Hiking Hawaii: Aiea Loop Trail

May 15, 2015  •  4 Comments

-by Edyta-

Another day, another hike... Yet again we hiked with our friend & Anita's brother - Rocky - who once called Oahu his home. 

After looking through a few of my favorite Hawaii blogs (click here and here), we decided on a relatively short 4.4 mile Aiea Loop trail. The trail head is located near Pearl City, an area which we've never before hiked. What made this hike so attractive were the remarkable views - and not just any views - stunning panoramas of the H3 highway (weird, I know - but bear with me here!)

Another hike which offers somewhat comparable although a lot more spectacular highway views is the 1942 military "Haiku Stairs" trail. Much to our disappointment, the stairs face the danger of being dismantled soon as they sustained significant damage during a recent rainstorm. Also, even when they were not damaged, the hike was still illegal to do. 

Now, if you are wondering why anyone would get excited about views of a highway, below are some photos to help you understand:

Trail head for Aiea Loop hike in Oahu is very well marked and there's lots of parking around. Trail head. Trail head. Trail head was very well marked and parking was plentiful. This is the upside of legal and official hikes.  Pondering the meaning of life. Red dirt & tree roots on the trailRed dirt & tree roots on the trail Most of the hike was evenly-leveled. Here I am pondering the meaning of life (or probably checking out some ferns).  Despite the density of the forest, the sun made its way through in lovely patches of light Tall silver treesTall silver trees These silver trees were especially tall.  View of the Pearl Harbor area.View of the Pearl Harbor area. The first lookout point was to the south of the island, I believe that's Pearl Harbor area.  Vlad and Rocky trailblazing. The trail is very well marked so it is not easy to get lost.Trail markingsTrail markings Steep parts were quite rare but we still felt like we got a bit of a workout.   It's no Haiku Stairs but the views are still very satisfying and the hike is quite easy and pleasant. H3 highway as seen from Aiea Loop TrailH3 highway as seen from Aiea Loop Trail And finally - here's the much anticipated view of the H3 highway. Completed at the end of 1997, H3 proved to be one of the most expensive US interstate highways to date - coming in at approximately $80 million per mile. Another fun fact: you can see  "spontaneous waterfalls" while driving along H3 after it rained (click here to see this amazing sight). You can truly see the immense size of the valley with this view.  Easy hike, rewarding view.  Views of highways CAN be exciting and amazing. Especially of one that cost $80million per mile to build :-) View of H3 Highway from Aiea Trail Loop Hike, Oahu, Hawaii View of H3 Highway from Aiea Trail Loop Hike, Oahu, Hawaii This tree with fuzzy red flowers is called the 'Ōhi'a Lehua (aka metrosideros polymorpha). Don't pick 'Ōhi'a Lehua as it can cause rain. 'Ōhi'a Lehua'Ōhi'a Lehua The 'Ōhi'a Lehua is a cousin of pohutakawa (aka metrosideros kermadecensis) - an iconic New Zealand tree, which despite my best investigatory efforts, we were not able to come across during our travels there.  As you can see, I was very happy to finally find this plant as I gave it a full photoshoot. Little did I know, in Hawaiian mythology, picking of the Lehua flowers can cause rain. Luckily this did not prove true for us ;) . 

It's peanut butter jelly time! We stopped in this picturesque spot to refuel with some home made sandwiches. Lunch break while hiking Aiea LoopLunch break while hiking Aiea Loop It's peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butter jelly time! This fern was especially big and spectacular. I wonder if I could grow it at home. Big ferns. Big ferns Check out these big leaves!  There was a lot of moisture on this hike which resulted in beautiful moss... and not so beautiful mud. Hiking Hawaiian islands always makes us feel peaceful and happy. How could you not if you're surrounded by such beautiful nature?Trees & ferns. Trees & ferns.   Aren't these trees pretty? We had fun exploring Oahu with Rocky. He has a lot of knowledge about the island and loves to share it. And we love to listen to it. Hope our paths cross again!Hashtag one new friendHashtag one new friend The three of us at the end of the hike. Another day well spent. #OneNewFriend




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