KOKO head hike is one of the toughest and rewarding hikes to do in Hawaii. We’ve completed this hike many times yet, it is always a challenge! One of the hardest, safest, and open to the public hikes you can do. Kokohead offers one of the most beautiful sunrises you can view on Oahu, in my opinion. I wanted to try something new this time so, for this post, I only used my iPhone (iphone6) for photos. There are a few that are from the drone but the real content lies within the everyday, portable, mobile camera! (sorry in advance for some grainy pictures!)
The trail path is very easy to locate and access. If you have a GPS, plug in the address for “Koko Head District Park” (address at end of article). If not, locate on a physical map the district park and either way, drive all the way up to the top. You will pass baseball fields, basketball courts and crossover multiple speed bumps. The parking you want is the farthest up which is located on the left as you ascend.
After parking, follow the sidewalk along the baseball field. There are designated dirt trails (as seen in this picture) that you can walk up. Worst case scenario, if you are completely lost, look for hikers coming and going. You are bound to see others in the area you can follow although, you shouldn’t have to.
When you see these shoes up in the phone lines, you know you’re headed in the right direction, ironically. I guess visitors do this now but I recommend you not to as there is no significance in doing it.
You can’t miss the start! If you continue following the paved path, it’ll wrap around to lead you here. If you choose the dirt path coming off the paved road you will still end up here. As previously stated, if in doubt, look for other hikers! Something to know: The “trail” is really just an old railway track. You know the stair master machine in your local gym? This is the one embedded into a mountain. Basically, it’s stairs all the way up. If you aren’t in shape (and even if you are!) be prepared to be sore for a few days!
Approximately 3/4 of the way up, you’ll come across a “bridge” type section: Be careful. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and go on all fours or at least have 3 points of contact – it is about a 10-foot/3-meter drop. It’s not enough to kill you, but you’ll definitely be sore if you fall and possibly break something. I’ve never known of anyone falling in this section. Don’t worry too much about it.
Be mindful of people coming down as you are going up and especially vice versa! As you head up, you want to give the priority to those coming down as gravity is with them and you’ll realize once you are in their shoes coming down, you’ll be grateful for those moving out of your way. It’s just as unpleasant going up as it is going down (painful on your knees!).
At the top, there are a few left over pillboxes from WWII which is why the path up is old railroad tracks.
The view looking toward Hawaii Kai Marina/Waikiki/Honolulu.
The beautiful sunrise and all of Kokohead Crater – The view is entirely worth the effort!
This hike always reminds us of humility and of no matter how in shape you think you are, will still feel a good burn. We made it in 24 minutes exact. What’s your best time?!
Also, Keep in mind that a lot of these photos were taken after the sun had risen so take into consideration while trying to find the correct ways if you embark before sunrise when it’s darker! I wanted to try something new and only go with a bottle of water and my iPhone. It was a light and quick hike and I enjoyed it! I think the photos came out alright.
What did you think of the photos?
*The other, obvious high altitude photos were obviously shot with a drone during another time we hiked Kokohead.
Kokohead District Park
423 Kaumakani St
Honolulu, HI 96825