Koko Crater Trail

MODERATE 320 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Koko Crater Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

1.8 miles 1082 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A steep climb to the top of Koko Head Crater with spectacular views in every direction Koko Head Trail is one of those trails where you ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" I am not sure of the numbers of steps it takes to get up to the top but it's a lot. For the most part, the trail can be crowded later in the morning so it's best to go early. The people there range from the very fit to the "Sherpa Grandma/Grandpa." I saw kids and dogs doing this trail but don't let that fool you. You will be sweating and breathing deep about half way through. Turn left on Lunalilo Home Rd, then right on Anapalau St, which ends on Koko Head State Park Rd (this road can be accessed from Hwy 72, but is sometimes closed). Park in the lot and walk along the road to the trail, which is a 200 feet from the parking lot. The trail goes straight up the stairs midway up must cross trestle, which is dangerous if you misstep. This will get the heart pumping and is not for those with bad knees. Take WATER! and a camera! Great for training, lots of athletes use this for workouts, but the views of Koko Crater and surrounding area are spectacular. Crowded on weekends. Note there is another way up to the top via the ocean side ridge trail... past Hanauma Bay. The step-like walking track are the ties of an abandoned railway that runs along the crater's west side. This is one of the best trails leading to Puu Mai, the craters highest peak. The ties were for an incline tram used by the military during World War II, to transport personnel and supplies to a lookout post on the summit. Access to this trail starts at Koko Head Park in Hawaii Kai. The first part of the hike is over a newly landscaped hill behind Goeas Baseball Field to the bottom of the old rail track. Its an exhausting trip. But the real fun is still to come. Your next mission is a trek up the 1,000-plus steps to the top of Koko crater. The reward? A panoramic view of the east Honolulu shorelinenot to mention one heck of a workout. A note of caution: Parts of the decades-old railway trail are in disrepair, possibly unsafe and recommended for experienced hikers only. If you do go, prepare accordingly and proceed with caution. You'll find tips from The Division of State Parks for preparing for similar hikes here. The view from the top is breathtaking. You can, on a clear day, see all three Islands and the other side of Koko crater. There are plenty of places to hang out at the top but there were a lot of bugs when I was up there. The trail isn't very shady but there a few sections you can sneak a break. Overall this isn't much a hike but a workout with a view at the end. Wear hiking shoes and take your time going up and down. You don't want to hurt yourself by slipping or having a heart attack.

4 days ago

Great work out but can be pretty rough on the knees coming down. Beautiful view at the top!

hiking
5 days ago

When you start up the hill on this one you will ask yourself, am I crazy? Trust me, the workout alone is one you will not forget, but when you get to the top and you see the view of the Ka Iwi Coastline to your back and Maunalua Bay in the front, you will be glad you did it. Regulars do this hike in under 30 minutes and some of them do 5 laps for their Saturday morning workout. You will figure out who they are right away. Enjoy it.

7 days ago

Quite steep stairs, good workout!

7 days ago

Good stuff, a rewarding climb.

hiking
16 days ago

Well worth the Stairmaster workout! There is a dirt trail to the right if you don't want to 'take the stairs'

16 days ago

tough hike up old tram rail ties, straight up and back but amazing view

18 days ago

did the hike yesterday and it was awesome (2nd time)

26 days ago

It's not a moderate trail, but a difficult trail. On the top, the view is howsome.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike, awesome views, quite steep and does get very busy.

hiking
27 days ago

Great workout and the view from top is stellar. I just care for more variation in my hike. I hike to explore the workout is a benefit on top of it. I encourage you to go early or else it becomes extremely crowded and hot.

1 month ago

1 month ago

My favorite place. I just love to hike the stairs

1 month ago

1 month ago

Great Viewing over Part's off East and South.

1 month ago

harder than it looks. more like a CrossFit exercise than a hiking trail.

1 month ago

Awesome climb but tricky decent. My knees are going to hate me tomorrow!

1 month ago

1 month ago

Great hike!!

1 month ago

Very steep, bring water and sunscreen. Go slow, take your time, views are amazing. 40-60 minutes to summit. I saw plenty of kids and older ppl climbing so anyone can do it. Have fun