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Kahakapao Loop

 4.6 (7)
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Map Key

5.9 Miles 9.5 Kilometers



956' 291 m


-956' -291 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (11°)

3,663' 1,117 m


2,738' 834 m


Shared By Leslie Kehmeier



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Scenic upcountry Maui singletrack in the Makawao Forest Reserve.

Leslie Kehmeier

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


The Kahakapao Loop is an excellent singletrack ride in the Makawao Forest Reserve. Ride the loop clockwise for the best climb/descent option.

The route and has a steady but very manageable climb and a fun, non-technical descent.

Need to Know

The Kahakapao Loop can be extremely slippery and muddy after rain. It's best to wait a few days for the trail to dry out after any significant precipitation.

As with all trailheads and parking areas in Hawaii, keep your valuables out of sight when leaving your car.


The Kahakapao Loop is best ridden clockwise and starts with Kahakapao East. From the parking area ride out on doubletrack past the bottom of the Makawao Flow Trail. Climb for a short distance and then stay left past the kiosk and turn right on singletrack. From here, follow the red badges on the trees.

The east side is a steady climb up but not necessarily steep. It winds through mostly dense forest with several turns. The trail is generally smooth, covered with leaves and has a few roots to keep you engaged.

Continue straight through the intersection with the upper end of the Makawao Flow Trail.

The top of the climb brings you to an intersection. Stay right here to continue to Kahakapao West and the second half of the loop. Left provides access to Fong Ridge Road.

The west side Kahakapao singletrack starts with a roll out along a steep bench cut trail and then dips through a drainage below a large forest of lush ferns and eucalyptus trees with an open canopy.

After climbing a short pitch, the loop continues to descend gradually through a series of turns. The forest through this side of the Kahakapao Loop tends to be a more open. The trail is also a bit drier.

The route continually crisscrosses an old doubletrack route so watch for the red badges on the trees to stay on the singletrack.

Kahakapao West finishes through a beautiful section of verdant green jungle filled with more ferns and moss covered rocks. Turn left at the kiosk to retrace your steps back to the parking area.


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Your Check-Ins


Oct 13, 2018
Brandon Chilton
Oct 10, 2017
Apr 12, 2017
Christian Buss
Dry and rooty hardpack. Gentle switchbacks and very moderate slope.
Jan 11, 2017
Kayla Kauzlarich
Nov 24, 2016
Ben Swenka
Dec 29, 2014
eric treu
Feb 20, 2013
Samuda Ferrebee
nice forest trails with a couple jumping trail sections along sides

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 7 votes


  4.6 from 7 votes
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in Hawaii


231 Views Last Month
9,356 Since Mar 14, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

Hit "post" too quickly... very pretty trail system and the trails are well done...wish there were some longer loops. Fun to burn laps too if you want some exercise. I spent several mornings out here before hitting the beach. Jul 1, 2017
Pineapple Express is a blast! The trail is well thought out and built for speed and air. That said, riders of all levels can enjoy it at their pace. It is very smooth and call roll everything if desired. Spent several mornings of our vacation just burning laps. Better if trail is dry. Can be a little greasy when damp. This area worth at least one day of your visit. Jul 1, 2017
Great time on this loop. I first did west loop and Paahao Rd. to the top before coming down Renegade. I took east loop up the second time and that is definitely the way to go. The trail is cleaned up of large debris from the last storm that went though. Krank Cycles is very close to the trail head and offers MTB rentals. Sep 7, 2018

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