Koloiki Ridge

Koloiki Ridge - Scenic Trail Near the Heart of Lanai
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Koloiki Ridge Trail is an incredibly popular trail that is just northwest of the center of Lanai. This peaceful trail meanders through the trees and on up top to a ridge that offers fantastic views of Lanai, the Pacific Ocean, and neighboring islands. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

The island of Lanai is an interesting one in that it is 98% owned by one man, Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle. As such, the infrastructure here isn’t always the best and so getting out to adventure around the off-beaten track can be rough. But if you do get to this island and you are in the mood for adventuring, then cool trails like the Koloiki Ridge Trail await you.

Koloiki Ridge Trail is a 4.2-mile out-and-back trail that is located just northwest of central Lanai City and outside of the Experience at Koele golf course. This trail does have an elevation gain of just over 700 feet, but that occurs slowly over the course of the trail and most will find this an easy trek the whole way through. The Koloiki Ridge Trail is dog-friendly, and you are also apt to see horse riders as well as mountain bikers along the route. 

As with many hiking and beach spots on Lanai, there is no dedicated trailhead or parking for this trail. There is a more informal trailhead that starts near the Four Seasons Lodge at which many outfits will tell you you can park. However, this may have changed and more stringent rules by the hotel may disallow this at any time. Instead, the most recommended spot to park is at the nearby Lanai Veterans Cemetery and then walk up to the trailhead. Note, this will add an extra 1.8 miles to your route. Alternatively, there is a Lanai shuttle that will get you pretty close to the start of the trail. 

Once you’ve reached the lodge, you’ll see a signposted path that will take you uphill, past the pine trees, and onto a hilltop bench. Here, there’s a posted map that will direct you to the correct start of the Koloiki Ridge Trail. The entire trail takes place on a 4×4 densely packed dirt road, so very easy walking conditions and not hard to spot at all. 

The trail itself meanders through many thickets of plants and winds along the hills that will take you to the top of the namesake Koloiki Ridge. Standing atop that ridge, you will truly start to appreciate why so many people love this trail. Here, you are high above the surrounding areas and can see clear out to the beaches and the beautiful blue of the Pacific Ocean. There’s even a vantage point that, on clear days, offers gorgeous views of nearby Molokai and Maui. 

The views offered at the top of Koloiki Ridge are certainly one of the biggest reasons why this trail draws so much attention, but it isn’t the only thing it’s known for. Due to its location and its landscapes, the Koloiki Ridge Trail is well known for being a top wildlife-spotting trail. Trail hikers, bikers, and riders will often come across axis deer, Mouflon sheep, and a whole host of bird species. 

Much of the trail up to the Koloiki Ridge is shaded but you will probably want to bring and use sunscreen protection just in case. Also, remember, there are no dedicated facilities here. This means no restrooms or trashcans, so be prepared to pack out whatever you pack in.

The Koloiki Ridge trail, while being fairly well-known and open to hikers, dog walkers, bikers, and horse riders, tends to be mostly peaceful. This makes it ideal for those looking to get away and experience the beauty of Lanai on their own. Make sure to bring a camera. 

There are also some off-shoots from the trail adventurers can check out, but they are typically overgrown so be ready for more challenging hiking conditions. 

Insider Tip:
Because this trail is so easy to navigate being a wide and flat 4×4 trail and because the end of it takes you to the top of a ridge with fantastic scenic views, you may consider doing this as a sunrise or sunset trail. Go an hour before dawn with flashlights and hike to the top so that you can see the beauty of the rising sun over the ocean and enjoy the way the colors reflect off of Maui’s verdant green landscapes. Or go near to dusk and enjoy the setting sun and a star-liit path on the way back to your vehicle.