Kaunala Loop Trail is a hidden gem in the mauka regions of Pupukea-Paumalu on the North Shore of Oahu. If you enjoy a fun, challenging hike, Kaunala Loop Trail is for you. The trail head starts near the very end of Pupukea Road, between Sunset Ranch and Camp Pupukea (Boy Scouts). An interesting fact on Sunset Ranch? Kaunala and other trails in this region are a big reason why the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu were so excited about protecting Sunset Ranch from development. Why? Sunset Ranch provides a buffer to this region, which includes over 30 miles of trails throughout Waimea Valley and Pupukea Paumalu.
Kaunala Loop Trail is a trail for every outdoor adventurer. It is about a five mile loop that has a little bit of everything, including: panaramic views of the north and northwest side of Oahu, spectacular mountain and valley views, stream crossings, paper tree forests and various ridge climbs. The one recommendation we have if you’re going to set out on this adventure is to start your hike in the morning, or in the early afternoon, latest. Why? On occassion hikers start a bit late and they underestimate the time it takes to complete the loop. As a result, night falls and sometimes they require assistance getting back!
One of our many goals at Sunset Ranch is to establish our Nursery as a staging area to work with Hi’ipaka (owner and operator of Waimea Valley) and the State of Hawaii to help maintain invasive species and reintroduce native Hawaiian species in these mauka regions of Oahu. This includes areas in and around Kaunala Loop Trail. We want to create a fun, educational experience for school children, local residents and all visitors to Sunset Ranch. We hope to also develop a short film documentary that shares the history of the area, including the cultural significance of the region.
We hope you get out and explore the Kaunala Loop Trail! As you start your hike, you’ll see Sunset Ranch on your right. Where the property ends is where our Nursery will be built. Eventually it will be a great place for visitors to stop in, get educated and continue on their adventure to Kaunala Loop Trail. We can’t wait! If you want more information on Kaunala Loop Trail, you can find it here. A hui hou!