Students of BYU-Hawaii take a break with a 5.5-mile hike to Laie Falls, climbing 1,400 feet to a stream valley that is pocketed into the Ko'olau Mountains. You begin on a red-dirt road and ascend to majestic copse of Norfolk pines. The trail then burrows through a forest of strawberry guava. At a narrow section, the falls trail drops steeply into the drainage—a rope aids the descent, but the hike is not dangerous. A second falls and pool lies below the one pictured.
Energetic hikers can stay on the trail to the top of the Ko'olau Ridge, an excursion that adds six miles and another 800 feet of climbing to the day. It's overgrown and steep, so prepare for a full-fledged trek. See Oahu Trailblazer page 150 for more details on Laie Falls, plus several other excursions that are not far from the Polynesian Cultural Center.
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