos on this page were taken during two different hikes about a week apart.

The first was just Liz and I and due to the lateness of the day we had to scamper full tilt down the mountain in order to make it back in time for a glider ride over this same mountain.

Map of Dupont Trail to Mt. Ka'ala

The Dupont Trail

Trails and paved access roads approach the summit from all directions. The Dupont Trail starts out on an old sugar plantation access road immediately following Waialua High School. That road heads straight back toward the mountain and into a gate guarding private land that must be crossed to access the trail. Near the gate is a warning sign and a phone number to call to request entry. We generally ask for permission (since we've done this so many times) but once in awhile we just skip through. Keep heading straight towards the mountain and eventually you'll be on the trail. See the map on the right.

An old Building, probably a radar or weather station on Mt. Ka’ala

Radar Station on Ka’ala

The Military Road sliced into the ridges of Mt. Ka’ala

Military Road

Peacocks in the Valleys

The second occasion to hike the Dupont Trail on this trip included a buddy of mine and his girlfriend. On the back down we opted for the winding military service road that weaves along the backbone of the mountain. We finally got to sea level after the sun had set. Darkness and an eerie mist sifted into the valley. All around were the meowing calls of peacocks settling into the high tree branches in the dense forest at the foot of Mt. Ka'ala.

Haleiwa and the North Shore from Mt. Ka’ala

North Shore from Ka’alaView All Sizes

The Weather Station on Mt. Ka’ala

Weather Station on Ka’ala

Military Road carved into the Backbone of Mt Ka’ala

Military Road carved into the Backbone

Old Tank near Summit

Old Tank near Summit

Objects d'Arte

Strewn around Mt. Ka'ala are various military installations, bunkers, radar and weather stations and other equipment. Much of it dates back to World War II when Dillingham Airfield and the surrounding area played an active role in the Pacific theater.

Other Hikes

The mountain is laced with a great many hikes and paths. You can also get to the top of Mt. Ka'ala from Waianae side through Makua Valley or the military service road on that side. Down near the end of Farrington Hwy at Camp Erdman you can hike up Crystal Canyon and follow the ridgeline trail to the summit. But that's another trek for another day...

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The Next Ridge over from the Ka’ala

The Next Ridge OverView All Sizes

Curry Village and the Valley Floor from Glacier Point.

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About 3 feet up in the air above orange trees in a hot air balloon.

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