The ʻŌkolehao Trail
~4 mile round-trip (6.5 km)
1250-foot elevation gain
The ʻŌkolehao Trail offers one-of-a-kind views of Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, Hanalei Bay, the Kīlauea Lighthouse, Princeville, Mount Makana, and the lo’i kalo (taro fields). With viewpoints along the way and frequent muddy, rope-assisted climbs, this trail opens itself up to both casual and adventurous hikers. At the end of the trail, the Hanalei River can be seen meandering along the valley floor. On a clear day, you can see Mount Wai‘ale‘ale and approximately 1/5 of the entire island while hiking this trail.
The lower section of this trail is maintained by the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. The trail leads into the Halele‘a Forest Reserve and sections of the upper trail are maintained by the Sierra Club Kaua‘i Chapter
Safe Hiking Tips
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
- Bring plenty of water
- Stay on the trail
- Check the weather
- Wear proper footwear for muddy conditions
Prevent the Spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death On Your Hike
ʻŌhiʻa (Metrosideros polymorpha), the most abundant native tree in the state of Hawaiʻi comprising of approximately 80% of Hawaii’s native forests, are dying from a new fungal disease. A new fungal pathogen known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) was identified on Hawaii Island in 2014 and on Kaua'i in 2018. The fungus attacks and can quickly kill this keystone species in Hawaiian forests. ROD has the potential to cause major ecosystem disturbances that will negatively impact watersheds, cultural traditions, natural resources, and quality of life.
What Can We Do? Practicing these Five Things:
- Avoid injuring ʻōhiʻa.
- Don’t move ʻōhiʻa wood or ʻōhiʻa parts.
- Don’t transport ʻōhiʻa inter-island.
- Clean gear and tools, including shoes and clothes, before and after entering forests. (For example, by using the provided boot-scrubs at trailheads.)
- Wash the tires and undercarriage of your vehicle to remove all soil or mud.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Rules and Policies
Taro fields are not open to the public
Visitors may overlook Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge from an observation point located along Kuhio Highway in Princeville. Except for the ʻŌkolehao trail and parking lot, Hanalei NWR is closed to the public to minimize disturbance and protect endangered waterbirds. Limited parking for the ʻŌkolehao Trailhead is available through the Refuge via Ohiki Rd, which runs through the Refuge.
Drones are Prohibited
Launching, landing, or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the Refuge is prohibited. This includes the kalo lo'i/ taro fields as this is important habitat for five endangered birds.
<15 mph speed limit
Please drive very slowly (<15 mph) allowing wildlife to cross the road. Do not stop or park your vehicle along the road, the road is very narrow and is frequented by staff, farmers, and wildlife.