Koko Head Rim Trail

MODERATE 176 reviews

Koko Head Rim Trail is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

3.6 miles
1069 feet

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running




wild flowers





no dogs

This trail is also called the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail. It is an easy to moderate trail located west of Hanauma Bay and is NOT open to the public, even though many locals tend to use it for a good run. There are FCC and telecom infrastructure at this location. Koko Head is often mistaken for Koko Crater. This one is on the makai (ocean) side of the state and national parks and is not the tuff cone with the railway line. This lesser known trail starts at the Hanauma Bay bus stop with a road that leads up the hill towards the ocean. Note that this is not a public area, so visit at your own risk. There is lots of history in this area. According to Hawaiian Folk Lore, one of the stories talks about 3 brothers of which the youngest Kaneapua disobeyed his brothers and therefore, the spring water that he was sent to collect dried up. Likewise, there are two depressions called Ihiihilauakea and Nonoula. Both are normally bone dry, but Ihiihilauakea at times will fill in the spring sprouting a four leaf clover that is endemic to Hawaii. This trail has no cover so bring lots of sun screen. It is also normally very windy. The main attractions are the four leaf clover bloom in the spring and a sea cliff rock bridge that is located just past Pai'olu'olu Point.

8 days ago

The Koko Head Rim Trail is a 4 miles hiking loop with fantastic views of Hunauma Bay (an old volcano crater) and the furthest most point on Oahu. The route has no shade, so bring water and wear sunscreen. Child and pet friendly.

Here's the route:
1. After departing the parking lot, take the entry road uphill and turn right at the T intersection.
2. Continue to the gate at Kalanianaole Hwy 72
3. Cross the road to Hunauma Bay entrance
4. Turn right on the service road and cross the gate
5. Continue to the top (1st mile)
6. Turn down the trail and head along the Hunauma Bay ridge to the coastline
7. Continue up and over the saddle ridge
8. At this trail point, decide if you want to head down to the ocean cliffs or follow the loop (2nd mile)
9. Continue on the loop back up to the paved road (3rd mile)
10. Follow this road back to your vehicle (4th mile)

Here's the comprehensive video for the hike:

For more HIKING HAWAII videos, check out Green Beret Unlimited here on YouTube! Also check out HIKING HAWAII on FB.

18 days ago

This trail is amazing although you start on a pavement. It is possibly short trail, but you will stop many times to enjoy places and views on Hanauma bay, Koko crater, arch, big waves, maybe also a lot of whales (as we saw them in january). Landscape is from different planet, don't forget to go down to the sea level to see the arch, beatiful surroundings! Bring a lot of water, as here it is always very hot (unlike on short Koko crater railway hike, where you dont need much water). Walking is easy here, for everyone, but can be complicated near the arch in steep passages.

19 days ago

It’s an ok hike, great views but please be aware of the elements! It can get unforgivably hot! Bring water and sunscreen.

25 days ago

1 month ago

Get ready for some pretty serious elevation changes, what a workout. Go for 4 miles.

2 months ago

nice views comparable to Daimond Head, Punchbowl, & Waipio park. Although be carefull on Ahukini side and Sandys side climbing the walls due to fact of weathering and crubbling rocks.
other sides seem solid.

4 months ago

Found it! It didn’t fall out when I stumbled by the mouth of the bay (though it would have). It actually had fallen out an hour before getting in a bunker by the towers. Good thing I traced my complete path.

4 months ago

Well, if you find a Garmin Edge 1000, it’s probably mine. I guess it fell out of my pocket when I fell over by the mouth of Hanama Bay.. see track.


Any help appreciated


4 months ago

Walking Koko Head is definitely not a lush landscape, and in fact seems more like the Mars Landscape then a piece of paradise. However, the views and interesting lava flow formations are interesting to see. As a bonus for me, I found the Koko Head VOR station and three Fire Control Stations that serviced Diamond Head batteries and a local Battery 155 (155mm mobile gun on a Panama Mount). Unfortunately I did not locate the the remains of the Panama Mount, but but quite possibly it is where to VOR is built since that would be an ideal location. 2 of the 3 Fire Control Stations could be entered, one is locked behind barbed wire in a secured area due to transmission towers.

Continuing walk out to the water is barren but beautiful. Watch your step though, the small pebbles turn into marbles at time. As you near the mouth of Hanauma Bay and begin walking back inland, there is a sign recognizing an old Hawaiian village site and to be respectful. Up from there is the mini valley with the striated lava formation on the hillside.

Do this hike early or on cloudy day since there next to no trees for shade. 2l-3l water is good too.

6 months ago

I parked at Hanauma Bay parking lot for free (Only before 7am, after 7am is $1) and made my way to the entrance which is located next to the bus stop off the main road outside of Hanauma Bay. The trail starts off as a paved road but if you wish to make your way to the rock bridge, the trail gets steep and slippery due to loose rocks. Make sure to pack water and sunscreen as you'll be in the sun the whole time. The view at the rock bridge was worth it. Overall a good hike.

6 months ago

This hike is dog friendly.
Bring sunscreen or a hat because there will be no shade. Only 2 trees to stop under and hide from the sun on your way down one of the slopes.
Theres a total of about 3 slopes to get to the bridge and cave. I would suggest you looping around and not going the same way you come down from.

7 months ago

I don't carry a wallet when I run and about half a mile in, you enter a park that has a $7.50 fee.

8 months ago

My favorite hike in Hawaii

8 months ago

Great hike but make sure your well prepared with water and hiking boats. Also go done the far end because it's less steep.

9 months ago

beautiful sceneries

9 months ago

An awesome alternative to the crowded Koko Head Crater Stairs, this hike gives you beautiful views of the exterior of Koko Crater, Hanauma Bay, and the leeward coast of Oahu. Head down the ocean side of the cliff to see a beautiful natural rock bridge.

For more on my adventure, check out my blog post!

9 months ago


10 months ago

Great views from this area of the island!! A must do hike

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great trail! First part is easy and on a paved surface. There are good inclines and even better views of Hanauma Bay and Koko Head.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shorter hike but has its challenges! No shade so make sure to have sunscreen and a hat. The views are rewarding and there is a good balance of inclines and flat areas. You can park in the same lot as the Koko Head Trailway and if you walk up to the left and follow the paved path it will take you back to the highway. Just cross the street towards Hanauma bay and you'll see the trailhead on the right after you pass the bus stop.

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