Mt Olympus, Ko’olau Range, Oahu

I had walked from my brother’s apartment a few weeks earlier up St, Luis Heights to the Wa’ahila State Recreation Area and perhaps a quarter mile up the Wa’ahila Ridge Trail, in search of the St. Luis Trail, which many locals ride mountain bikes down to Dole Street. It was intended to be a reconnaissance hike to assess riding conditions for a possible future ride.

I departed in the early afternoon the first time, so daylight and damp weather prevented me from exploring further. During my 2016 visit, I road on the back of my brother’s motorbike up the serpentine St. Luis Heights Rd, which terminates near the parking lot at the top of the long steep ridge of residences. It was memorable overcast and misty then too, and my brother and I hiked a fair distance up the ridge, never reaching Mt Olympus. Even if we had, the ridge was so socked in, that all we could see were clouds and the dense bush immediately in front of us!

I made the spontaneous decision to hike all the way to Mt Olympus via the Wa’ahila Ridge Trail on February 23, 2020, a spectacular hiking weather day. Quite frequently, the Ko’olau Range is obscured by dark clouds, but it was clear and quite warm on the 23rd! I took a peek at Google Maps, zooming in on Mt Olympus and following the route down the ridge to confirm the start point. There were two,

The Kolowalu Trailhead departed the northeastern side of Manoa Valley, and the familiar St Luis Trailhead from Dole Street on the edge of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus. I had intended to approach the Wa’ahila Ridge from the Kolowalu Trail but made the decision to get on the trail sooner to avoid the long walk up the streets through Manoa. I ascended the ridge from the

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