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Koko Crater Trail

MODERATE 286 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Koko Crater Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, HI 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 820 feet Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


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.

1 day ago

scenic stairmaster

2 days ago

3 days ago

Not for the feint of heart. Rated moderate for the avid hiker. Prepare your butts. View at the top makes it all worth while.

7 days ago

It was the hardest hike/trail I ever did, straight butt, thigh and knee killer. It was hot but the view at the top is amazing!

12 days ago

Brutal thigh burner. Definitely not for the weak or inexperienced. Awesome view at the top but a killer to get there. Take the bypass if the ground is wet. Take 3 bottles of water.

15 days ago

So glad I did this trail, I'm a beginner and this was the hardest thing I've ever done, but super rewarding! It was a love/hate thing for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Take your time, stay hydrated and finish!

16 days ago

Fairly difficult for beginners, good exercise. Bring sunscreen and water.

16 days ago

Take your time, have some breaks, drink water and everything will be good ! It is a really nice trail, only stairs from the beginning to the top ! Just remember that at the top, the view is gorgeous ! It worth the time and the effort ! Must to be done

19 days ago

All steps, but great views and awesome breeze when you hit the top. Do this one early in the day before it gets too hot.

19 days ago

20 days ago

a great workout and rewarding views at the end!

24 days ago

rails trails
25 days ago

More of a climb than a hike 1050 steps up!

25 days ago

Great climb

26 days ago

Friends don't let friends skip leg day. Railroad ties from an old mining operation(?) form the stairs up this route. It starts gradual then moves to pretty steep about halfway up. The view from the top is outstanding and so worth it. Be ready to sweat both up and back down.

30 days ago

1 month ago

Beautiful view from the top!

trail running
1 month ago

Awesome workout.

1 month ago

Not an overly long hike, but very steep. Great leg workout! Make sure you take water and wear good shoes. I did this in the middle of the day which was very hot, early morning would be better. Magnificent views from the top, definitely worth the hike.