Summary: Kolekole Pass is a well known running route, but one that today sees many fewer runners than it once did. In this post-9/11 world, access to Schofield Barracks, Lualualei Naval Reservation, and this historic road is restricted. While it has historically been best known as shortcut across the Wai’anae range, these days it is a nice, quiet, and steep place to run.
The Good: There’s little traffic on this road. In fact, at during some parts of the day, there’s no through traffic at all, with only military vehicles heading to and from various ranges. And it’s a nice little climb; the grade is steep enough to strain the legs, but not so severe as to bring you to your knees. Also, the road is well maintained, and the side grass is regularly cut and cared for; for an out-of-the-way little side road, it’s in remarkably good shape. Lastly, the road up has both great shade and a wonderful breeze, keeping the temp down during the hardest of times. Time it right, and you can duck right into the showers at Richardson pool to clean up, before swimming a few laps.
The Bad: Run what you brung; there’s no water along the way, no fountains, and a single porta-potty (that is actually pretty clean and regularly serviced). While there are cars that transit the road pass, there are also large military trucks and commercial trucks; all of them do drive slow and are very good about making way for runners (and soldiers on ruck marches, etc).
The Ugly:Well, it’s not really that ugly, but there’s really nothing on the side of the road. There are sidewalks for a good part of the way up through the military sections of Schofield Barracks, but that ends with the last of the motor pools. From there on out, you’re running on the edge of the road; it shouldn’t be an issue.
Type of route: Road
Good to run in the rain? Fantastic to run in the rain.
Length: 9.5 miles, from the Inn, up Trimble to the pass, and back down Lymen Road and the cemetery.
Options for the route:I’d love to tell you that there’s still an option to run over the pass, down the other side and on to the ocean. In the old days, the military use to have organized run to do just that. I have not heard of it being done recently, or of plans to let anyone do it (though, if a guard would ever give me the chance, I’d surely do it). Also, there’s a longer (11.5 mile) route that loops more to the northern point of the post, before looping around and back to Trimble.
Elevation change on the run:I’m not really sure (I’ve been running up there without my Garmin) .
Water used: None. That being said, I should add that I run in the morning, and I often run in the rain in the morning. It would be easy to go through 2 liters running up the pass and back, if not three liters of water.
My Google Maps link: here
My Garmin file: None
Water? Not on the route
Toilets? One posta-potty along the way
Medical care? Oh, yes. Get injured, and just about everyone stops to ask what’s wrong. Army docs are plentiful, and all are quick to call for an ambulance.
Ranger / park folks? Nope, not in a traditional sense. The closest thing is probably the Tropic Lightning Museum.
Picnic areas? Yes, at Bowen Field and also adjacent to both Richardson Pool and the Inn.
A place to change afterwards? Yes — Richardson pool (0600-0900 during the week, but weekends it opens at 1100).
Rewards in the area: There’s a Baskin-Robbins over at the PX, but really, there’s no super-secret bonus for running up this route.
You’d run this route when….it’s raining and the run is coming up. Or when you’re wanting a harder 10 mile run; this hill is a very good one.
My rating: 8. I really like this one. It’s not all that picturesque in some parts, but running across the post and up the hill is a great, great thing.
Music: Military cadence. No matter what time you run this, no matter the day of the week that you run it, you’re going to pass soldiers coming or going from the pass.
Weather / Trail warnings (no) / Permits (not required)