Cuckoo for Koko Head.

Top O' the World!

When hubs and I were planning out things to do in Hawaii, he was browsing Yelp and traveladvisor and named a few places (most  places that I was not familiar with / had never heard of / I always thought were too touristy) that he thought sounded interesting – from hikes, to beaches and beyond.

After reviewing the many options, there was one ‘Top Rated Thing to Do’ that intrigued us both: Koko Head Crater.

Koko Head Crater.


See that itty bitty tan colored line that runs up the incline.  Yeah.  That’s the trail.

Walking up from the parking lot...

So yes, we were up for the challenge, but it seemed that every time we mentioned it to locals / friends / relatives, the response to, “have you ever hiked up Koko Head?” it was a resounding NO.

And probably for good reason…especially with treacherous obstacles like this:

Yes, that's a railroad track turned bridge with giant gaps and a 15 foot drop.


…but, it wasn’t that bad…wait…

The beginning...yes, dot-like images are people ahead of us on the trail.

Diamond Head was now a distant, incredibly un-challenging memory at this point as we stared up from the base of the hike.  Whereas the DH excursion was either paved, supplied with gates and handrails or furnished with even stairwells and steps, Koko was (and is) 11,000 rugged steps fashioned from an old rail trail to the summit of the crater.

Hubs, ready for the ascent.

Armed with water and a camera, we started the journey up – not too bad at the start – just had to check for footing since the track was laid around some loose soil.  We alternated between moving up the middle of the tracks and to the right side, to allow for traffic  movement, of course.

Blue sky and ocean view.

We were making good headway, until hubs said he needed to take a little break.  The sun was beating down pretty hard and he was a little winded.  I welcomed the pause for an extended water stop, since I hadn’t quite mastered the art of climbing and drinking…

Friendly guy took this pic for us 🙂

We made it to the top in about 40 minutes – and boy, once we were up there, we didn’t want to come back down!  And for good reason…

Nature's paradise!!
Looking out and around..

After enjoying the cool off provided by some mighty wind gusts, we started the descent…

Looking dowwwnnnn.

To me, it was MUCH more difficult going down!  I kept slipping and sliding, and since the “steps” were sporadically shaped and spaced, my short legs had a bit of a hard time with it all, haha!  Fortunately, we were able to make it slow and steady down, no problem!  Annnd even better, when it came to the bridge, a family showed me a little ‘offroad’ detour that allowed me to walk around and skip the chance for a fall completely 🙂

Sayonara, scary bridge!!

The way down took about half an hour, and when we saw the trail flattening out, we were pretty stoked to say the least!

We did it!

The trail proved to be the challenge that it promised and we were more than happy to drive down to the nearby shopping plaza to reward ourselves with Jamba Juice!!  And, as per hubs request, we just might have made another stop…

Beer flight at Kona Brewing Co.

All in all, it was a satisfying excursion that definitely is not for the faint at heart.  Oddly enough, we did see a few young children on the hike (6-7) and even a couple hiking with their baby in a front-pack carrier. Not sure if I would do that, but it sure was interesting to see…anywho 😀  It was great to see yet ANOTHER side of Hawaii!!

How do you choose activities for your vacations?

[all images not credited are personal photos]


  1. glad i got to see these sweet pics since i didn’t get to go with you 😦 looks like fun and maybe next time, i’ll try it too. 🙂

  2. I seriously would have turned around as soon as I saw that bridge. I am scared just looking at the picture. Beautiful view but my fear of height would never allow me to get to the top.

  3. dude, am i weird to think that looks like fun? that’ll have to be on our ‘hit list’ for our eventual / in our dreams hawaii trip!

    keep the pics and stories comin’! i’m loving it and i know i’m not the only one!

    • I had SO much fun! So no, not weird. Or…we both are weird 😉 either way!!

      thanks for the kind words, Amy! I am having a fun time reliving all the memories!!!

  4. I LOVE this!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing this idea 🙂 I am so excited for my upcoming trip to Hawaii!! And also excited to find a couple as “adventurous” as the hubby and I are!!

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