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
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!