West Kaunala Details
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.
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.
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More Stats for West Kaunala mountain bike trail
Altitude change279 ft
Altitude min720 ft
Altitude max1,406 ft
Altitude start814 ft
Altitude end1,093 ft
Distance climb2.1 miles
Distance down2.2 miles
Distance flat1,468 ft
Avg reverse time00:05:39
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West Kaunala Trail Reports
Jul 3, 2016 @ 12:12amJul 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 @ 12:35amAug 19, 2015
|If it's raining it will be muddy. If you don't like mud, don't ride it wet.|
Jan 7, 2015 @ 3:49pmJan 7, 2015
|Major mud bogging across all valley floor sections, and various ascent/descent portions. Multiple trees down across steep terrain.|
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