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Mountain and Hiking Trails

Mt.Tonaachaw (CHUUK)

Iras is, at 229 meters, the loftiest peak on Weno. The mountain is the legendary home of the God, Souwoniras, and his divine son. Situated by the Wichon River and Falls, the Wichon Men’s Meeting House is the site where Weno chiefs are reported to have met with Poomey, the eldest of the six brothers who were the first chiefs of Chuuk. The shallow pool at the base of the Falls is still used for bathing and sports, just as it was in historical times. The site of Poomey’s dwelling on a mountaintop can be seen from and his gardens are nearby. Numerous Petroglyphs are etched in the exposed basalt above the falls.

Pohndollap (Sokehs Rock / Mt. Sokehs) (POHNPEI)

Mt.Sokehs is located just behind Sokehs Rock and is quite accessible. The old Japanese Army built various facilities here and the ruins have been quietly sitting deep in the jungle ever since. It is approximately 2 hours from the beginning of the mountain path to the peak (even after wandering around the battlefields). You will walk through some exceptional tropical forests as you journey to the giant cannons (think: Guns of Navarone) overlooking Palikir Pass, Pohnpei’s famous world-class surf spot. For those hard-core mountaineers and mountain-climbers, the face of Sokehs Rock offers never-climbed sheer-face basalt routes waiting to be named and conquered.

Yela Ka Forest (KOSRAE)

Yela offers the visitor that rarest of dreams: a pristine series of tropical island ecosystems nearly untrammeled since the beginning of time. Indeed, Yela, one of the last roadless areas in the Pacific, remains largely closed to the public due to lack of access. At the center of the area is the increasingly famed Yela Ka Forest, a globally unique freshwater swamp dominated by hundreds of towering Terminalia carolinensis (Ka) trees. These trees have been referred to by leading Micronesia conservationists as the “Redwoods of Micronesia”. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and not to be missed. Contact the Yela Environment Landowners Authority (YELA) for access and an interpretive nature tour of the area.

Mt. Finkol Hiking Trail (KOSRAE)

Mt. Finkol is the highest peak in Kosrae, at more than 2,064 ft, and hosts the lowest elevation cloud forest on the planet. It is perfect for action packers. The hike requires a guide and the hiker must be in good physical condition to challenge the trail, although the climb is moderately easy. If you’re up for it, in shape and the weather cooperates – Finkol is one of the top two or three wettest places on earth – don’t miss the rare opportunity to climb Finkol. Usually, only one, or at most, two expeditions make the summit annually. It is a rainforest in its extreme beauty and full of excitement for hikers. The climb through the sinews of a series of gigantic banyan trees (think of a scene out of J.R.R Tolkien’s, The Hobbit) just past the midway point is an experience for the ages. Once you reach the summit, you’ll have panoramic views of a tropical island and fringing reef that are unmatched. The whole tour can take between 7 to 8 hours.

Mt. Oma Hiking Trail (KOSRAE)

This hike yields some of the most beautiful cultural and natural sites in Kosrae with tropical fauna, flora, cascading waterfalls, WWII caves. The summit is a few feet shy of Mt. Finkol and offers excellent and breezy vistas of the island. The tour may take 6 to 7 hours. Also available are short hikes of 45 minutes. This picture is the view from Mt. Oma.

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