Ko'olau Hike: Golf Course to Pali Look-Out - Intentional Travelers
Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

Ko’olau Hike: Golf Course to Pali Look-Out

This trail is one of those hidden treasures you can drive by for years and never know it exists. After years of visiting friends at First Pres Church in the Ko’olau Golf Club (yep, you read that right – the church owns and meets in the golf club property), we finally realized there was a hiking trail leading from the parking lot. The very next day, we returned to check it out.

Pali Look Out Hike

Our friend showed us the most direct path from the Ko’olau Golf/Church parking lot, a thin dirt trail descending quickly to the Old Pali Highway, but you can also follow these directions or this map and meet up with the road slightly further up. It’s a pretty easy 3.1 mile out and back hike up to the Pali Look-out with the option to add a side trip to Likeke Falls.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

The hike essentially follows the abandoned highway up the Ko’olau mountains, which we thought was pretty darn cool. With a few small exceptions, the trail/road is relatively smooth (no big tangles of tree roots to step over) and not all that steep.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

Note that when you pass the offshoot to Likeke Falls on your right, you’ll have a choice to follow a path down to the left or up to the right- go right and continue uphill. A bit further, you actually go under the current highway and mount this random ladder tethered to the rocks. From there you have the option to go left (which we didn’t do, but apparently leads to a Hidden Falls) or right, which is the continuation of the old road up to Pali Look-out.

There are some fabulous viewpoints along the path.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

And, of course, once you reach the Pali Look-out, you have a great view over Kaneohe Bay and the Ko’olau’s on either side of you! I may be biased, but I’d say that the hike up was way more rewarding than driving to the Pali Look-out parking lot.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

Heading back down the same way we came up, we decided to add on the hike to Likeke Falls. We had only read about it briefly and had the impression it would be easy and kid friendly. Compared to the Old Pali Road we had just done, this hike was definitely more challenging, though. The trail was narrow, sometimes muddy and slick, and required more climbing.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional TravelersWe weren’t really sure we had taken the correct route until some fellow hikers confirmed that we should continue following the bright pink ribbons and painted arrows.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

Eventually we found our way to Likeke waterfall, a modest but pretty falls in the midst of jungle. There was a small pool in the stream where you could dip your feet in if you wanted.

Ko'olau Golf Course to Pali Look-out Hike, Oahu Hawaii | Intentional Travelers

 Tips for Happy Hiking

As with almost any hike in Hawaii, it’s a good idea to bring sunscreen, bug spray, and plastic bags for muddy shoes (especially if doing the Likeke Falls part). If you’re into geocaching, you’ll find a few good caches here. Enjoy!

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Tips for hiking from Ko'Olau golf club to Pali Look Out on Oahu | Hawaii Hikes | Intentional Travelers

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2 Comments
  • Dorene
    Posted at 21:47h, 11 March Reply

    Love this post, we haven’t been to Hawaii but this gives a whole new perspective on finding some exceptional hiking and views. Another place on the bucket list!

    • IntentionalTravelers
      Posted at 10:08h, 12 March Reply

      Thanks, Dorene. If you do get to Hawaii, it really is a great place to hike!

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