JACKASS GINGER POOL & THE JUDD TRAIL
May 16, 2016
Jackass Ginger Pool & the Judd Memorial Trail have natural water slides, rope swings, a bamboo forest and a woodland wonderland. You ready yet?
TEXT BY JACKSON GROVES // IMAGES & VIDEO BY JACKSON GROVES
Oahu is covered with incredibly dangerous hikes, narrow ridge trails and hidden entrances. These can get overwhelming if you just want to enjoy some fresh air and get your fix of nature. If it is a simple hike you are looking for, I can recommend the Judd Memorial Trail and the Jackass Ginger Pool. This trail is a 1-mile loop with different surprises around every corner and is only slightly more challenging than the Manoa Falls Trail. You can expect to find a bamboo forest, imposing pine trees, a swinging rope, and rocky water slides flowing into a giant swimming hole.
Initially you must climb across the stream, bounding from rock to rock beneath a canopy of intertwined trees. We really didn’t know what to expect from this trail but from the first moment we were blown away by the magical atmosphere of the hike and the fact that it was so quiet. We only saw one other group as we made our way along the loop.
After crossing the stream, a bamboo forest engulfs the trail for a few hundred yards. At times the diversity of this trail really has you questioning which part of America you in.
The pine trees blew me away, I had never been on a hike with trees quite so large and uniform. Evenly spaced and growing straight up towards the sunlight, they really did create a woodland scene I never expected to come across in Hawaii.
The Judd Memorial Trail continues to follow the Nu’uanu stream before leading you to Jackass Ginger Pool, a swimming hole, which is next to the backyard of some very lucky homeowners. If you have a natural swimming pool 30 yards from your doorstep kudos to you.
At the Jackass Ginger Pool, we met a father who was enjoying the small rock slides down the cascading falls with his two daughters. We asked him to check the depth of the water beneath the falls with his goggles to see if it was deep enough for us to jump in. Without much certainty he thought it would be but the sun disappeared and we decided to stay dry this time.
I later found out that not only is it possible to jump into the pool but the rope swing was used to swing into the pool. If it was the same rope swing as we saw during our hike that would be one hell of a swing!
From this point the hike is pretty straight-forward winding back to the trailhead. We had a little fun on the way back as my hiking partner, Just Salvesen, decided to test the berries to see if they were poisonous and he also claimed to catch a fish with his bare hands straight out of the flowing stream. (Watch the video to see the validity of these claims)
All the antics are in the video if you want to check out this very short yet highly recommendable hike.
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Duration: 1 hr