Nahuina Trail

Trail in Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve


  • Directions

    Geolocation is not allowed
  • Distance

    0.54 miles

Contact Information



Length (one way): 0.75 mi / 1.21 km - Elevation Change: 600 ft / 182.88 m

General Summary:

Nahuina trail runs along Makiki valley connecting the Makiki Valley trail to Kalawahine trail.

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

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

Additional Information


  • No Bicycles


Volunteers under the direction of the Sierra Club, Hawai`i Chapter built the Nahuina Trail during the summer of 1979. Crews started from Tantalus Drive and worked downhill to the Makiki Valley Trail.

Terrain and Trail Environment

Non-native forest, mountainous


  • Pedestrian


  • Dangerous Cliff
  • Dangerous Footing

Special Conditions

No Camping. 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. Downloadable resources are provided below

Route Description

The trail descends gradually along the west side of Makiki Valley through a banana grove. At 0.75 mile, the trail ends at a junction with Makiki Valley Trail. Traveling right on Makiki Valley Trail will take you back to Tantalus Drive. The left route (on Makiki Valley Trail) will take you to Kanealole, Maunalaha, Ualaka‘a and Moleka Trails as well as Round Top Drive.

Descriptions for route, history, plants and birds were provided by Stuart Ball, author of The Hikers Guide to Oahu and other hiking books.

Plants & Birds

Lining the switchbacks of the Nahuina Trail are ki (ti) plants. They have shiny leaves, 1-2 feet long that are arranged spirally in a cluster at the tip of a slender stem. Early Polynesian voyagers introduced ti to Hawai`i. They used the leaves for house thatch, skirts, sandals, and raincoats. Food to be cooked in the imu (underground oven) was first wrapped in ti leaves. A popular sport with the commoners was ho`ohe`e ki or ti-leaf sledding. The sap from ti plants stained canoes and surfboards.

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.

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.


If driving, proceed mauka on Tantalus Drive. When you get close to the top, look for the trailhead sign behind the guardrail on the right side of the road. There is trail parking in the small lot just before the trailhead on the left side of the road.

Please note that Nahuina Trail (in yellow) is part of the Honolulu-Mauka Trail Network, comprising of 18 interconnected trails (in turquoise). The system may be accessed via the Makiki Arboretum Trail (dark blue) as part of an extended hike. The shortest route from the Makiki Arboretum Trail to the Nahuina trailhead is 1.4 miles.

The Nahuina Trail starts at a signed junction by the guardrail along Tantalus Dr. Descend gradually on four long switchbacks. Contour along the side of a ridge, crossing several gullies. Reach the end of the Nahuina Trail at a signed junction with the Makiki Valley Trail.

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.