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Koko Crater Trail

MODERATE 267 reviews
#1 of 3 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


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.

2 days ago

I've hiked some challenging hikes and I would not call this moderate. It is short but vertical and there is a section that is pretty dangerous. Was surprised none the less to see some small children and others make it to the top but imagine they did so over a few hours. We pushed to the top and with the spider crawl I did over the open section made it up in 30 minutes with no one passing us at any point. We arrived before 7 and it was already busy.

5 days ago


I wanna do this tomorrow morning. I am staying in waikiki.. anybody wants to hike this?

5 days ago


This is a must-do hike for any one visiting O'ahu or even Hawaii residents. It has one of the most beautiful, dynamic views at the top that is hard to beat anywhere else. I wound up, like many others, using this hike as a weekly workout with an incredible reward at the end (the insane breeze and breathtaking view). Would not recommend for young children and people extremely scared of heights.

6 days ago

Great work out and amazing view!

7 days ago


Love it! What a challenge with a great reward!

8 days ago


Great workout with an unbeatable view. Easy to get to. If I lived anywhere near bere I would do this every week.

9 days ago


fun trail. did this in tropical storm darby. check out my video of the hike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iJOQmQC6oE

10 days ago

Nice views that request some effort

13 days ago

Quick but a great workout. Fantastic views, especially for watching the sun rise.

18 days ago

I'm short, this was hard on my knees on the way down

23 days ago

Nice experience we highly recommend this just make sure you take fluids and comfortable and light

25 days ago

28 days ago

29 days ago


Slow climb that seems to go on forever but great views on top!

30 days ago

Awesome. Nice hike. I'm sure the views are awesome unless you hike it in the middle of tropical storm Darby. Haha. I recommend this if your visiting Hawaii

1 month ago


Excellent leg workout!

1 month ago

Great workout if you want to put a little effort. Good place to challenge oneself.
The view from the top is fantastic.

1 month ago


Great workout! We went in the morning and it did rain on us. The cloud coverage was nice but the slippery ground was not. I was most skeptical about slipping when crossing the bridge. Make sure to bring water and bug spray. There are tons of bugs at the top, I got bit several times but it was well worth the view.

1 month ago