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Kahakapao Loop

Intermediate
 4.5 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Scenic upcountry Maui singletrack in the Makawao Forest Reserve.


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Map Key

5.9

Miles

9.5

KM

95%

Singletrack

3,663' 1,117 m

High

2,738' 834 m

Low

956' 291 m

Up

956' 291 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#1489

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
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#2

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Photos

Kahakapao East singeltrack through planted forest.
Mar 14, 2014 near Makawao, HI
It's an ultra green finish on the Kahakapao Loop.
Mar 14, 2014 near Makawao, HI
This is the start of the trail...You can see the trail in the background.
Aug 22, 2016 near Makawao, HI
Very nice feature here...
Aug 20, 2016 near Makawao, HI
View of a small bank turn.
Aug 20, 2016 near Makawao, HI
Very easy but at least, it's not a mountain road...
Sep 1, 2016 near Makawao, HI

Weather


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Check-Ins

Oct 13, 2018
Brandon Chilton
5.9mi
Oct 10, 2017
E G
5.9mi
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