HIKE: PALI PUKA, OAHU

Jane Baumgartner HAWAII Leave a Comment

The iconic Pali drive gets even more stunning when you take the old Pali road and pit stop at the Pali lookout for a nice windswept view of the east side. As you’re standing there amongst the feral cats, rogue chickens, and tourists with the sock and sandal get up…know that there’s a room with a view waiting for you if you’re willing to make the steep trek.

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The Pali Puka is illegal, and there will be signs telling you so as you climb the rock fence next to the hoards of tourist busses, so please hike at your own risk for safety and security reasons. This is a quick hike, but will get your blood pumping and will test your fear of heights as you scale the Ko’olau ridge line. From the parking lot to the Puka, is about 30 minutes to your destination, where you can look down at the sandal sock folk, breathe in the cool air, and enjoy views of both Kailua, Kaneohe, and Town.

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For those of you who are now thinking back to middle school in the late 90s when puka shells and frosted spiked tips were all the rage, now you know…puka is Hawaiian for “hole”. This hole is the perfect spot to sit and relax as a little reward for the balancing ridge-line act that you just conquered. There is an inside trail that you can hike also that is more protected, just doesn’t provide the views along the way. There are sections that friendly hikers before us have left rope as an extra help, this changes constantly though so who knows if it will still be there when you go!

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Once you have your fix of the view, the trek down is quick. This hike is short enough you can even fit another jungle hike in, or just call it a day and find a beer…Whole Foods and Kalapawai being the closest with outdoor seating, cheers to Da PUKA.

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