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Crazy Koko Crater Climbing!

Posted by on April 24, 2012
If you remember, a little bit ago I sort of invited myself to go hiking with some girls in attempts to make some new friends (You can read about it HERE). Ever wonder what became of that? Not much really, until today.

The following week when the girls were getting together I had to go with my husband to base because my ID had expired. Then, we had company come visit. After that it was easy to come up with excuses on why I shouldn’t go, even though I wanted to. I think if exercise wasn’t involved, perhaps the excuses wouldn’t have happened. Well, last week, I got invited to join them again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go because my husband and I had a breakfast date which was rare and I was looking forward to it. So last night, I texted my new friend and asked if they were going hiking this week. The reply was something like this, “Yes, we are thinking of doing Koko Head. Wanna join us?”

Koko Head Crater

So, I had to say “yes”, but let me tell you, before I did, I searched “Koko Head” on Google and nearly changed my mind. Yikes. It’s referred to as, “Nature’s Stairmaster” but really it is man made and was built around World World II by the military. It basically is a straight shot up. The elevation is about 1076 feet with roughly 1048 “steps” which are railroad ties, so pretty steep, right?

I am not really “in shape”. I can keep up with my 5 and 6 year olds and I can do a pretty good job at playing Dance Central on the X-box. I enjoy activities like trying to surf, kayaking, and swim. But, seriously, some of my friends train for marathons and triathlons and that is not me. By the way, the two girls I went with today are runners. So, I was REALLY nervous.

So we get there and this is what you see when you begin the climb.

The "stairway" up.

So we start. I was up probably 10 steps when I thought to myself, “Oh, what was I thinking?” When we reached about 100 steps, I started to think, “I’ll just tell them to go ahead and I’ll catch up with them later. Maybe, my husband will come back with me.” I was definitely the pacesetter and the pace was slow. But, the girls were so nice and stopped so I could catch my breath. On one of our rests, this was the view:

A view of Hanauma Bay

I LOVE to take pictures. So, everything I read told me the view at the top was AWESOME and so I pressed. About halfway up, there is a “bridge”. I was so relieved to make it to this point because my reading last night told me this was halfway.


I say “bridge” because it really looks like the bottom just dropped out. The rails are still there, but no dirt. I read it’s about a 20 feet drop. There is an option to go around it, but the girls were taking the bridge, so I did too. Yeah, peer pressure at its finest. I was too chicken to walk across though and sort of bear walked it with my hands.

Finally, after numerous stops, we made it to the top. Check out what I saw:

Makapu‘u Head

Koko Crater and if you look close you see someone standing there!

Hanuama Bay

Hawaii Kai

Was it worth it? Yes, I am so happy to be able to say I did it. Would I do it again? Not sure…I have a feeling I’m going to wake up hurting for the next few days.

I am amazed at how many people ask me, “How are you adjusting to Hawaii?” I absolutely LOVE it here. There is so much to do and explore. So, if you are or have been to Hawaii, what do you recommend I check out?

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3 Responses to Crazy Koko Crater Climbing!

  1. Christa Smith

    Ahhh those pics make me REALLY miss Hawaii!

  2. Sarah Pancoast

    We were stationed at Hickam for three years! It was an amazing opportunity to be able to live there. We just moved from there to California, and are now stationed in the middle of no where Vandenberg AFB. Anyways, we hiked Koko Crater many times and these pictures are like home to me! The hike itself, dreadful, but the view is amazing as you know!!!! And I’m sure you woke up with pain but its good pain. 🙂


  3. Jodi Stewart

    Beautiful pictures and funny well written blog. We have a similar hike here in San Diego called Iron Mountain…

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