Ulupaina trail is a 3.4 mile loop hike located in the Temple Valley area. To access this trail, walk towards the forest at the end of the pet cemetery. You’ll see a path in the forest, follow it! Shortly you will reach a junction with plenty of trail markers.
Here is the great decision, left or right. Heading left will be a “long” pretty boring contour trail. Heading right is a shorter, but much steeper, ridge trail. Also filled with lots of bees which I’ll cover later.
Since from what I read, the contour trail first was the better option I choose this route. There’s the occasional nice view on this long windy trail, going from a dryer forest, to the moist wetter forest, which is the gully. At first it’s cool, but after 3 times it’s nothing new and boring. One reason it’s cool is because you’re as I mentioned earlier, is changing forest. On the outside it’s a kinda grassy trail with limited shrubbery, then as you work your way in the vegetation becomes thicker and you’ll mostly find a lot of hala! There’s also the occasional uluhe fern patch but it’s pretty well maintained so no leg scratching.
So you take that, multiple it maybe like 10 times and you got yourself the contour trail. Repetitive, but it shouldn’t be any surprise.
As you wind your way back to the Haiku area, you will reach a junction. Hang right at this junction, I had thought it was left and went that way but it shortly became “severally” (compared to the rest of the trail) overgrown, and the way to go became unknown. Don’t go straight/left, save yourself the trouble and go right.
Once you hit this point, you start gaining elevation quickly as you climb the ridge to the summit. For me it took about 30 minutes.
Personally I loved the summit, it felt so dreamy. Flowers everywhere, some bees here and there, quite a bit of butterflies, a moderately nice view, and even the ocassional sound of the kong from the temple below (if you’re into that sort of thing).
Now with all things, there is a negative, the negatives for this summit being a moderately nice view because the trees on the lower ridge block most of the ocean view so you just have the side views, Koolau Cliff views, and biggest of all the powerline.
It really takes away from the natural feeling, with the slight buzzing and for me the feeling that it’s going to collapse and electrocute you to death haha.
But with the negatives aside, it’s still quite a nice area.
Now the powerline is technically the end of the trail, if you’re some badass hiker you could continue past that and up all the notches to the top. I didn’t inspect further as short on time but I think it’s sane for a little bit longer and there was a swath.
Heading back down, you do have the option of making it a loop or coming down the same way. Making a left at the junction leads you down the ridge and gets you back to the starting point quite fast.
However, this way can have a big downside to certain people. There were three, yes three beehives right on the trail. On this particular day one of the hives had bees buzzing all over the trail. It is marked with pink ribbons, and all the hives are inside the tree on near the bottom. That said if you have a bee phobia, or allergic to bee stings I don’t recommend taking this route.
Aside from that it’s a typical ridge with some ups so not all downhill, if there were to be anything else to mention it would be that right before the end, you have to make a left off of the ridge, going straight just leads to an overlook which looks like you have to climb down it but you don’t.
As usual, follow the ribbons, have some sense, and you can’t get lost.
To rate this hike, using my standerds…
Views: 5. You do have some nice views on Kaneohe Bay, but it’s limited and the mountain views are also dependent on the weather. It turned out to be a sunny day but I’d be if it’s cloudy the view would be much more dull.
Difficulty for Beginners: Moderate. I thought I was more in shape than normal from doing some runs around my neighborhood, which include going up the hill, but man after the contour I hit that brick wall. You will need some endurance, aside from that the trail can be a little bit rocky. No drop-offs, just very rarely the trail narrows on the contour.
Would I hike this again? Nah. Unless I have a good reason to do it like maybe filming a movie, going on a date although there might be better hikes to do go on.
Would I recommend? Depends. If you’re looking for an easy, short hike on the windward side, you might want to check this out.