Due to living here on Oahu and the beauty that Is Hawaii, my wife and I are continuouly visited by out of town family and friends who journey here to Hawaii to visit us and enjoy the islands. We love taking our guests to do things outside of the realm of tourism and we really enjoy showing them things that if they didn't know us, maybe they wouldn't get to see. The problem is that not everyone who visits us is as capable of hiking as we are, so we have to choose are destinations carefully. One place that we have been venturing to for years and that is a great trek for novice hikers, is Puu Ma'eli'eli. This hike starts on the windward side of the island just across from the Byodo-In-Temple (Valley of the Temples) and is about three miles of round trip, leisurely hiking, culminating at a few World War Two bunkers with great views from Kaneohe Bay to Chinamans Hat. Since this hike is very short, I love doing this hike and then heading to Hamama Falls afterwards, since it is very close and is also a very short hike. In addition, the Ahuimanu trail starts just across the street from the Puu Ma'eli'eli trail and is also a very short hike, which could be done on the same day if one wanted.
Back when my wife and I started hiking, I use to love looking in the back of Stuart Ball's "The Hikers Guide to Oahu" and looking at the closed hikes and then follow that up by going to hike them. Puu Ma'eli'eli was one of those hikes on the closed list, and to this day I really haven't figured out why. The last time we hiked this trail we did so by heading for the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe. We parked on a street just across the street from the Valley of the temples and right next to the Mcdonalds where a shopping center is located (Directions are at the end of the write up). Once parked we walked back towards the highway and took a left and began walking up the hill and past some town houses. Just after the town houses was a gate and a no trespassing sign with an obvious trail to our left. We took this trail and started our hike.
The trail does have some inclines but overall they are not that bad. The trail is very straight forward and we were walking through wooded areas the whole time. The main key for us, was to just keep heading uphill and to keep the ocean to our right and not far from eye sight. Before we knew it, we came to the hardest part of the hike. A fairly steep hill with some loose dirt. We climbed up the short hill and were almost immediately greeted by a bunker and a wooden sign, reading, Puu Ma'eli'eli. Shortly after the first bunker we arrived at another bunker and were now out of the woods. We climbed up on top of the bunker and were delighted by the stunning views. We spent a bunch of time just admiring the landscape and basking in the beauty of Oahu. After some pictures and relaxation time, we grudgingly departed and made our short trip back to the highway and to our car. My wife and I always try to do this hike at the lowest tide possible and when the sun is glaring down on the bay, making for stunning views of the reef directly below. For tide levels and times, I typically use www.hawaiitides.com.
Directions: Take Kahekili, heading towards the valley of the temples. When you reach the Valley of the Temples, there will be a shopping center on the opposite side of the street with a Mcdonald's in it. Park on that street or drive a little past the Valley of the Temples and park on the next street. The street to park on is Hui Iwa street or East Hui Iwa street. Once parked walk back UP the highway and pass the Valley of the Temples on the right and a few town houses to your left. Just after passing the town houses there will a small gate and a no trespassing sign. An obvious trail begins right there.