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Among all the hikes we’ve done together in Hawaii, the Hawaiiloa Ridge trail is Penguin’s favorite. It has mountain and ocean views along the trail that are breathtaking. We also encountered a mostly bright sunny day, which turned out to be precious during our stay in Hawaii.

This is a 3.5 ~ 4 miles, out-and-back hike. One special thing about this trail is that the trailhead is located in an exclusive gated community. Only locals with Hawaii Driver’s License are granted permits to enter. Fortunately we do have it. If you are not a Hawaii resident and don’t want to miss this scenic trail, you better make friends with a local. The upside of the community’s restriction is that hikers can enjoy the nature in peace and quiet, avoiding the busy crowds that present in Hawaii’s most touristy spots.

The open view at the first section of the trail is already stunning.

A tree tunnel formed by strawberry guava. Native to Brazil, this is Hawaii’s most invasive plant.

Christmas berry along the trail, also native to Brazil.

The last section of the trail consists of steep stairs, which is kind of challenging.

Then comes up the biggest reward´╝ü

Best view with the best matcha macs = best lunch break.

It rained a little bit on our way back and we got to find out why Hawaii is nicknamed the Rainbow State.