OHE February 7, 2000 (Manana Loop)

Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 19:56:28 -1000
From: James R Pushaw (jrpushaw@juno.com)
Subject: Manana Loop?

On January 17th I set out to "re-find" an old trail that I had found a couple of years ago which connects Manana ridge to the unnamed ridge to the north (the one we cross over on the way to the Manana Ditch trail). The trail begins about a mile and a half in on the Manana trail. My plan was to start at the top of Pacific Palisades at the beginning of Manana, cross the valley to the next ridge, continue mauka on that ridge, re-cross the valley back to Manana, and finish where I started.

I first went down a steep trail near the beginning of the Manana Trail, which starts less than 100 feet on the left, under the first power lines. I was going to mark the trail, but when I started down I found some pink ribbons there already. I did some clearing and added ribbons where needed and then headed up the other side to reach the old Hawaiian Electric Co. access road.

Upon reaching the first flat area up on the ridge, instead of continuing on the old road cut, I stayed to the right and climbed up a trail that hugs the outer edge of the ridge. This gentle ridge curves to the left and finally joins with the vast, flat, grassy area. I stayed near the outer edge of the ridge until the flat, grassy area gave way to a normal ridge trail with lots of koa, some uluhe (of course), and lots of vines that love to trip you.

I walked in about a mile and a half on a typical roller coaster trail and stopped at the top of a side spur that I thought was the one that I came up years before. Across the valley I could see the beginning of the trail going down, but not being sure that I was at the right connection on THIS side, I sat thinking for a while because I had promised my wife that I would definitely be home in time to get to a funeral. If it turned out to be the wrong route, and I had to retrace all of my steps and backtrack the whole way, I knew that it would certainly be MY funeral instead! I really wanted to go, but I decided that it would be wiser to head back the way I came, the way that I knew. I did hang a ribbon on the tree, however, at the junction with the main trail at the top of the ridge so I could verify if it really was the right spur when I returned next week.

On the return trip I decided to go in on the Manana trail and then cross over because I was sure where the old trail began on the Manana side.

For those of you wishing to try the loop, here's how: Hike the Manana trail to a cliff just about 50 yards past the 1.5 mile marker. If you were to keep on going straight ahead, you would go over the cliff, so go ahead and take a look down and then turn left! The regular Manana trail goes off to the right. The trail will show up soon after walking through some grass that doesn't really give a clear sign of a trail. And, once you pass the first trees you will easily see the ribboned trail which drops steadily, sometimes steeply, to the stream. There is one fallen tree that you have to negotiate, but the rest of the way is clear. Upon reaching the stream you will see that it is quite small, making for an easy crossing.

Shortly after crossing the stream, watch for 3 ribbons on the left and one straight ahead. I will explain the 3 ribbons shortly. The main trail continues straight ahead (ignore the 3 ribbons for now) and eventually ends up in a flat, open area under a relatively high canopy of trees. Watch for a tall tree loaded with sweet oranges, too. Only problem is that the tree is too tall to pick any. Anyone volunteer to bring and stash a long piece of bamboo to use as a picker?

Follow the ribbons through the flat valley floor and then upward, eventually going left and reaching a sloping side spur. For those wanting to complete the loop, just climb to the trail at the top of the ridge and head makai to the grassy area. Several trails criss-cross the grassy area, so stay to the side facing Manana or Pacific Palisades. Once you reach the old road cut you will see the familiar trail down and then up - the "regular" way that we use on the way to and from Manana Ditch trail.

Now the 3 ribbons explanation. After the small valley section with the orange tree, after the trail climbed from that valley and connected to the side spur, I noticed that the trail DOWN the spur was almost as well-defined as the one going UP. So when it was time to leave I figured I would check it out. The trail down remained pretty easy to see (I put no ribbons, just in case it was a trail to nowhere) until near the bottom where it became almost head-high uluhe. I chopped some, but mostly just crashed through, and then chopped some cat's claw until I popped out into the open, standing on the trail that I had gone up earlier! Excellent, I thought - now there are 2 routes: one that is the "direct" route, marked with 3 ribbons and the other one, a sort of "scenic" route, marked with one ribbon. Go check them out sometime.

Aloha, JIM

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