Jackass Ginger Pool & the Judd Trail have natural water slides, rope swings, a bamboo forest, and a woodland wonderland. It’s one of my favorite little hikes and adventure outings on the island of Oahu. The entire loop is just 1-mile but quite diverse with streams and pine forests perfect for families and young kids to explore without a long hike.
THE JUDD TRAIL & JACKASS GINGER POOL
If you are looking for one of the top easy hikes on the island, I can recommend the Judd Trail and the Jackass Ginger Pool.
In this blog post, I will share with you all of the details you need in order to enjoy this hike such as distance, incline, best viewpoints along the way, where to park, the best time of day, photo opportunities, and other attractions nearby.
JUDD TRAIL HIKE DETAILS
- Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike is just one mile for the entire Judd Trail loop hike.
- Hike Duration: The hike will take you just 30-45 minutes.
- Hike Incline: Total incline for the hike was 170ft
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JUDD TRAIL DIFFICULTY
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. The trail is well-worn in some paths but still provides enough to keep you on your toes with roots, branches, and rocks spread throughout the area.
HOW TO GET TO THE JACKASS GINGER POOL & TRAIL
To reach the hike you drive down the Pali Highway and then turn right onto Nuuanu Pali Drive. I have included a map below with the pinned location for the trailhead.
PARKING AT THE JUDD TRAILHEAD
There is parking on the side of the road at the trailhead. It’s not signed or official but basically, you can just find a spot in the dirt where your car fits. This is a hotspot for smashed windows and theft so leave nothing valuable whatsoever in your car. Police patrol this strip but you will see smashed glass on the side of the road. It can get busy so you may have to walk a bit if you need to park further away but there are usually lots of options.
THE FOUR MOST POPULAR OAHU TOURS
- Doors-Off Oahu Helicopter Flight Tour: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off) and be blown away when you see Oahu from the air.
- North Shore Shark Cage Tour: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks!
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins on this exact tour.
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: The number 1 MOST POPULAR snorkel tour on Oahu. GUARANTEED Turtles!
HIKING THE JUDD TRAIL
After parking in the beautiful tree tunnel at the trailhead, we set off on the Judd Trail. It’s an immediate immersion into tranquility with a small stream glistening under a thick blanket of dense foliage. Roots are intertwined and reaching up past the trunks and consuming entire trees.
We need to cross a small river, hopping our way across the stepping stones. On the other side, a bamboo-forest tunnel leads us into the pine forest. Here we stretch our necks looking up to try to find an end to the enormous trees. This is a forest scene not many expect on Oahu but it is more common than you think with a number of similar plantations found across the island.
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.
Halfway through the loop, you will find a sign for the Nuuanu Trail. This is a much longer and more strenuous hike taking more than four hours. It is 10km in distance and has 500m of incline. It’s a great hike up to the Pali Lookout but if you are just enjoying the stroll, stay on the Judd Trail.
THE JACKASS GINGER POOL
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 thirty 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. This is an awesome spot to come for some uncrowded fun in a little rock pool. Kids absolutely love these kinds of spots with creatures everywhere and endless spots to explore. We went for a dip in the icy water and had some fun on the rope swing.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Jackass Ginger Pool and the Judd Trail. Happy Hiking!
HAWAII HIKING PACKING LIST
Many people come unprepared for hiking on Oahu and that’s why there are so many rescues. Make sure you at least have the basics and you will be prepared for bad weather or any mishaps on the trail. A headlamp, rain jacket, and good hiking boots or shoes are the three main pieces of gear you need. Below are my four Hawaii hiking essentials.
- Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
- Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots: For the best ankle support, waterproofing, and durable exterior I’m a fan of tough but light hiking boots like these Salomons for my adventures.
- Black Diamond Head Torch: I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve arrived back from a hike unexpectedly late. I always keep this lightweight but strong headtorch in my bag for the unexpected.
- Darn Tough Socks: These are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever worn and last for years. They also have a lifetime warranty and you just send them in with a hole and they replace it no questions asked.
WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
- What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU
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