Koko Crater Trail: The Ultimate Stair Master

Spanning over 1,000 stairs, the Koko Crater Trail is the ultimate stair master workout. The steep trek up was worth the amazing views. This was one of the most rewarding hikes I have ever completed. The views at the top of the crater are simply amazing!

We made it to the top of Koko Crater Hours Later(I’m exaggerating a bit)


The Koko Crater Trail is located roughly 20-25 minutes from Waikiki and right next to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Jen and I went to Koko Crater in the summer, and I would highly advise going in the early morning as it gets over 90 degrees by 10am in the summer months. Koko Crater has one decent size lot located next to a baseball field, but we decided to park our car at Hanauma bay and made the short trek over. We were going to snorkel after our hike so it was a win-win.

The Hike

Koko Crater trail is made up of steps consisting of old railroad tracks and a couple bricks here and there. When doing this hike, be sure to bring lots of water and stay hydrated. The stairs were pretty easy early on, but it only get harder. About a quarter of the way up, the stairs become extremely steep. There is even a small portion where the area between each track is a straight 15-20 foot drop. After midway, you need to be extremely aware and careful. Because of the steepness and the size of the tracks I was already gassed by midway. In addition, the straight incline left me with thin air but Jen and I chose to power on. Before I even finished 60% of the hike, I was already drenched with sweat.

It’s a long way up and down.

While you would expect the way down to be much easier, I felt that the upper portion of the hike was extremely difficult no matter the direction. I might even go as far as saying descending the upper portion is tougher than going up. It was much tougher controlling my momentum and maintaining my footing on the descent. Due to the trail’s narrowness, I also had to be aware of others who were going up or down. While we got to the top of the trail around 9 and began our descent 30 minutes later, the trail was already beginning to get packed. It was definitely much harder for me to maintain good footing on the way down.

Pro Tips:

  • Bring and drink lots of water
  • Make sure to spray bug repellent or you will be filled with mosquito bites especially in the summer
  • Go early to avoid the heat and crowds
  • Wear shoes with good grip

Overall Koko Crater Trail was a challenging, yet enjoyable hike. Going into the hike, I didn’t really have expectations but this hike clearly pushed me. I had a wonderful time and I want to give my girlfriend Jen a huge thank you for planning the Koko Crater Hike as well as curating an amazing itinerary for our Hawaii trip. For the adventurers, be sure to check out this hike and let me know what you think.

We made it to the top.

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