Aiea Loop Trail, Aiea, HI
The Aiea Loop Trail was only our second hiking experience in Hawaii. My neighbor had told me it was a fun hike but very, very muddy. I had expressed my concern about taking the kids along on a hike that would be dangerous or difficult. She assured me that it was perfectly safe and she backpacks her child all the time on the trail. I was now determined to do this hike, looked up reviews and location, and armed with extra towels and water we set off.
I read in multiple reviews to park at the end of the trail and hike to the trail head. When I got there I did what was recommended and believe me I was really glad I had. The trail head is at the top of a very steep hill. If you had to climb that very steep hill at the end of your hike it would be torturous. Even at the beginning for us, we struggled.
After our picture-taking session at the trail head we started out. The first section of the trail is pretty mild. It was gorgeous though with tall trees and roots crisscrossing the trail. Then we got to the top of the first lookout. We stopped for more pictures of course, then continued on. The trail started winding around the mountainside. It went up and down and there were drop offs on the sides. The trail was also not very well-marked in places. I got the impression that the first part of the trail was more used by people then the rest.
We spotted a few people, walking the trail in dresses and flip-flops and dress shoes. Every trail we have been on we have seen people in this gear. I would not recommend going dressed like this. I’m pretty sure the people I saw dressed like this wouldn’t either. They were covered in mud, as were we, up to our knees. In case you are thinking, it’s sunny outside it won’t be muddy for us. You would be wrong! The trail is under trees and very shady all the time. It will ALWAYS be muddy. Be prepared with shoes that can grip through the mud and have fun getting muddy. We had a blast. We even counted how many times each of us fell in the mud and gave each other “prizes” when we were done.
We decided to spend some time seeking some geocaches while we were on this hike. We found two of the ones we searched for and spent about thirty minutes searching for another one that we finally had to give up on as the hike was getting to be quite lengthy.
The hike was definitely longer than we thought it would be. Part of that was our fault for geocaching along the way. Part of it though was the hike was more challenging than just a straight 4.8 mile hike. There were roots crisscrossing the trail, rocks to climb over, tree branches to go under and over, washed out places of the trail to go around, and trees (not branches) to climb over or duck under.
Though it was long, it was still beautiful and well worth going. When we reached the final lookout, it was so pretty and the bench was perfect. We were so tired at this point we needed the rest. Getting back to the car, we were so grateful for the towels I had brought along. We cleaned ourselves up as best as possible, sat on the towels, and loved every minute. It was a great experience!
Written By: Laura Hazard
Ages: Good for All Ages
Essential Equipment: Sunscreen, Water, Camera, Walking Shoes, Old Towels
Stroller Accessible: No
Terrain: Dirt Path with Many Different Kinds of Obstacles
Time Spent: 4 Hours
Length: 4.8 Miles
Just as a side note, Please remember to always stay hydrated and wear proper shoes and clothing when you are hiking. If in doubt, don’t risk your safety or health. Thank you everyone. 🙂