Old Pali Road is a favorite family hike on Oahu. What’s not to love about an old abandoned and overgrown highway, hanging off the side of a mountain. There are even “secret” paths to hidden waterfalls and ancient ruins.
You can hike from the bottom starting at Ko’olau Golf Course, or the top from Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. We started from the top and worked our way down for the immediate views.
When you get to the entrance of the hike you will notice it is closed off. A bit of bravery and resourcefulness will set you on your chosen path.
This hike is gated and has potential dangers, such as falling rock, so hike at your own risk!
There is quite a bit of fallen rock in piles at the beginning and seems to be the most affected part for this danger. Once around the first bend, it is more overgrown and you are a bit out from the mountain.
We let our 2 small children walk with us and I wore the baby on my back. We never felt unsafe and had a blast. Cooper lead the way most of the time as he our little explorer.
It doesn’t take long until you get to the first amazing vantage point. The growth clears out and you are awarded with stunning views of the East Side of the island. You will be able to make out Kaneohe, and have an unobstructed view of the Ko’olau Mountains.
From this area you get mountain views on either side. Here, there is a nice little wall for sitting and enjoying a snack, or to just take in the views.
Then it is time to head back into the brush.
It is wild here and hard to believe this ever used to be a highway!
The overgrowth is spectacular and really showcases the power of Mother Nature.
There are a few trails off the highway. You can find Likeke falls near the bottom and even the old Kaniakapupu Ruins. We didn’t make it to either place this day and still had a great time just exploring the road for our family hike.
The vegetation runs rampant in parts and it can get quite dark and even a bit spooky. Especially if you read up on the history of the hike. There are ghost stories galore surrounding this place making you wonder what kind of family hike this really is!
Although there were no ghosts, or spooky happenings for our family adventure, we still enjoyed the beautiful vegetation, flowers, and unique scenery.
This time we didn’t make our way under the overpass to highway 61, and instead turned back. The hike was short though and easy to do with this kids. It is def one you can spend a little or a lot of time on.
The way back was full of nothing but views and we even caught sight of some dare devils climbing the Pali notches. One of the most dangerous spots on the island.
We decided we don’t need all that for a fulfilling day. Our walk was full of beauty and our adventure on Old Pali Road was one of the best family hikes on Oahu.
Have you hiked Old Pali Road? What are some of your favorite family adventures on Oahu?