Aiea Loop Trail is the perfect trail for visitors and new hikers. From a scale of beginner, to intermediate, or advanced, this is beginner level. Located in Keaiwa Heiau, a state recreational park, the loop is a straight forward path that’s safe for young, old, children, and pets (leashed-pets).
Length of hike: 4 miles/6.4 kilometers
Time it takes: approximately 2-hours
*The park is open from 7am-7:45pm (0700-1945)
*Bring hiking shoes or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy (might get permanently stained)
*ALWAYS BRING WATER!
*Extra bag to put your dirty footwear
*Extra clothes to change into if it was rainy recently (very muddy).
*Extra shoe/slippers/sandals/flip flops to change into after (if you don’t want to track your muddy shoes inside the vehicle).
You may also be able to see wild boar. The pigs are located to the left of the sign, by the trees in the photo, almost out of frame.
There are 3 major parking lots you can park your car to begin your journey. We parked in the second staging area where an open picnic area and public restrooms await. The third and highest parking lot is the closest to the main entrance, also providing restrooms. However, we started this hike from the “bottom” (AKA Lower Trail Head) and went “backwards” from what most people usually do. You can start or end on either trail head. The time of day we started hiking was 4:10pm (16:10).
The lower trail head entrance. Where most people exit, we entered.
After tropical storm Darby passed us (two days prior to us hiking), it left small streams flowing steadily. Be careful on these parts, although it is unlikely you will be crossing flowing water as pictured above.
The trail is well kept and safer than most trails. The only thing is to take consideration for fallen trees that may be on the path, roots, and mud spots that are known to suck in soles.
The now famous loop tree. Keep an eye out: it is on the left side, starting from the lower trail head or on your right toward the exit coming from the upper trail head.
The iconic picture everyone tries to attain when hiking this trail: The H3 freeway headed to Kaneohe with the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels entrance in the distance. Around this area is when the trail begins switch, going back inward.
There are multiple benches along the path to take a break or to just take in the view.
Apologies for the blurry quality – This is the “main”/upper trail head.
When you see these three poles, you know you’re entering/leaving the trail.
To this day, there are still remnants of this crashed plane in the mountains, just off of the trail. Although, we didn’t see it or know of its whereabouts.
The damage wasn’t too bad at all. I still got more mud on my shoes than most hikes I’ve done but compared to what it is “normally”, I came out clean. Over the course of a dozen times, my friend told me he’s seen the trail in way worse conditions, so just be warned and prepare: You WILL get muddy.
Aiea Loop Trail is approximately 4 miles/6 kilometers and at a steady pace you can complete it within 2 hours but prepare your schedule for 3 hours. With taking pictures, I timed it from my stopwatch and, we still managed a very steady pace being able to finish in exactly 1 hour and 55 minutes: 4:10pm (16:10) – 6:05pm (18:05). We hurried because on one sign it said the parking lot closed at 6:45pm (18:45); we basically rushed it. Still, very enjoyable and easy! Some parts are uphill and some are down hill but very manageable. Recommend to go when it is not wet or rainy. At minimum, wait at least a couple days after it rains to avoid mud however, sometimes getting dirty is the fun part of a hike! Last pointer: Aiea Loop isn’t known for it’s gorgeous views. There are many easy hikes like Lanikai Pillbox that has a greater bang (better photo opportunities) for its buck (difficulty & length of hike).
In short: A long but very easy, family friendly, hike with mediocre views.
Aiea Loop Trail
99-1849 Aiea Heights Dr.
Aiea, HI 96701