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pu'u ma'i
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Koko Head

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Hanauma Bay

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Makai ridge

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Mauka ridge

If you've got a couple hours to spare, this is a really nice short hike.  It starts at the entrance to Koko Crater Stables.  We parked right at the entrance, checked in with the girl in the pickup truck (what a job) and heading on into the botanical gardens.  We headed on the left side of the loop and just before the back of the crater we headed up the trail on the left.  There's a short climb over dirt and rocks until you break out onto the ridge.  From there and throughout most of the hike you get treated to some neat views of east Oahu!

Steadily climbing up the makai ridge isn't too bad.  There's lots of places where you can stop and check out Sandy Beach, The gun range, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head, Pu'u O'Kona...and before you know it you're at the top (Pu'u Ma'i).  There's all sorts of neat things up there like rail tracks, collapsed houses and even the Billabong Pro trophy!  What the hell is that doing up there???  There's an ammo cannister next to it with notepads for you to record your hike.  We did.

After a short rest, we headed down the mauka ridge.  I liked going down this way because it's a little more narrow and plus you don't cover the same tracks as coming up!   There's a couple places where we had to climb down boulders and the wind is pretty strong but we made it down easily.  Once you hit the Koa Haole it's just a short walk and you pop out right near the entrance!

Date:  October 18, 1998
Time Duration:  3 hours
Difficulty:  Blue
Danger: Blue

Notes:  Going up isn't all that bad.  It's a little steep, but you can alwasy stop and rest.  There are some sharp dropoffs, but only on one side and the trail is wide.  It never is as bad as it looks when you approach it.  Going down the mauka ridge is a bit more steep and you have to do a lot more climbing.  There are more narrow spots but nothing too bad.  If it looks very bad, then there's always some other route going around that section only a few feet from you.

When you hit the Koa Haole section, continue on the distinct path with no detours and you'll pop out right near the start of the botanical gardens.  This is a very hot hike, so wear shorts and bring lots of water!