Nu'uanu Trail

Trail in Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve


  • Directions

    Geolocation is not allowed
  • Distance

    1.54 miles

Contact Information



Length (one way): 1.5 mi / 2.41 km - Elevation Change: 600 ft / 182.88 m

General Summary:

Nu'uanu trail connects Judd trail to Pauoa Flats trail (and vice versa) by moving up through Pauoa valley.

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

On the Southeast area of Oahu, the Nuuanu Public Hunting Area delivers a diverse opportunity for recreational hunting which include two ungulate species (feral pig and goat).

The area offers game mammals (feral pigs and feral goats) to be taken by rifles, shotguns, handguns, and archery (dogs are not permitted). There is no season limit, two pigs and two goats of either sex per hunter per day is the bag limit. Open hunting period is year-round and the open hunting days are daily. More hunting information for game mammals can be found on Exhibit 3.

Helpful Links:

Hunting License

Game Mammal Hunting Rules (Ch. 123)

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

Additional Information

Rotue Description

Nu‘uanu Trail ascends the west side of upper Pauoa Valley and Pauoa Flats. Once it reaches the ridge-top, it then descends into Nu‘uanu  Valley. The trail offers panoramic views of Honolulu, the Waianae Range and the airport area. On the Pauoa Valley side, the trail intersects the Pauoa Flats Trail. It also intersects the Judd Trail on the Pali side. This trail may be difficult for novice hikers.

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

Special Conditions

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

Terrain and Trail Environment

Mountainous. Thick forest canopy

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

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.

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.


  • No Bicycles
  • No Hunting


  • Dangerous Cliff


Volunteers under the direction of the Sierra Club, Hawai`i Chapter constructed the contour portion of the Nu`uanu Trail in 1983. The switchback section was completed in 1991 by private and Forestry labor.

Plants & Birds

Lining the switchback section 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.

Along the ridge top native koa and `ohi`a trees begin to replace the introduced species. Koa has sickle-shaped foliage and pale yellow flower clusters. Early Hawaiians made surfboards and outrigger canoe hulls out of the beautiful red brown wood. Today it is made into fine furniture. `Ohi`a has oval leaves and clusters of delicate red flowers. Early Hawaiians used the flowers in lei (garlands) and the wood in outrigger canoes. The hard, durable wood was also carved into god images for heiau (religious sites).

Watch for the `amakihi, the most common native forest bird on O`ahu. It is yellowish green with a slightly curved grey bill and feeds on nectar, fruits, and insects. If the `ohi`a trees are in bloom, you may also catch a glimpse of an `apapane in the forest canopy. It has a red breast and head, black wings and tail, and a slightly curved black bill. In flight the `apapane makes a whirring sound as it darts from tree to tree searching for nectar and insects.


DOFAW manages public hunting on all Forest Reserve System lands. DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) carries out enforcement of hunting regulations (Chapter 122 Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting, and Chapter 123 Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting). General hunting regulations can be found in Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Title 13 Chapter 121. Current information regarding hunting rules, seasons and bag limits for all game species can be obtained by contacting the DOFAW Oahu office at 2135 Makiki Heights Dr. Honolulu, Hawai‘i, (808) 973-9782. All persons are required to have a valid Hawai‘i hunting license on their person to hunt or have a bagged game mammal in their possession. Hunting licenses may be purchased online from, from any DOFAW office or from any registered hunting license vendor. All hunting license applicants must show proof of having successfully completed a hunter education course that is recognized by the National Hunter Education Association.