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Koko Crater Trail

MODERATE 303 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.

2 days ago

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

3 days ago

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

6 days ago

6 days ago

Great hike!!

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

7 days ago

If you're not an active person this is hard. Take water and sunscreen. This can take you 45- over an hour to climb.

7 days ago

Great workout. I kept a steady pace up and basically ran down, and my legs were pretty sore for a couple days. Can be done if you're in moderately good shape, just be sure to pace yourself at the beginning. It gets harder about halfway due to the steeper angle.

trail running
7 days ago

Awesome workout!!!

9 days ago

quick and intense, it gets pretty hot. windy at the top, great view!

10 days ago

Hard climb but an awesome view.

12 days ago

Did this for the Full Moon Hike. So beautiful when you get to the top. Bring a head lamp and prepare to dodge the roaches!

13 days ago

Awesome trail. Recommend to bring shoes that has good grips. The view is amazing and it's very relaxing.

14 days ago

16 days ago

Relatively hard to get up the steps if you've never done it before, but totally worth it! I went on my first day in Hawaii and although my legs may hate me tomorrow, I am so glad I went! Definite Hawaii must.

19 days ago

21 days ago

22 days ago

Stairs. That's all I can say. Take your time to get to the top and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It's worth it.

27 days ago

scenic stairmaster

27 days ago

28 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.