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“Loving this place ”
Review of Judd Trail

Judd Trail
Ranked #231 of 497 things to do in Oahu
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Reviewed 27 January 2017 via mobile

Off the beaten path! Great views and loved the uniqueness of the area. Your going to get muddy. I highly recommend this hike.

Thank Jsnyder5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"swimming hole"
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7 - 11 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 30 December 2016

It is a loop trail so it doesn't matter which way you choose to go. I recommend going clockwise, as the part that goes near the stream is closer towards the right side. I'd save that sight for last!

Also, I went right after it rained. The trail was muddy, but still manageable.

Thank kentakakaji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2016


After a good trek up to LULUMAHU FALLS I had time on my hands. So when walking down NUUANU PALI DRIVE which runs parallel to the PALI HWY near where it crosses the divide between the HONOLULU COAST and the WINDWARD COAST I saw a sign JUDD TRAIL which from memory was the western end of the AUHUALAMA trail system. I had heard the Judd is a real nice short walk in itself and I was also still keen to make it up to the PALI FLATS VIEWPOINT having failed the previous day from the MANOA FALLS DIRECTION (um, I got lost).

I dived down the trail which quickly led to a nice rain-forested creek with some small pools in which several families were enjoying a splash (not deep/big enough for swimming). This nice shaded area is very picturesque and was the location for several scenes in the “LOST” TV series. Crossing the creek was no problem – several strategically placed stones helped – but maybe I was lucky that it had not rained for some time – many reports talk of muddy track conditions further on and I had no problems.
Across the creek I hit the JUDD CIRCUIT and vaguely remembering a route instruction I read about a month before, I took the left (northern branch) thru a nice bamboo forest with sections of Cook Pines. The track was pretty good underfoot and although not flat, had no testing gradients. Even unfit people, would have no problems here.
The track curved right to a 3 way junction reached in about 10 minutes – it seemed to me I was short of halfway around the JUDD circuit which is less than a mile/1.6km in total. I figured the branch curving right was the continuation of the CIRCUIT. The one to the left headed uphill – maybe to the PALI FLATS TRAIL.

The uphill trail started off real well as a wide steep track thru bamboo but after 15 minutes I found myself bush bashing up thru tropical scrub on a route that might be a trekking track, might just be something animals have cut. There seemed to be a half dozen similar choices nearby. The gradient got steeper to the point of “wheelspin” – well heel slip, and I was having to force my way thru the bush. I’m a real intrepid bushman - my motto is WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH ----TURN AROUND. But to my left was some daylight – I might be near the edge of the ridge and sure enough when I hacked 30m across I could look down at NUUANU PALI DRIVE walked 100 minutes earlier.
Better still, a rough but not impossible trail headed up the edge of the ridge – after another 15 minutes I reached a flat overlook where I could see the dam near LULUMAHU FALLS. This outlook appeared very similar to that shown on photos from PALI FLATS OVERLOOK – but no way was this that: other pics show a seat and some signs whereas my clearing was featureless. I was at another viewpoint – maybe a bit south.
With no further way to head on, I retraced my steps sticking to the ridge until I could see the bigger trail thru the bamboo forest close left. I hate steep downhills on account of shot knees but I found the strong vines, tree branches and bamboo stems great to arrest out of control gallops down super steep slopes. Only 40 minutes from top to the JUDD junction – half the time spent going up.

Knowing how short the circuit is, I took the branch (SOUTH) not traveled earlier. This was more of the same – undulating track, okay underfoot thru a nice mix of vegetation. There were more side trails along this section, but I had no problem sticking to the main loop, and I can OLYMPIC MEDAL in picking the wrong option.
After a while I could hear the creek and yells of kids playing – to the left (I’m travelling clockwise) was a pool and a small waterfall. Kids were using a jump rope to drop into the pool.
From there it took little time to get back to the creek crossing near the road.

Back down PALI DR I took bus 4 towards the coast, watched sunset from DERUSSY BEACH and walked 3 km east to the chin up bars in KAPIOLANI PARK,
Somehow I took the wrong road exiting the park, heading north-east instead of north-west (it was dark okay – intrepid bushmen navigate by the sun). I ended up over 6 km from my digs just west of the university at MANOA. And then crossing the university I took another wrong turn (did I say it was dark?) and emerged at the northern gate over 25 minutes from the intended western gate.
Um, I think I might get me one of those GPS thingies.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT – catch bus 4 from DOWNTOWN, ALA MOANA (not the interchange) and THE UNIVERSITY AREA. Tourists coming from WAIKIKI can catch any number of buses to link with #4 – consult TheBus website. Bus 4 leaves the PALI HWY as it climbs up over the divide at NUUANU PALI DRIVE. A short distance up the drive the bus diverts left into OLD PALI DRIVE. Jump out at the first stop, back-track the short distance to NUUANU P Dr and start walking up the hill. This is a pleasant rural-urban walk – more rainforest than houses. At one stage the road is a 200m tunnel, completely covered by a roof of overhanging foliage. The slope is gradual and the surface sealed. The walk to the trailhead is about 1.6km/1 mi – say 15 minutes
CAR – there is a small roadside area and plenty of curbside parking near the trailhead. Car break-ins are common here so don’t leave valuables in car – perhaps leave it unlocked. There was a good police presence along the drive, but this was a busy weekend.

Happy trecking, gang.

1  Thank blackeldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2015 via mobile

Missed the trail to the falls and pond but the hike was fun anyway!
No flip flops!!! Had to take mine off and walk barefoot. We had a 4, 6, and 9 year old with us and they all walked the entire loop!
When crossing the creek stay close to the large rocks.
Kids loved seeing bamboo trees.

Thank Sadie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 October 2015 via mobile

We went with friends & our young kids. The stream is a little difficult to cross if you are in shoes & socks - but as we were crossing I watched a young mother with infant twins cross it with no problem. One twin was strapped to her front & one to her back. Our little wore flip flops on this hike for the first half, then got mired down in the mud so they went barefoot while hiking down to the Ginger Pool. One tip: you won't find the pool & small falls by staying on the hiking trail. After you cross the stream, go right if you want to see the Jackass Ginger pool. When the trail signs point up - stay close to the stream, climbing over a few rocks & you will be led directly to the swimming hole. The bamboo forests are so cool! Use a bamboo stick as a walking aid around the mud. :)
The Ironwood trees are awesome, too. Very easy hike with little ones - I suggest bringing water shoes to wear - the rocks around the swimming hole are very slippery and I didn't like being barefooted much!

4  Thank Kassi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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