Hidden Hike Above the Pali Highway With Spectacular Views

Growing up here on Oahu, I always looked forward to hikes with my friends and family. As soon as I was able to drive, I began exploring the island more independently, and learning about the lesser known trails. I’ve grown to love and appreciate the island for all the trails scattered throughout it. Especially the east side of our island, which offers so many hidden trails under the cover of its lush green forests.

Old Pali Road to the Pali Lookout

The Old Pali Road was driven on a century ago to travel from Kaneohe to Town. While it’s no longer a road you can drive on, you can most certainly walk it. The overgrown abandoned road feels a bit post-apocalyptic and also like a journey back in time.

pali lookout hiking trail on oahu

I’ve gone to First Presbyterian Church in Kaneohe since I was five years old, and only recently discovered this trail that has been hidden in plain sight. Parking is located at the church where you can pay a small fee or park free on the road leading to the church. There is also a short trail to a small waterfall behind the church you can definitely explore while you’re there. While it’s gained popularity in recent years, there have been times where I was completely alone.

To hike this trail, you go around the gate to the left of the church, and simply follow the long and winding road. You cannot start from the Pali lookout as there is a large gate blocking the road.

This hike is 2.5 miles out and back and you will gain over 1,000 feet in elevation. It’s safe to say it’s a challenging and gradual incline that will have your heart rate go up. People bring their dogs on the trail, but unless you can carry your dog up the small ladder leading to the best views, it may be better to leave them at home.

I love this trail because it gives you similar views to that of Stairway to Heaven without being as dangerous. As you climb above the Pali Highway, there are breaks through the trees where you can stop and enjoy the view and watch the cars drive below you.

Once you reach the Pali Lookout, you can make your way back down the way you came.

I hope that you will enjoy this trail as much as I have. Please remember to leave trails cleaner than when you arrived, and be careful!

For more hikes, homes, and insight on the Hawaii Life, make sure to follow my instagram and read my other blogs!

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