OHE March 4, 1998 (c)

Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 12:32:08 -1000
From: Carole Moon (moon@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Cabins in the Wild

I found this article, an excerpt from the Mid Pacific Magazine, January 1911, Vol. 1, No. l which may be of interest specifically to Wing and to some of you:


The Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club was organized on April 5, 1910, in the rooms of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. Delegates from all of the Islands, as well as from the Appalachian Club of New England and the Sierra Club of California were present to assist.

One hundred quickly signed as charter members, paying in the annual dues of five dollars each, and a constitution following mainly that of the Sierra Club was adopted.

The objects of the Club were expressed in the following opening paragraphs of the constitution:

To encourage intimate acquaintance with outdoor Hawaii.

1. By promoting knowledge of and interest in objects of natural interest in the Territory and the ways and means of getting to them;
2. By the construction and maintenance of trails and roads leading to the same and the REST HOUSES incidental thereto;
3. Through promoting interest in travel, more particularly by foot, through the mountains of Hawaii;
4. Through enlisting the cooperation of the people and the government in preserving the forests and other natural features of the Hawaiian mountains, and generally by publication and otherwise to convey information concerning the object of the Club both to residents of the Territory and to persons residing abroad;
5. By acting in cooperation with other Clubs or Associations having similar objects, as well as with government and other tourist bureaus, and to exchange privileges therewith.

The Trail and Mountain Club began work at once. It authorized and published the first of a series of pamphlets giving trail information, and a committee is now preparing for publication maps of all the islands that will clearly show each and every trail and indicate the condition of each.

A horse trail has already been completed from the roads at the end of Pauoa Valley, behind Honolulu, to the top of the plateau at the base of Mt. Konahuanui, the highest mountain peak near Honolulu. On this plateau a trail and mountain REST HOUSE is to be built. It will over look three valleys, and here trampers may rest for the night before ascending the Waimanalo Mountain range beyond. Laborers are still at work on a trail of easy grade along the Honolulu side of these mountains, which will be several miles in length, ascending Mt. Olympus, the second highest peak near Honolulu, and descending into Manoa and Palolo Valleys.

For clearness in the mind of the non-resident, it may be stated that behind Honolulu are seven valleys, each with a beauty of its own. The electric cars pass each of these valleys, and trails lead from each to the mountain ridge behind. An ascent of 3000 feet may easily be made in a morning or afternoon. The valleys are, in their order: Moanalua, Kalihi, Nuuanu (which ends at the Pali, or precipice, down which an auto road has been constructed to the other side of the island). Pauoa, Makiki, Manoa, and Palolo Trails are now in course of construction, or promised, that will lead along the main ridge and descend into each of the valleys. In Palolo Valley, 1600 feet above the sea, is a crater two miles, perhaps, in circumference. A REST HOUSE is being constructed on its rim, and the lower part of the crater is to be turned into a lake. The Trail and Mountain Club has already made easy the way to and down the Seven Falls of Palolo, that carry away the waters from the natural springs in the bed of the crater. These falls are among the most beautiful in Hawaii, not five miles from the street car line, yet until within the past few months practically unknown even to the old residents of Honolulu. A little judicious trail building and the cutting of steps in steep places that the precipices of the falls might be ascended and descended, has made Palolo crater and the Seven Falls a most popular outing place.

Both near the City of Honolulu and in the mountain ranges at a distance away, private citizens have been most generous in their offers to promote the objects of the Trail and Mountain Club. Many miles of mountain trail have already been turned over to the organization, several camps and REST HOUSES, while others are to be built. Prominent business men owning summer cottages distant from the city have placed these at the disposal of the club for camping or rest purposes. The plantations having cut trails in many places among the mountains that their engineers might discover a water supply, place these at the disposition of the Club, and the Territorial Government will aid in every way to carry out a plan to gridiron the mountain ranges of Oahu with pleasant tramping trails, it being the hope of the Club that in time it will possess a REST HOUSE at every ten miles along these trails.

The REST HOUSES on Oahu, the Island of Honolulu, will be varied in structure. Along the seacoast country beyond Diamond Head a HOUSE built of thatch roof and matted cocoanut leaf sides will serve splendidly, for in this section it seldom rains, and then lightly. All around are extinct volcanic craters, ancient burial caves, old Hawaiian fish ponds, miles in area, the splendid surfing breakers, spouting horns that send the waves seventy feet in the air after they have rushed for a long distance in under coral tunnels to emerge in geyser form from some yard-wide hole quite a way inland.

On the mountains, 3000 feet above the sea, where the rainfall is plentiful, it will be necessary to build REST HOUSES of rough lumber and corrugated iron roofing. The New Zealand plan of rest houses is best for these localities. There along the mountain trails, every ten miles, two SHACKS are built; one with three rooms and a kitchen for the caretaker and his wife as well as for the women campers, and the general eating room. The men's SHACK is separate. This is usually single large square room, rough lumber covered with tar paper, but dry within. Around the walls are two or three tiers of double bunks, so that in an emergency a large number of trampers may be bunked. The tourists pay fifty cents a night -- or two shillings -- for this accommodation, and the same for each warm meal prepared from canned provisions, or they make take their own provisions with them and build a campfire. Some such plan will be adopted by the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club.

It is not only on the Island of Oahu that the Trail and Mountain Club will be active in its work. In Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii, there is a thriving branch of the Club, and another in Maui. The Hilo members are already cutting trails from their city to the nearby scenic wonders, and there are many in the vicinity of Hilo. In the Kohala district, where precipices rise thousands of feet sheer from the level floors of the valleys, the ditch companies are placing at the disposal of the Trail and Mountain Club scores of miles of spendidly cut mountain horse and foot trails, with REST HOUSES connected with each other by phone, and even donkeys to pack provisions and to carry those who prefer riding along precipitous trails to walking. All around the Big Island REST HOUSES are promised, and trails are to be put in order to the summit of Mauna Loa, nearly 14,000 feet above the sea, to the very edge of the crater of Mokuaweoweo, where a rough lava REST HOUSE will probably be erected.

On the Island of Maui, where the earth's greatest extinct crater, Haleakala, may be easily visited, there is an enthusiastic branch of the Trail and Mountain Club. Efforts are being made to locate the lost trail over the mountains from Wailuku to Lahaina; this would lead through the Iao Valley, the Yosemite of Hawaii.

The REST HOUSE on the summit edge of Haleakala crater, 10,000 feet above the sea, has been repaired, and white sign posts every tenth of a mile up the mountain side minimize the danger of lone trampers being lost in the fog.

Perhaps the most beautiful island of the Hawaiian group is Kauai, and in time the Trail and Mountain Club will make a determined campaign to improve the trails across the island and through canyons that rival in color and grandeur those of Arizona and the Colorado river.

The Trail and Mountain Club will everywhere work hand in hand with the conservation service. Already steps have been taken to set apart the always active crater of Kilauea and the surrounding wonderland as a National Park, and this will doubtless be accomplished.

There is a growing tendency for the Touring Clubs of all lands to draw together in bonds of friendship. The Trail and Mountain Club of Hawaii extends a hand to the Mountain Climbing and Touring Clubs of America, to the Government Tourist Bureaus of Australasia and Java, and to the Welcome Society of Japan.

Hawaii will probably appropriate at the coming session of its Legislature four hundred thousand dollars for the construction of belt roads around each of the islands. This will make Hawaii a paradise to autoists. The Trail and Mountain Club hopes in time to construct trails to and along all of the mountain ranges, so that the entire Territory will be opened up to the camper and to those who love to follow the trail.


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