Makāula 'O'oma Trails
Honua'ula Forest Reserve Makāula 'O'oma Tract
ROUND TRIP MILEAGE: 1 to 2.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 215’ to 700’
The Honua’ula Forest Reserve protects a large tract of cloud forest at elevations above 3000’ on the slopes of Hualālai volcano uphill from Kona. The Makāula 'O'oma Tract is a smaller portion of the Reserve with a number of trails and old roads that allows hikers to access this lush and beautiful ʻōhiʻa and hāpuʻu tree fern forest. It is very cool and wet at this higher elevation, especially compared to the hot Kona coast. There are two loop hikes through Makāula 'O'oma presented below. Either loop is a great moderate hike, and a great respite from coastal heat on a hot day.
PATH, People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawai’i, pioneered and maintains these trails.
Trailhead: Turn mauka (uphill) between the 34 and 35 mile markers on Hwy. 190 onto Kaloko Drive. Follow Kaloko Drive for almost 4 miles and turn left onto Makahi Street. Drive to the end of this dead-end street and park near signs for the trailhead. There are no services. Dogs are allowed. Be respectful of the people that live in the area. Remove all trash. Do not park on Hao Street or use that area to access the Forest Reserve. While this used to be a common way to access the trails, there is no public parking here and no way to access trails without trespassing on private property.
Gear: Sturdy waterproof boots are recommended for this rocky, wet trail. Bring your raingear and don’t forget the mosquito repellent.
Hikes: Refer to the map while reading the below sections. The trail is shared with mountain bikes and horses, so be aware as you hike.
Short Loop: 1 mile / 215’. From the trailhead, walk to the end of the road and find signs for the Forest Reserve. Directly to the right of the signs, find a steep trail departing uphill. Climb more than 200’ on the broad trail and find a three-way intersection. The Forest Reserve boundary is in front of you. (Going right leads to a short spur trail that ends abruptly at the Forest Reserve boundary). Instead, take the left turn and hike along the Forest Reserve boundary. Travel two tenths of a mile and look sharply for a downhill trail marked with a sign that says “Jurassic.” Take this trail as it twists and turns back to the trailhead.
Long Loop: 2.3 miles / 700’. From the trailhead, walk to the end of the road and find signs for the Forest Reserve. Hike past the signs and quickly find a fork in the trail. Take the right (uphill) fork. This is the Jurassic Trail, and it twists and turns for a bit more than a half mile through lush forest. It dead-ends at a three-way intersection at the Forest Reserve Boundary. Hike to the left and follow the trail for a quarter mile when it ends at a turn in an old road. (You can continue north for a half mile on the old road where it ends at the Forest Reserve boundary). Take a left and hike downhill on the old road for a half mile. When the road reaches a three-way intersection, take another left and hike south on the old road full of lava cinders. Hike for a bit more than a quarter mile and look sharply for an unsigned intersection for the Jurassic Trail departing steeply uphill. There might be a large ahu (cairn) at the turn. (It’s possible to continue on the old road to the south for less than a half mile when it ends at the edge of the Forest Reserve). Hike uphill on the Jurassic Trail back to the trailhead.
Doing every single trail section and road section is about 4 miles and 850’ of elevation gain. Do not trespass out of the Forest Reserve or cross any gates onto private property.