Despite it being a short 1.1 mile hike, Koko Crater (aka the Koko Crater Railway Trail) is incredibly challenging—both physically and mentally. From the get-go it’s a near vertical climb that requires excellent physical fitness, patience, focus and determination.
In addition to hiking the steepest trail on the island, be ready step up high over wooden planks and cross a bridge (not for those who fear heights). The good news is after all that burn, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and it comes in the form of a 360-degree view. From the summit, you can see all of Hawai‘i Kai, the entire coastline to Diamond Head, Sandy Beach as well as Hanauma Bay, and on clear days you can often see the islands Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i.
Before you head off on your hike, please consider a few pieces of advice from a seasoned, local hiker: Bring plenty of water and an energy-packed snack. Consider wearing a hydration pack in order to free-up your hands. Do the hike in the early morning. It gets hot very quickly up there, and people have been known to faint due to heat exhaustion.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your day, be sure to check out the Koko Head Botanical Garden too!
Note: This hike is NOT for beginners.