Tantalus Arboretum Trail

Trail in Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve


  • Directions

    Geolocation is not allowed
  • Distance

    0.18 miles



Length (one way): 0.25 mi / 0.4 km - Elevation Change: 100 ft / 30.48 m

General Summary:

Tantalus Arboretum Trail is a short loop trail.

For additional information refer to the "Route description" section below.

Allowed Activities
Rules & Regulation
No Biking
Stay On Trail
Dogs On Leash
Allowed Access

Additional Information

Terrain and Trail Environment

Mountainous, thick forest

Simple Trail Tips

  1. Stay on the trail.
  2. Check the weather
  3. Watch the time
  4. Avoid undue risk
  5. Read all posted signs
  6. Respect other trail users
  7. Pack out at least what you pack in.


  • Pedestrian


  • No Bicycles

Plants & Birds

The trail goes through an area used for experimental plantings in the early 1900s. Look for macadamia nut, avocado, coffee, cinnamon, and breadfruit (ulu) trees.


The arboretum was an upper level field section of the Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, founded in 1901 to develop new crops for Hawaii. The main buildings of the station were once located downslope by Lincoln Elementary and Stevenson Middle Schools.

Near the arboretum along Tantalus Dr. is the site of the Half-Way House, a small store offering groceries and refreshments to summer residents, and hikers, equestrians, and carriage parties exploring the Tantalus area in the early 1900s. The house was actually a two-room cottage with a corrugated metal roof and a redwood water tank. The store was operated by David Haughs, a nurseryman for Territorial Forestry.

Dog Owners

Hunting may be in progress on or near this hiking trail. Hunting dogs may be off-leash while engaged in the hunt. Hikers must keep their dogs leashed at all times and remove dog waste while on this trail.

Route Description

Tantalus Arboretum trail is a short loop trail that sits nearby the junction of Nahuina and Makiki Valley trails.

Special Conditions

No Camping. No mountain biking.

Do not use any trail or access road that is not delineated by name and color and that may also be displayed on these maps. The marked features are managed for public recreational use. Other trails or roads that branch off from the public features may be on private property, and are not managed for any public recreational use. Access is subject to adjacent landowner approval, and if used without authorization, you will be trespassing and possibly putting yourself at risk.


If driving, proceed mauka (toward the mountain) on Tantalus drive, the Tantalus-Arboretum Trail takes off on the right, and will be the first trail encountered while proceeding up the road.

The Tantalus Arboretum Trail starts across the road from the driveway of 3300 Tantalus Dr. Park on the left side of the road just beyond the driveway.

From the signed trailhead ascend gradually upslope on an old dirt road.

Shortly reach an unsigned junction. Keep left on the road. (The trail on the right is the return route of the loop.)

Cross a gully on a plank bridge.

Swing right and descend gradually as the road becomes a trail.

Reach the familiar junction and retrace your steps to Tantalus Dr.

Mountain Bikers

Always yield to hikers. Do not slide around corners or slide down the trail. Careless mountain biking damages the trail and causes erosion. If accidents are reported or damage to the trail is extreme, the trail may be closed to mountain bikers. This trail is not an easy mountain bike trail.