The Crazy Climb up Koko Head

It will only take you 1,048 steps to get this view. Here’s the catch, those steps are going to be steep. Really steep.

Koko Head Crater Trail gives you an 800+ foot elevation gain in less than a mile. A guy on our hike pulled out a level app and measured the grade at 81 degrees. Godspeed.

This was honestly one of the toughest physical challenges of my life and you all know I am an avid hiker. It was just so continuous, so daunting. It was also hot and humid as heck! I took a handful of breaks and made it to the top in about 30-40 minutes.

The tricky thing is the steps are pretty sketchy. They’re actually railroad ties that create this staircase. They’re what’s left of the railway the military built to send supplies to the top of Koko Head. Up there they had lookouts set up during World War II. The history buffs will definitely enjoy checking out the structures that are still intact.

When you make it to the top of the steps you could go left or right but you will immediately see those old pillbox bunker buildings. We first went right so we could check out amazing views of the ocean and Hanauma Bay. If you head to the left you’ll get incredible views of the whole island and Waikiki.

This is a very straightforward little adventure. Here’s a video I made on the journey.

Your knees will not be happy on the way down. There is one particular section that’s even trickier while descending. There is a part where the staircase isn’t just laying on dirt. It’s actually dozens of feet above ground so if you fall, you’re going to hurt yourself. I took my sweet time in that spot.

The most important things I can say about this hike are bring lots of water, take as many breaks as you need, and wear shoes with good traction. I would not recommended taking young children or small dogs on this hike.

Distance: 1.8 miles out and back

Address: 7604 Koko Head Park Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825

Parking: Free lot

Permits: None Required

You can do it!

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