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Koko Crater Railway Trail
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Koko Head Trail Challenge
Ranked #16 of 344 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 9, 2011

Koko Head is the 600ft ancient tuff cone that is half the size of the tuff cone of Koko
Crater which is 1,200feet. Koko Head itself makes up the Portlock area and the well-known Hanauma Bay nature preserve. These are two different locations. This KOKO CRATER HIKE is considered (DIFFICULT) Why you ask? Because this Hike is no Hike, it's a WORKOUT up the "STRAIRWAY to HELL". Now as far as I know my friends and I are the only ones that call it Stairway to Hell. There is also Haiku Stairs which is
also famously known as "Stairway to Heaven" a name that it has had for a very
long time. If you can't climb Koko Crater, you can't climb the Haiku Stairs. If no one knows what Koko Crater actually is... it's a Volcanic Cinder Cone and
is the remnants of the last active Volcano on Oahu that took place 10,000 years
ago. This Cone stands over 1,200feet STRAIGHT UP and I'm talking STRAIGHT UP!
Just imagine climbing a ladder straight up the side of a 1,000 foot story
building! This is no fun my friends! If you are not in good shape, if you are
not mentally and physical prepared for Koko you will regret it, I promise you!
This trail is not actually a staircase but it is in fact a set of railway tie
steps. An old railroad you could say, that has seen better days. These rail ties
get tricky when you come to the Bridge. If you made it that far CONGRADULATION,
life is about to get REAL, REAL difficult! Before crossing the Bridge there is a
good place to rest to the right. If afraid of crossing the bridge go up the dirt
path to the right. It's right there at the resting spot. The Dirt path to the
right takes you to the end of the bridge. At this point climb back onto the
Railway Ties and continue up the 90 degree incline. Once you make it, after I'm
sure many stops, and "WHY AM I DOING THIS" questions to yourself, you will see
how high the railway ties go. Once you continue up the harder part of the
railway you will see a WALL in front of you with Graffiti on it. This wall is
called the "WALL OF HOPE" it means you are almost there! Once you see the wall
you know the pain in your legs will be over soon at least until you start coming
down again. Once reaching the top enjoy your place among the others who went
through your same pain. Talk with them, share your story, join the Ohana. For
everyone is family here at the top! Walk around, take it all in. Don't stop,
explore this ridge line. Keep climbing even higher once you rest for a few and
get a drink or bite to eat. Branch off and find your own slice of heaven on the
mountain ridge line. There is room for everyone. Congratulations, you are one of
the few that have made it to the top. Yes, many people climb this crater here
everyday but on the grand scale of things 90% of the world don't. So yes, indeed
you are one of the few who has reached the top and yes you should be proud of
yourself. Your will, determination, fight, passion and desire got you this far
and it should be a good indication that when you put your mind and body in the
right place you can achieve anything! TO DO SO, HOWEVER, YOU NEED TO KNOW THE
FOLLOWING or you will be rescued from this crater which I have seen on a weekly
basis because I live in front of it: (1.) Take 1.5 liters of water with you (2.)
Take Sunscreen (3.)Take your time, this is not a race to see who's the best, I
have seen people pass out or fall (4.) Start this hike at 7AM or 4PM PERIOD, NO
SCREWING AROUND WITH THIS ONE unless you do it in winter, than your times can
vary on startin this workout (5.) Don't let that 60 year old man that has gone
up and down the stairs several times since you started sike you out. People
climb this crater everyday and some people will climb this crater 6 times in one
day (6.) Make friends, don't let this opportunity fly you by. You will make
friends with people on this hike, no doubt! And last, ENJOY the scenery, it's
amazing. Don't complain like an old women and ruin it for yourself and your
friends if they came with you. Stop often and look around. As you get higher and
higher the views drastically change. That's it everyone. Enjoy and stay safe out
there, aloha!

30  Thank WaydesWorldHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"railroad ties"
in 179 reviews
"bring water"
in 173 reviews
"take your time"
in 162 reviews
"coming down"
in 85 reviews
"great workout"
in 84 reviews
"stair master"
in 31 reviews
"diamond head"
in 166 reviews
"tough hike"
in 53 reviews
"afraid of heights"
in 42 reviews
"cardio workout"
in 20 reviews
"hanauma bay"
in 140 reviews
"sense of accomplishment"
in 31 reviews
"great hike"
in 101 reviews
"lots of water"
in 53 reviews
"decent shape"
in 38 reviews
"early in the morning"
in 85 reviews
"degree view"
in 30 reviews

1,773 - 1,777 of 2,164 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2011

There are 1,048 steps up to Koko head and it can be intimidating or stimulating depending upon what kind of person you are. For me it is stimulating . . . for my family, intimidating. Neeless to say me and my 16 yr old made it to the top in record time ran half way down and met up with my husband, daughter, and 13yr old son and then I went back up with them. The scenery is gorgeous since you have a view the entire way and it is the best work out ever for your legs! There was a man there that was going up and down 3 times that day because he was trying to get back into shape! Kudos to him! Don't miss this one but make sure you stretch out first! Best days to go are . . . cloudy with no rain. A few horse flies so bring the repellant or wear long pants and sleeves.

1  Thank ZooGirlHI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 20, 2010

Let's put it this way. You arrive at Koko Head Park and first have the psychological challenge of looking at the trail that goes STRAIGHT up a huge mountain. At this point you realize this is no easy day hike with your family. This is a challenging 1000+ steps (which are actually railroad ties) to the top. And yes, the rusty tracks are still there... There's little to no shade and it's a hot, sweaty, mcnasty hike to the top. Most people will need a few breaks... However, once you reach the top, there are some cool WWII style bunkers and one of the best views I've seen of OAHU. FANTASTIC. Plan time for a nap on the beach after.... and a soapy shower.

Not recommended for young children or out of shape people... also, there is one sketchy part where you have to walk across a makeshift bridge (composed of train tracks)... no guard rail, and yes, you can fall 10-15 feet if you lose your balance.

2  Thank zhocking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 21, 2010

Did the hike with my wife and 7 year old son. It's not a difficult hike, just straight up a mountain with no turns at all, but it's physically challenging because you are going straight up. Bring WATER! Take breaks! The view at the top is awesome!

2  Thank NeoJava3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 days ago
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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