Waikiki Honolulu Region Hike
Best Hiking Trails on Oahu
Koko Crater Railway Trail
The Koko Head Hike railway “stairs” is a short drive from Diamond Head and Waikiki. It puts you through your paces and can be a challenge even for the fittest of the fit. However, if you’re up to the challenge it is worth the effort to reach the Koko Head Crater summit.
Although it is a short hike of 1.4 miles, it is grueling with an extreme incline that will have you doubting you can ever reach the top. A relic of World War II, the military constructed Koko Head Railway to transport supplies and soldiers. The site has had many functions until it was finally passed onto the City of Honolulu and became Koko Head Regional Park in 1966.
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The trail heads up 990ft at a very steep incline, and the views at the Koko Head Crater summit are 1208ft above sea level. There are 1,048 railroad ties to climb and then 30 feet to the lookout. It is an uneven climb along with the steps which are slippery due to dust.
There is also a railway bridge halfway up the tracks spanning a ravine, which is scary if you fear heights. However, you have the option to go through the bushes at this point. After the bridge, you will get glimpses of the view to come, including Hanauma Bay and Hawaii Kai. Once you reach the peak, you will be greeted with cool breezes, shade trees, and stunning views.
There is ample parking, and the trail is always open. Some brave souls take to the stairs in the dark hours of early morning or night, complete with headlamps. To get to the trailhead, you can follow the path behind the baseball diamond near the parking lot.