Hiking Koko Head

Koko Crater Railway Trail is located at: 7604 Koko Head Park Road, Honolulu, HI 96825

It is approximately 1.8 miles round trip. It is heavily trafficked and definitely difficult! I have hiked it twice now (both times for PT), and both times were pretty hard. As you can see in the photos it is made up of a mixture of railroad ties, wooden steps and cement blocks. It is tough on the quads and lower back on the way up, and tough on the knees and ankles on the way down. It’s just tough.

The first time I made it up in 25 minutes, the second time in 18; but it’s a KILLER! I couldn’t walk to next day because my quads were so unbelievably sore. You’ll definitely ask yourself many times-if not the whole way- “Why am I doing this to myself?” It Burns!

There is a short trestle in the middle of the trail which may increase your heart rate a bit more (if that’s possible) and may be dangerous if you take a wrong step. Your attention is already on your feet the entire hike, but this bit really makes you focus. I was nervous the first time, but it is not that high off the ground. There is, however, a trail that veers around on the right if you are too nervous or afraid to walk across.


the view is worth the workout!

There weren’t many clouds the first trip so the sunrise was a lot more beautiful than the second, but both were great views regardless! I could have sat up there all morning! To the East you can see the sunrise and look directly into the crater; it’s spectacular. To the South-East you can see beautiful Hanauma Bay (which I still need to visit) and look into Hawaii Kai.

The way down was the same, if not more difficult than the way up. While it isn’t as taxing on the body, it it slippery (whether wet or dry) and you will have to watch every step. There are also a lot of people on the trail, but I just step to the side and walk on the outside of the rails to pass others or to let them pass.

This hike is definitely hard and can be used as a fitness test–especially if you are trying to decrease your time each trip. During the last trip on Sunday a woman reached the top in 14 minutes–my new goal is to beat her. The intensity can also be lowered if you need to stop and take breaks. There is enough room on the sides to stop, enjoy your surroundings, and wish that you were already at the top and not only 20 steps in. Def recommend.

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Hawaii Heart - North Carolina Living

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