February 18, 2018

Ka`u Forest Reserve Waterfall Hike-June 20, 2015-RSVP! -FULL-Will Wait List in Case of Cancellations

Ka`u WaterfallSaturday, June 20, 2015, the Kona Hiking Club will hike through Ka`u Forest Reserve to a waterfall in the beautiful upland rainforest on Mauna Loa.  RSVP required.  Limited to 20 hikers.  Priority will be given to those hikers volunteering to drive their 4WD.
The hike will be about 6 – 7  miles roundtrip with an elevation change of about 1200’. Starting elevation is 1800′. The surface is relatively good grassy jeep road that leads to a gauging station on the western branch of Hīlea Gulch.  To get to the waterfall overlook you will need to walk in the stream, so bring water shoes or wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet.

We will access the Ka`u Forest Reserve trailhead by way of a 4WD road above Na`alehu. The forest is a very important watershed for the Ka`u district.

Much work has been done in this mesic and wet forest by The Nature Conservancy within its four preserves to control high priority invasive species.

There are four native-dominated natural communities in the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve:

(1) Koa/‘Ōhi‘a Montane Mesic Forest

(2) Koa/‘Ōhi‘a Montane Wet Forest

(3) ‘Ōhi‘a Montane Wet Forest

(4) ‘Ōhi‘a Lowland Wet Forest

We will be hiking in the last two areas which abuts Nature Conservancy’s Kaiholena Unit.

The mesic and wet forests of the Ka‘ū region are home to at least 12 known species of rare plants and several native birds.

For more detailed info go to:


Hikers should meet at 9:00 am at the Punalu`u Bakery in Na`alehu and we will 4WD convoy from there. There is a very limited parking area at the trailhead so we will try to fit hikers in as few 4WD/AWD vehicles as possible. Please contact us if you can provide a 4WD or AWD high clearance vehicle to transport hikers to the trailhead. Kona carpoolers can meet at Lanihau Shopping Center near Buns in the Sun. Please park away from the businesses. While there is no charge for carpooling, anyone doing so is encouraged to chip in for gasoline. A hike leader will not be present at this location. Be prepared to organize your own carpool by 7:15 and leave by 7:30 AM.

The weather on the mountain is somewhat unpredictable, so be prepared for rain, although sunny weather is possible as well. Hikers should wear closed toed shoes, carry hiking sticks and bring at least two liters of water, snacks/lunch, and sunscreen.

Must RSVP to Kathleen Johnson at 557-9246 by evening of June 12, 2015.


PLEASE NOTE: All members are welcome to bring guests or pass on information about our hikes to other hikers. However, if you do so, PLEASE make sure that you direct them to the Kona Hiking Club website to review the hike announcement and description. We want to make sure that everyone is prepared for the specific hike we are doing that day, whether we’re facing mud, heat, cold, steep trails, rocky trails, high altitude, exceptionally long distances, etc. Mahalo for helping us keep everyone safe!


  1. Bea Puhala says:

    My husband and I would like to go Ka’u Forest Waterfall hike in case of someone cancellation.We have 4WD.
    Bea Puhala

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