Koko Head Crater Trail

95% of the Koko Head Trail Hike is climbing and sometimes crawling along an abandoned military track that was previously used to transfer supplied from the bottom of the crater to the top. The last 5% of the trail more than makes up for the challenging hike up the 1,100 steps of beaten up train track. Once you   reach the last track on the trail, follow the dirt path and that will lead you to an abandoned Helipad as well as a beautiful view into Koko Head crater and the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also get great views of Makapu’u, Diamond Head, and the Honolulu skyline. It will take about 90 minutes to reach the end of the track and less than 5 minutes to get to the part of the hike with the beautiful scenic views. We ended up spending about 3 hours total on this trail with most of the time spent lounging at the top of the crater. Be forewarned that this hike is entirely an uphill climb, as you can probably tell by the pictures.

About midway though the trail you will encounter the track trestle that spans a ravine. This is the part of the trail that is a bit daunting, especially if you are afraid of heights. Carefully maneuver yourself across the worn out bridge and try not to think about the steep fall you’ll experience if you miss a step. Cross with caution!

To get to the Koko Head Trail take H1 toward Hawaii Kai and continue on to Kalanianaole Highway. Continue driving down Kalanianaole Highway towards Hanauma Bay. You will see the Hanauma Bay entrance on your right, once you have passed the Haunama Bay entrance take the first left. This road will take you to a parking lot and the start of the hike.

It’s probably best to do this hike during the morning hours since the trail provides no shade and the sun can be harsh during midday. Speaking of the sun, the day after I hiked Koko Head I was pretty sun burnt so be sure to lather yourself up in lots of sunscreen! Most importantly, bring water and maybe an energy bar or two.