5 miles
1,552 ft
-1,273 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
  • Global Ranking

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
    279 ft
  • Altitude min
    720 ft
  • Altitude max
    1,406 ft
  • Altitude start
    814 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,093 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,468 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Oct 24, 2018
Avg: 1 (1 votes)

view (5)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Activity Type
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to west-kaunala trailhead (21.642865, -158.025796)
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 »


more »
18 |
Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
Apr 28, 2018
West Kaunala, Encinitas
12 |
Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
Apr 28, 2018
West Kaunala, Encinitas
8 |
Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
Apr 28, 2018
West Kaunala, Encinitas
8 |
Apr 28, 2018 @ 3:52pm
Apr 28, 2018
West Kaunala, Encinitas

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more »
Kaunala Trail
3:30 | 626 | Jul 17, 2014 , Pupukea

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