Lanipo is a tough seven-mile roundtrip hike and for once I can’t tell you about the spectacular views
because when I reached the Koolau summit after one and a half hours of hiking, it was clouded over.
If you attempt Lanipo, be prepared to do some rock hopping in the first mile where the trail drops from its Maunalani Heights starting point into a low saddle and resumes climbing. Thereafter, you’ll be subjected to a long series of mostly ups and a few downs. Along the way, you can look down into both Palolo and upper-Manoa valleys. Near the top, you can look left into upper-Palolo Valley and see Ka’au Crater and a waterfall that cascades from a gap in it. Beautiful stuff, no doubt.
This is not for the novice as it does require upper body strength to climb using some ropes and some steep and slippery areas. bring water, snack, and your cell phone in case of emergency. we did the hike in 3 hours, but most hiking books suggest 5-6 hours so start early in the day. do not get caught in the mountains in the dark. even with a light the ridgeline hikes have been know to eat hikers for dinner.