Trail Review: Koko Head Crater Railway Trail in Honolulu, Hawaii

I’m not a fan of the StairMaster but this was nature’s StairMaster so I made an exception 🙂

I remember hearing about Koko Head Crater Railway Trail about 6 years ago, the first time I visited this island as an adult. At the time, I felt the task to go hike up 1,100 steps was too daunting and really just unappealing. What sane person would want to do this willingly? This time though, with my new outlook on life and active lifestyle, I knew I had to conquer this once and for all!


The Hike: The hike is 1,100 steps, equaling about 1.45 miles round trip. For the athlete and those that have a certain fitness level can aim for 20 minutes. If you take breaks to catch your breath or want to take some selfies 🙂 you should be able to get to the top in about 40 minutes.

The Journey: Mid-way during the hike, there is an area where the tracks have a bit of open space between each. Meaning – Watch. Your. Step. There is no net or anything to catch you so you’ll want to make sure you are paying attention. I saw some hikers crawling up so that they had a good handle of the tracks. This only lasts about 20 steps or so, so not too long 🙂


The Destination: What’s at the end of the rainbow? A beautiful, panoramic view of the Eastern Coast of the island, specifically Hanauma Bay.

Additional Tips:

  • Parking is a non-issue here as there is a huge public parking lot with ample space.
  • The base of the trail is situated within a park, well equipped with tennis and basketball courts. You can definitely spend all day here
  • If you plan to go snorkeling on your travels here, I’d recommend going to Hanauma Bay the same day as it’s in the same general area.
  • Go early! I went at around 7:30 AM, with the sun barely risen, and it was great to be able to get the hike done before most others and I didn’t have to worry about it getting too hot.

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