This is my first time on the OHE so I thoght I'd give you some tips to dealing with the military while hiking/tresspassing on training areas, a topic of which there appears to be some intrest.
I spent three years in Army at Schofield and spent alot of time hiking Oahu. I left the Islands in Dec 96 when my tour was up and I'm back in the mainland for now.
Here's the inside scoop: (Was cuurent as of Dec 96, but the Army is slow to change)
- As you approch Schofield the sign says visitors must report to Foote gate. Ignore this. Macomb gate is unmanned during the day so cruise right in!2) East Range ("East Rain" as we called it)
- OBSERVE THE SPEED LIMIT They're really strict about this. If the sign says 25 MPH, they'll stop you for doing 26. Kolekole Rd between the Kolekole Shoppette (on the right) and Kolekole Pass is 35 MPH and is the MP's favorite place for speed traps.
- If you or your vehicle look particularly shoddy or unscrupulous, expect to get pulled over.
- Sometimes gateguards stop vehicle as they leave post, so if your worried leave before dark.
- You should have no trouble from anyone while hiking any of the trails at Kolekole Pass.
- Go on the weekend when few units will be training and the schools operating in East Range are not training either.3) Kahuku
- The best place to park is at Pineapple Junction. To get there drive down the road across from Wheeler's main enterance. Go under the bridge, pass the golf course and keep going straight util you reach an area where several dirt roads converge. Park on the left near the portapotties.
- If you happen upon any units training just stay clear of them. They really don't care that your there as long as you don't get in their way. I was sitting in an ambush along the road one time when group of mountain bikers sped by. It's no big deal and it's a blank-fire only area so you don't need to worry about being shot or anything.
- There are countless trails throughout East Range. Most gulches have trails at the bottom, so walk along the edge until you find a way down, in some places there are ropes to help. There are nice pools, but usually to small to swim in, and even one waterfall about 15 feet high.
- Once again,go on the weekend.4) Makua Valley
- The ones you have to worry about are not soldiers, but Range Control. These are the civilian employees that run and maintain the training areas. They usually drive blue or white pick-ups that say "Range Control" on them. They are real jerks and will definitly give you a hard time. Avoid at all costs.
- The best way in is to park at C-gate (the main entrance off of Kam Highway)and walk up the road (watch out for range control!) Its a long walk up. There are many abandoned builings, an old Nike site and roads and trails everywhere, and of course windmills. As you walk up the road you'll notice a cluster of buildings and antennas on the ridge off to the right. This is Range Controll headquarters, so do't go that way.
- If you go up around the two huge "golf balls" don't jump the fence. It is a sensitive installation operated by the Navy. I don't know what it's used for, but they don't like visitors. Not far from there, in the woods off the road, I found a huge grapefruit tree with hundreds of big yellow grapefruit!
- Dont go there! There was a big problem before the Makua Beach dwellers were evicted. they used to crawl under gaps in the fence at night and steal equipment from the units training there while they slept. They really don't like trespassers.
- There has been some talk as late about access to Ohikilolo trail. I don't think doing it would be much of a problem. Do it on a weekend and if you see lots of activity,soldiers, military vehicles, tents, or helicopters in the valley, head back. Also when the range is "hot" they fly a red flag by the main gate.
- Start hiking just before first light. It will cover you movement up to the main ridge and it should still be light enough for you to see. Once your on the ridge your home free!