OHE September 16, 1997

From: Mike Uslan (killah@off-road.com)

In my never ending quest to find someplace new on my tiny Island I found a 4X4 road still in great shape that leads from Wailua town, pretty far up the mountain, about to the base of Kaala. It then hooks left and heads down to Schofield. I saw it on an old map once. But this was the first time I ever went up there. I didn't go past the end of the initial ridge trail, but that is still pretty far, and a good taste of the rest of the road. It gets kind of hairy up there, and the reason I stopped is I have no winch and was by myself. If I got stuck i'd be done. I need to back up there with two trucks. Art, when can you go??

We start at a secret location of a private ranch. All I will say is its near Wailua town. I could tell you exactly where but its private property anyway. Right near the ranch the road slowly starts to snake up the montain. It is a switchback as the gain in elevation is quick. We need to pass through 5 gates near the bottom in less than a mile. They are all pretty easy except the last one. The last one you need to stop far away because you are on a steep grade and its very hard to get in & out of your truck. Then drive through, park about 50 feet away where it flattens out and run back to close the gate. During rain forget about it. This trail is very steep and though you could make it with a locker and aggro mud tires you would also ruin the road.

From here (the last gate) we start up the ridge line. Instead of the switchbacks we are now in a steep climb. Really fun with some parts where your entire front end is pointing skyward and you can't see the road. Still the road is straight and we didn't need a spotter or anything, just aim and go! We about ran over a herd of goats. Real big ones. Guarantee trophy there. we stopped on a hill overlooking Wailua and snapped a couple pics. Continuing up, our ridge slowly dissappeared and became a large valley. We stopped the truck finally at a "hunter check in" box and took a walk up a decent sized pu'u. From here the views were even more grand, and this is where I remembered the old map with the road. Here I was and It was pretty well defined where the road had been graded across the next three valleys going in the direction of Schofield. I couldnt tell its condition but it seems as if its somewhat used.

I studied the mountain in that direction, and it is real thick jungle, and I would say its an all day adventure. The road up to where we were had taken us about an hour. We might only have been on the first quarter of the trail or less. I figure with vehicle it might be a good 4 hour trek. So who wants to go? E-mail me.

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