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Elopement Inspo: Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail

Kuliouou Ridge Hike:

Length: 4.7 Miles Total

Type: Out & Back

Elevation: 1,650 Feet

Average Time To Complete: 3-4 Hours

Throw that dress in a backpack, or maybe wear a matching white jogging set to get into the bridal mood, and hit the trail with me to the top of Kuli’ou’ou Ridge. Starting at the base of the ridge just a few miles outside of Waikiki, once at the top you will be greeted with the stunning view of the east side of the island (offshore islands included). Nothing will make you feel like you are on top of the world more than being on top of this cliff saying your vows.

Kuli’ou’ou Trail takes you on a journey from covered forest, windy Cook Pines reminiscent of the mainland, to ascending a stairway opening up into a truly Hawaiian landscape. The views don’t disappoint as you overlook the sapphire and turquoise waters of the windward side.

Getting There & Parking: Located approximately 20 minutes from Honolulu, this is an easy drive that will lead you into a residential area. You can either rent a car or this location is convenient enough for an Uber. Be courteous while parking and respect the residents of the area. You won’t have a problem finding a spot - however depending on the time of day you arrive, you may add a half mile or so to get to the trailhead.

Difficulty: Yes the distance and elevation is intimidating, however this is one of the gentlest of the

ridge hikes on Oahu. This is good for families and those of most fitness levels. The most difficult portion will be the stairs the last half mile of the trail. Push through the 2.3 miles uphill and rest with the knowledge that it’s all downhill from there on this out & back hike.

My experience: I love Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail. It is one of my top three favorite hikes on Oahu and I recommend it to anyone who loves hiking and has a moderate level of fitness to endure the switchbacks and stairs. I’ve done this trail numerous times solo, with others and at all seasons (I love a rainy day hike!). I never tire of this trail and am always eager to return.

Why chose to hike to your wedding location? You could get married at a venue, you could get married at the beach, or you could take yourselves on a journey! There is nothing more rewarding than returning years down the road and revisiting the spot where you made your love official. You have a whole hike to reminisce, laugh, and reflect on the years that past and relive that moment you said I do at the top. It’s an experience that you just won’t get revisiting your beach location and you will rarely visit your traditional wedding venue again - but this is a lifelong spot you can return to over and over again. Life is about the journey, not this destination and this is the perfect physical representation of that.

*Note: Hiking is inherently dangerous and even the most well prepared and experienced hikers can run into difficult situations no matter the fitness level or trail difficulty rating. Hike at your own risk and conditions or trail is subject change after the posting of this blog.

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