Koko Head Crater Rim Trail

HARD 9 reviews

Koko Head Crater Rim Trail is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round.

2.4 miles
1026 feet


trail running


over grown



no shade

no dogs

29 days ago

This is better named "Koko Crater Rim Trail", because Koko Head is the next mountain over (above Hanauma Bay). East rim can be accessed from the Arch trail, on the ocean side. The lower level of the East rim is wonderful and chock full of yellow flowers ATM, thanks to a fire that cleared out a lot of underbrush a couple years ago. -Very- quiet trail, because it's only suitable for daredevil hikers, IMO.

1 month ago

Loved this trail, not as easy as you’d think it is by looking at it, the ridges are very narrow in some areas and you need to take into consideration the elements and how they can make this trail go from hard to extreme in just minutes.
Try hiking it from the Koko Arch and just go straight up from there and around the rim , it’s a bit more challenging that way.

3 months ago

Dec. 2017- This trail is difficult because it requires you to climb over rocks and walk (or crawl, in my case) across narrow paths that have steep drop offs on either side. Today, the wind gusts were strong and added to the danger of losing grip or balance. Also because it had rained the day before, the trail was crumbly and a little slippery in some sections.

We started in the botanical gardens and hiked up the west rim, brunched at the peak (top of the stairs), and made our way down the east rim. Along the cacti-lined west rim, the grass and brush was overgrown so it made it difficult to see the path and any hidden/hazardous cacti. In my humble opinion, the scariest and most sketchy sections lie here in the west rim as you ascend close to 1000ft. Once you reach the top, it’s the part of the trail that meets the top of the Koko Head stairs (old railroad tracks), where you will usually encounter many other hikers. The rest of the hike however, we didn’t see anyone else. As you descend down the east rim, the trail becomes a little easier, but you do have to navigate more so around the trees and brush, sometimes losing the path. It ends in the botanical garden where you take a small path thru back to the beginning of the trail.

Tips: The trail is mostly exposed, barely any areas of shade. Bring lots of water. I also utilized some gardening gloves with rubber grips. Always remember: safety first!!

The views of the crater, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Kai, neighboring ridges, Diamond Head, Honolulu, and the coast along the eastside are spectacular!!! Enjoy!

4 months ago

The route shows starting in the botanical garden and hiking up the west rim, around and back down the East rim. I don't think you're actually supposed to do this, so be chill, or park outside the gardens. This may be the most straightforward route, but I don't consider it the easiest since finding the trail up the rim and back down can be challenging. And there is a guard in the garden that MAY stop you if he see's you being weird wandering thru bushes.

I rate this trail as difficult for a few reasons. It's totally exposed, and the heat can get intense up there. It is strenuous and sketchy at times. If you have even a mild fear of heights, you will likely mess your pants going up or down the West rim. There are some very skinny ridge sections with less than 12" of uneven rock to walk on. Fun for some, nightmares for others lol. Add some intense wind gusts? Mmhmm. The East rim on the other hand is mild and has some great views. Totally doable for most, especially if you made it up the stairs. Seasoned Hawaii hikers consider this a fun short afternoon scramble.

This is not a sanctions or maintained trail. I have hiked it when it was reallllly overgrown and the bushes made it nearly impossible to see the cacti hiding below! Yeah, that was a slow day. But usually it's not that bad and you only have to edge around a few cacti. ;)

Give yourself maybe 4hrs for the botanical garden full loop. 2L of water on a hot day.

2 months ago

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9 months ago