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Koko Crater Railway Trail, Honolulu

4.8
#3 of 94 in Trails in Hawaii
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Climb up 1,048 railroad ties along Koko Crater Railway Trail to reach the summit of this Hawaiian crater, famous for its views and a large botanical garden. The rail ties were installed over 60 years ago to help carry military supplies to bunkers at the top. Today, it's a popular hiking and running spot. From the summit, you can see three islands on a clear day. Be careful because certain parts of the railroad path are crumbling, and some are quite steep. Bad weather can make the hike dangerous. Take plenty of water and supplies, use good shoes, and bring sunscreen. Take a look at our Honolulu online trip itinerary maker to schedule your visit to Koko Crater Railway Trail and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Koko Crater Railway Trail reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,568 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • During our trip my group decided to do KoKo Head trail. Plenty of parking, but earlier you get there the better, heat, humid and hiking, don't always mix well together. I was sick this particular... 
    During our trip my group decided to do KoKo Head trail. Plenty of parking, but earlier you get there the better, heat, humid and hiking, don't always mix well together. I was sick this particular...  more »
  • Really tough due to the relentless incline, you’ll need proper shoes (not flip flops!). Hardest bit is at the top where it is the steepest. Also a challenge coming back down especially for short... 
    Really tough due to the relentless incline, you’ll need proper shoes (not flip flops!). Hardest bit is at the top where it is the steepest. Also a challenge coming back down especially for short...  more »
Google
  • The pictures don’t do it justice, it’s STEEP. You could experience vertigo. Overall: Delightfully challenging. And by that I mean excruciatingly difficult. Good grief was this ever a tough “hike”. Short in distance but long in duration, it can take hours to ascend if you aren’t already an athlete or strong of will. At even a reasonable fitness level this is HARD. I don’t understand people bringing children and babies to this trail. It’s the most arduous physical exertion you can find on a public trail on the island that is legal to access. It’s also free, yay. DO NOT ATTEMPT without water and a strong will. Yes super athletes can summit in just 15 minutes. It took us around 2 hours pacing ourselves and resting 16 times. There’s no Sun cover and there are dangerous abandoned structures at the top of the route. Don’t stand on them. Enjoy the view though because it’s magnificent. And don’t worry if clouds appear or it rains. Just wait a half hour and then it’ll be clear again! Going up between 7-11am is best to avoid the sun. Bring a light rain coat if you want to be mega prepared. Good hiking boots are NOT optional. So again in list form: -7-11am -water -camera/phone -light rain coat or stoic attitude -high quality hiking boots and socks -maybe even gloves if you want to do any scrambling on all fours as this makes it easier to ascend! -don’t bring your baby or young kids unless they’re super athletes. -NOT accessible or disability friendly in any way at all -parking is easy and free -you can donate to help conservation efforts by a QR code placed on the trail. Please other reviewers stop calling this easy. You are way above average fitness. I’m average fitness. It’s hard. Very hard. :)
  • My friend and I mocked this hike when we drove up to it. "This will be easy. The distance isn't even that far. I bet we can get up and down in an hour." I suppose it was karma then that we ended up drenched in sweat by the end of this hike. True, it wasn't a long hike but it is exposed the entire way and steep! We passed alot of people that were pretty much dying. I'm thankful that I have the natural advantage of living at a higher altitude. The hike itself is a uniquely fun experience since you're walking up an old railroad the entire way. The view from the top is wonderful and it's great to cool off and soak in the view after all of that uphill physical exertion. The physical part of this hike isn't "fun" but it was a really cool experience and I'm glad we decided to do it!

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