Koko Head Crater
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Hiking the Koko Head Crater trail in Honolulu

One of the fun work out hikes you can do in Honolulu in Hawaii Kai is Koko Head Crater, a solitary ancient cinder cone that is a real work out. Climbing to the top of Koko Head Crator involves a straight hike up through some old railroad ties that climb up 1048 steps to the top and it is a real work out and fun experience getting to the top and back down.

Hiking Koko Head trail in Honolulu

History of Koko Head Crater

Located in the extinct Koko Crater, the Crater is hollowed out and collapsed on one side with the railroad ties leading up one side to the rim of the crater.

Originally set up as a military bunker with pillbox bunkers set up on top to protect the city from invasion during World War II, the railroad ties were set up to move some supplies up to the bunker area. After the war, the Military abandoned all the bunkers including Koko Head and kept the tracks and bunkers located at the top.

Now the area is a popular work out climb all the way to the top of the crest with fantastic views back down to Hawaii Kai and the coastal areas of Eastern Oahu.

History of Koko Head Crater

Start your climb

From the parking lot area at Koko Head District Park, drive all the way to the baseball field area and park towards the end. You will find the trail head and follow the dirt foot path all the way to the base of the cinder cone.

The climb is only about 1.5 miles round trip and takes anywhere from half an hour to to an hour depending on how many breaks you take along the way. It’s a fun challenge and you will definitely burn some calories climbing all 1048 steps to the top of Koko Head.

Start your climb

Enjoy the views on top of Koko Head

Once you get to the top, the views around the area are definitely worth the climb. You get to see popular landmarks including Hanauma bay, Sandy Beach, Hawaii Kai and the eastern coastal areas of the windward side of Oahu. You can also explore some of the bunkers left on top and some other cool viewpoints to check out.

Enjoy the views on top of Koko Head

Enjoy this video tour experience

More details on the Koko head trail

The area is exposed and hot so be prepared

Bring enough water, hat, lotion and body covering from the direct sun and heat

Early morning or late afternoon is the best way to avoid heat and the direct sun

Bring a camera or phone to capture those gorgeous views or anything on the trail head

There are no toilets or services on top so be prepared.

Enjoy the Koko Head Trail on the windward side

Enjoy the Koko Head Trail on the windward side

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