This trail takes the runner from just below the lookout on Pali Highway into the country of Waimanalo.
Maunawili is a good running trail with great views of the Koolaus. As with all trail runs, watch your
footing, be careful, and stay on the trail.
John and P.J. Salmonson and other members of H.U.R.T. (Hawaii UltraRunning Team) train on this trail
regularly. Here is their description of what you can expect:
Maunawili Trail is 11 miles from Pali Lookout to the end in the back of Waimanalo. The route follows
a sometimes rocky and muddy trail along the base of the Koolau mountain range. For an experienced
trail runner, the trail is runnable with challenging climbs and decents. For the fit hiker or walker
it is a moderately demanding course. You can run out and back in about 5 – 5 ½ hours, or hike it in
about 7 hours.
Due to the out-and-back nature of this trail, you can really make any distance you wish. If you choose
to go all the way to the end, you will be rewarded with great views of Waimanalo Valley, and a total
distance of 11 miles.
There is water available from a catchment tank found in the first couple miles of the trail. But it is
recommended that you bring a water bottle or two to carry enough to last your whole run.
To Get There From Honolulu
Take H-1 West to the Pali Highway exit. Take Pali Highway mauka (toward the mountains) until you see a
right-hand exit for the Pali Lookout. Park at the lookout, and take the Old Pali Highway road down from
the overlook. You will pick up the trail at the "end" of the road.
If you are up for a long trail run, take the trail to the end, enjoy the view, and run back. Be sure to
bring a few bottles for water. You will need it. A fit runner can expect to be on the trail for 5 hours.
The runner of any skill level can run the trail, turning around at any point. It is recommended by that
you have some trail running experience, but this is one of the best, runable trails I have ever seen, so
in my opinion, there is no better place to gain that experience.
I've heard people caution against leaving valuables in your car at the Pali Lookout parking area. Your
car will most likely survive the run unharmed. But why take the chance? I personally have run this trail
too many times to count, with no trouble. But it's always best to err on the side of caution.