Friday, July 4, 2014

Beware of Ratings on Oahu Hiking Trails on Review Websites

The more that I've hiked on Oahu, the more I realize that you can't really trust the ratings that some people give to certain trails.

What some people will get on Yelp! and TripAdvisor to rank as a "novice" trails are actually, in many cases, a lot more difficult than that.  Many people don't realize that, while they may hike often, many of the people who are reading these types of reviews are visitors to the islands, or people who don't hike often.  They're looking for a workout and some good views.  They're not looking to get extreme or start the next "Unreal Hawaii".

Sure, some of them are in great shape but that doesn't equate to great hiking shape.

Here's an example that I like to keep in mind:

I did the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail with my wife and daughter recently.  While this isn't an extreme hike, it is not a novice hike.  It is muddy and steep in some areas.  There is an area where you have to use the help of  a rope to get up and down.

So, if my mother or a family with really young kids had read "novice" trail then they may have attempted it. That would have sucked.

In my time hiking on Oahu, I've seen kids with flip-flops being drug through the mud on trail, like the Maunawili Falls Trail.

I've seen a 75 year old lady, in high-wedged shoes huffing and puffing up Diamond Head. I thought she was going to die.

Nothing makes me shake my head more than seeing men and women hiking in flip-flops (or "slippers" as they tend to be called here.)

Keep this mind when Hiking in Oahu:

  • You can't always trust the ratings on review sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor.  Consult many different sites.
  • Always read a hiking safety article that is Hawaii based.  There are unique risks when hiking in Hawaii.
  • If you're just looking for a photo walk or a real easy hike DON'T read Hawaii adventure blogs or extreme hiking blogs.  
  • When in doubt, hire a tour guide.  

The Views are Great Though!