Three Peaks Hike
The Most Underrated Trail In Oahu
Three Peaks Hike | The Most Underrated Trail In Oahu
Lets be clear… The Olomana trail, better known as Three Peaks hike, is not for the faint-hearted.
While it may reward hikers with unparalleled panoramic vistas of the Oahu shoreline, it will also significantly challenge their physical endurance as a right of passage.
However, with a view that’s so strikingly beautiful, it makes all the death defying moments along the way well worth it.
How Long Is The Hike?
It takes around 2.5-7 hours roundtrip to complete the trail in its entirety. The time frame is dependent on how far you decide to go.
As the name signifies, the hike is composed of three different peaks, each with its own distinctive difficulty level associated with it.
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Is The Hike Difficult?
Yes, you must be physically fit in order to complete this 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 mention the fact that the mere thought of one slip up or potential stumble could leave you severely injured or worse, definitely adds another degree of difficulty.
If you have a fear of heights, but still want to suck it up and attempt this trail, the best advice we can offer is to know your limits and don’t be shy to turn back when it becomes too much.
Luckily, the best views of the trail are from the first peak, so it won’t be for nothing if you don’t complete the entire trail.
Is The Hike Dangerous?
Yes, this hike is definitely one of the more dangerous hikes you will find in Oahu.
The knife-like ridges and vertically steep segments, 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.
The other thing not to forget is every challenge you faced on the way up, you must yet again face on the way down.
What To Bring?
- Hiking Boots
- Hiking Gloves (Optional)
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?
The 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.
Your journey begins before you even reach the trail head, as you are not allowed to park in this area given that it is technically located on private property of a country club.
So you must walk along the road for about a half a mile before reaching the trailhead.
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You will have to pass through the club gate in order to reach the trail, but 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, 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.
Be careful where you park your car, as the cops in Hawaii seem to have fetish for handing out parking violations to unsuspecting tourists.
Each Peak gets increasingly more challenging, dodgy and dangerous. As a result, most casual hikers only elect to go to the first peak, as this ironically offers the better views of the journey.
From there on, the trail becomes progressively more perilous with the possibility of completely falling off the mountain lurking on either side of you.
Although this is a welcomed risk for the everyday adrenaline junky or those who 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.
Out of the three peaks, the hike up the first is 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 walk either because there are some definite WTF moments that offer a good forewarning into what else 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 Three Peaks hiking trail.
Like we mentioned before, these are the best views of the hike, so be sure to get a majority of your photography done here.
The hike down and up to peak 2 is where you properly get introduced to the more sketchy sections of the 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 be completely relying on the sketchy and fraying ropes that you can only hope is securely tied to those loose tree roots further up the peak.
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 hike quickly turns from more or less a casual stroll up a mountain, into seemingly death defying moments around every turn.
Sad to say that 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 old worn out pairs of running sneakers with literally no grip what so ever as our sole hiking shoes.
Highly advise you all invest in a decent pair of hiking boots if you want to complete the more dangerous trails of Oahu like Crouching Lion or Stairway To Heaven and Three Peaks hike 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 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 third 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 Three Peaks hike, in the end it probably won’t make the extensive list of our life long regrets.
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