A diverse group of people summited Hawaii Loa on Martin Luther King Day, 2012. In the above picture, from left to right, you have the newest member of Hyde Manor (where Marvin, Andy and our cat, Killer, reside), Jackie, who was born in Germany. Next you have Andy, a typical, nothing special, white American. Then you have 2 very shady Filipinos, Coty and Joel, who would complete this trail for the 3rd time. Then there’s the Thai guy, Ahnate. And a possible recurring character in EH Tales, Gentaro, from Japan. This picture was taken by an awesome Indian dude, Marvin. Hawaii would see a melting pot at one of its summits like never before.
The day started with a great surprise in front of Hyde Manor. Phil, Jackie’s boyfriend for 1 month, surprised us all by laying down a series of leis in front of our house before any of us woke up for their anniversary. All the leis were shaped into hearts with about 10 leis bundled together at the doorstep for a giant heart. Although this makes gifts from other guys less impressive, he dug himself into a hole as now he will need to continually 1-up himself for future milestones.
Directions and access information can be obtained in the original Hawaii Loa post. As we showed our IDs to the front gate security, we were told we could only drive up to the trail as were presumably too poor-looking to do anything else in this neighborhood.
The trail is straightforward and fairly popular. Don’t expect to get lost but do expect to see other people along with a few dogs. Don’t be surprised if an old man runs by you.
The trail may become more challenging if it rains as the landslide areas will become extremely slippery. There are many ropes to help you but expect to get mud on your arms and legs under some rain. Also expect to slip a few times if there is heavy rain. Although this is a ridge hike, it is not narrow and falling off the mountain is unlikely unless you go out of your way to do so.
We were hiking in the clouds from the very beginning (trail starts around 1200 ft elevation) and it was no surprise that the summit was socked in. We spent some time at the summit hanging leis, eating lunch, contemplating going to Sacred Falls or Haiku Stairs, crossing over to Wiliwilinui or Kuliouou but decided to just go to Gina’s for meat jun.
This was Jackie’s first hike on the island and she had no difficulty on the trail whatsoever. This was also Gentaro’s fourth or so hike. Expect both to pop up in future hikes.
The park area before the trail provides giant boulders for nice photo-ops. They’re very sturdy so abuse them all you want.
Afterwards, without getting cleaned up, we rushed to Kaimuki to get meat jun (chun) from Gina’s BBQ. This was the first time anyone from Hyde Manor had meat jun and we all enjoyed it. I was the only one to finish my plate, everyone else was just embarrassing. We will one day go to Dong Yang to try their famous meat jun to decide once and for all who has the best meat jun on Oahu.
This was a great hike with some great people. Hiking in the clouds made it easier with the sun not blasting on us and the ease of the trail makes it excellent for a social hike. The trail is well maintained and the summit offers many possibilities for crossing over. Here is a view from a relatively clear day at Hawaii Loa: another hike.
This was the most memorable MLK day in recent history. Martin would have been proud.