Olomana Trail Hike

Three Peaks Oahu Ultimate Guide

olomana trail hike oahu

Olomana Trail Hike

{Three Peaks Oahu Ultimate Guide 2020}


Let’s be clear… The Olomana Trail, better known as Three Peaks hike, is not for the faint of heart.

Though the Olomana hike promises to reward hikers with unparalleled panoramic vistas of the distant Oahu shoreline, it will also significantly challenge their physical endurance, strength and mental stamina as a rite of passage.

However, with a view that’s so strikingly beautiful, it’s safe to say that all the death-defying moments that lurk along the Olomana trail are well worth the scare.

three peaks hike oahu

Keep in mind, the Olomana hiking trail can be quite difficult to find at first.

However, if you follow the detailed directions and map, along with every other bit of useful information we have provided in this Three Peaks Oahu hiking guide, then you will be just fine.

How Long Is The Olomana Trail Hike?

It takes around 2.5-7 hours roundtrip to complete the Olomana trail in its entirety.

Bear in mind, the time frame is all dependent on how far along the Olomana trail you decide to go.

As the name implies, the Three Peaks hike is composed of three different peaks, each with its own distinctive difficulty level associated with it.

Therefore, if you only decide to hike to the first Olomana trail peak, then you can expect it to take you around 2.5 hours in and out.  However, if you decide to hike to the third Olomana trail peak, then you can expect it to take much longer with the total trail time taking 7 hours in and out.

three peaks hike oahu

 

Is The Olomana Hike Difficult?

Yes, I do consider the Olomana trail to be quite difficult. Therefore, I only recommend this trail to those of you who are physically fit and capable of some of the more difficult sections of the trail.

Not only will you need the necessary stamina and endurance, but also the physical strength to pull your bodyweight up the ropes as you are scaling the most vertical segments of the hike.

Not to forget the mental toughness needed to overcome some of the most extreme sections of the trail where you are scaling the side of one of the Olomana three peaks or walking along an extremely narrow ridge, where even a slight gust of wind in the right direction could mean trouble.

olomana hike oahu third peak


Therefore it goes without saying that if you have any kind of fear of heights, then the Olomana trail hike may not be the best hiking trail for you.  Especially when you take into consideration that it is one of the hardest hiking trails in Oahu.


However, for those of you are going to face your fears and attempt this trail anyway, the best advice I can offer is to know your limits and don’t be shy to turn back when it becomes too much.

The Olomana trail becomes increasingly more difficult as you continue along the hike with the third and final peak being the most intimidating.

Luckily, the best views of the trail are from the first peak, so you can always quit abit early and still wind up with some pretty awesome Olomona hike pictures

olomana trail first peak oahu

 

Is The Olomana Three Peaks Hike Dangerous?

Yes, this hike is definitely one of the more dangerous hikes you will find in Oahu.

The knife-like Olomana ridge of the second and last peaks are particularly dangerous.

The several vertically steep segments along the trail where the only thing keeping you from tumbling down the side of the mountain is a sketchy timeworn rope undeniably adds an unspoken degree of danger to this hike.

Often times, one of the most overlooked aspects of the Olomana trail hike is the fact that every challenge you faced on the way up, you must yet again face on the way down in order to return back to the trailhead.

Must Read | Olomana Trail Deaths 

olomana hike rope climb

 

What To Bring With You For The Olomana Hike?

  • Hiking Boots
  • Backpack
  • Hiking Gloves (Optional)
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

Pro Tip
If you have a drone, BRING IT! Otherwise you will be kicking yourself in the butt later for not doing so.

How To Find The Three Peaks Hike?

As we said before, the Olomana trail can be a bit difficult to find.  So we figured it would be a good idea to provide you guys with this trusty map to help you along the way.

Though there is no official parking lot, the unofficial Olomana trail parking can be found along Maunawili Road which is located just off the Kalanianaole Highway.


Therefore, your journey begins way before you even reach the official Olomana trailhead. On the account that the trailhead is technically located on the private property of a country club, the only Olomana trail parking is located about a 2o minute walk away.


Expect to walk along the road for about half a mile before reaching the trailhead.

Keep in mind you will have to pass through the country club gate in order to reach the Three Peaks trailhead. However, don’t worry, it’s it not like Stairway To Heaven where you will have sneak past the guard or anything.

Just casually walk through the gate, and you will see an ‘Olomana Ridge hiking trail’ sign on your left, however, keep your eyes peeled because it is very easy to miss.

Pro Tip
Be careful where you park your car, as the cops in Hawaii seem to have a fetish for handing out parking violations to unsuspecting tourists.

Olomana Trail Map

Olomana Trail Photos

Each Peak gets increasingly more challenging, dodgy and dangerous. As a result, most casual hikers only elect to go to the first Olomana peak, as this offers better views than the remainder of the trail.

From there on, the trail becomes progressively more perilous with the possibility of completely falling off the mountain ridge that is constantly lurking on either side of you.


Although this is a welcomed risk for the everyday adrenaline junkie or for those who are simply looking to put their hiking abilities to the test, we advise any panic-stricken folk not to push forward, because trust us when we say it DOES continually get worse.


Olomana Trail Peak 1

Out of the three peaks, the hike up the first one is by far the most relaxed.

There are seldom any moments to this section of the trail where you feel like one wrong move could very well be the end.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a piece-of-cake either because there are some definite WTF moments that should offer a good forewarning into what further awaits you along the trail.

Once you reach the top of Peak 1, you finally have a moment to catch your breath and take in all the awesomeness that is the Olomana Three Peaks hiking trail.

Like we mentioned before, these are the best views of the hike, so be sure to get the majority of your photography done here.

olomana trail hike oahu

 

olomana hiking trail | best hikes in oahu

Olomana Trail Peak 2

The hike down and up to peak 2 is where you properly get introduced to the more sketchy sections of the Olomana trail. You’ll begin to notice the path gradually becoming ever so narrow as you continue onward.

Furthermore, you will start to encounter moments where you will find yourself completely relying on the sketchy and fraying ropes that you can only pray are securely tied to those loose looking tree roots located further up the peak.

Pro Tip
The less you rely on the ropes, the better! If you don’t have to put all of your weight into the rope then don’t.

To be quite frank, this is when sh*t starts to get real. The Three Peaks hike quickly turns from a more or less a casual stroll up the mountain, into a seemingly death-defying adventure with more WTF moments around every turn.

olomana trail hike second peak

 

Olomana Trail Peak Peak 3

It’s sad to admit, but this was where we decided to call it quits… Yeah I know, I’m not proud of it either.

It’s safe to say we greatly underestimated the hikes in Hawaii when we decided to only bring some old worn-out pairs of running sneakers with literally no grip whatsoever as our only hiking shoes.

Pro Tip
I highly advise you all to invest in a decent pair of hiking boots if you want to complete the more dangerous trails of Oahu like Crouching Lion, Stairway To Heaven, and The Three Peaks hike becasue it really does make all the difference!

Anyway, this is the point where only about 5% of hikers continue to move forward, however, this is just an educated guess.

You must begin your descent from the second Olomana peak with a complete vertical rope climb down the mountain before even beginning to move upwards along the knife-like trails towards the summit of the third Olomana peak.

Overall, this was by far one of our favorite hikes in Oahu, and although it would have been nice to say we completed the entire Olomana trail, in the end it probably won’t make the extensive list of our life long regrets.

Though that doesn’t mean we won’t eventually be back for round two.

olomana trail hike third peak-3

 

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