5 miles
1,425 ft
-1,403 ft
Avg time

West Kaunala Details

  • Riding Area
    Pupukea, Hawaii
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
  • Dogs Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #48980 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    10 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking

Located on the beautiful North Shore this 5 mile ride offers both challenging single track, some hike-a-bike, steep jeep roads, finishing in a fast paved decent.
Note - if there has been any significant rainfall, expect to walk at least a third of this trail. If no rain, expect to walk at least a quarter of it - this is a hiking trail and is not fully rideable, but is definitely a challenge.

The West Kaunala single track is fun. The trail is generally tight and technical, with some flowy paved descent. The trail is littered with roots, some fairly large, forcing you to pay attention. At times the trail gets narrow with steep cliffs. You really get the feel of the tropics with all the lush greenery.

The unmarked trail begins at the very end of Pupukea road. Once at the trail head you ride down a dirt road that runs parallel to the Boy Scout Camp until you reach a gate. Hop the gate and proceed down the jeep road. Eventually the jeep road will turn into pavement. Proceed along the paved road for 100m, and you will notice the sign for Kaunala Trail off to the left. It's possible to continue up the paved road and run the loop counter clockwise but you will miss the rewarding downhill run at the end of your ride if you do.

Once at the Kaunala trail head, stay left at the fork. You'll find tight and twisty heavily rooted (and dangerously slippery when wet) singletrack taking you down to the valley floor. You'll cross a few small streams, encounter a partial ascent (nearly all hike-a-bike), then a slow, narrow, badly rooted descent, and a long slow partially-rideable ascent transitioning from the mud-bogged valley floor to dry and sun-exposed grassy trail, on to the jeep road. (Note: After a massive wind storm, there are multiple very large trees down across the trail on steep faces - these are a challenge to get bikes through and over).

The single track portion ends and dumps you out onto a rocky jeep road. If you head left it takes you to the Kahuku Motorcross Track. This road is used by the military on weekdays and is only available to the public on weekends and holidays. Take a right on the jeep road and head up the hill. The jeep road is steep and will test your endurance. It's less than a mile to the next gate, followed by a paved road that takes you back to your car. There is a beautiful view at the peak, it's a great place to stop and relax before the long downhill run.

At the end of the jeep road, hop the last gate and turn right onto the paved road. This is a long, fast, flowy decent that will take you back to where you started at the end of Pupukea road, which can also be ridden all the way back down to the ocean.

Add another 6 miles to your ride by starting at Pupukea Beach Park and riding up the road to the trail head.

source: MTB Hawaii
Access Info

Google directions: https://goo.gl/maps/0VpcF. Cars do get broken into here every now and then. It may be better to park at the bottom of the hill by the ocean and ride up the hill to the trail head.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for West Kaunala bike trail
  • Altitude change
    21 ft
  • Altitude min
    672 ft
  • Altitude max
    1,365 ft
  • Altitude start
    961 ft
  • Altitude end
    982 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    990 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Oct 24, 2018
Avg: 1 (1 votes)

view (5)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intendid direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos

Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed or Major Issue / Red

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • Gate Gate
  • Camping Camping
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Table or Bench eBike Charging Point
  • Other Other
      Directions to west-kaunala trailhead (21.642870, -158.025800)
      update trails status or condition

      West Kaunala Trail Reports

      Oct 24, 2018 @ 3:06pm
      Oct 24, 2018
      The forest road is currently closed due to construction meaning the trail needs to be ridden as an out and back. Also trail is slick and muddy.
      Jul 3, 2016 @ 12:12am
      Jul 3, 2016
      Few trees down but all were easy to get around. Several sections were pretty beat up from folks hiking in the mud. Overall though it was a great...
      Aug 19, 2015 @ 12:35am
      Aug 19, 2015
      If it's raining it will be muddy. If you don't like mud, don't ride it wet.
      Jan 7, 2015 @ 3:49pm
      Jan 7, 2015
      Major mud bogging across all valley floor sections, and various ascent/descent portions. Multiple trees down across steep terrain.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 1 rides
      • 6 miles avg distance
      • 8 rides


      more »
      22 |
      Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
      Apr 28, 2018
      West Kaunala, Encinitas
      12 |
      Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
      Apr 28, 2018
      West Kaunala, Encinitas
      9 |
      Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
      Apr 28, 2018
      West Kaunala, Encinitas
      10 |
      Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
      Apr 28, 2018
      West Kaunala, Encinitas

      Reviews / Comments

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      more »
      Kaunala Trail
      3:30 | 675 | Jul 17, 2014 , Pupukea

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