Koko Crater Railway Trail, Honolulu

4.8
#3 of 81 in Trails in Hawaii
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 4.5
2,177 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The walk is very strenuous, especially if you are not in shape. The walk is a steep one, on railway ties, not steps. Many of the ties are now missing, making the climb up and down more challenging. No...  more »
  • Hike is really challenging. Some hikers throwing up on the side. View on top is great. Getting to the top gives a good feel of accomplishment.  more »
  • Decided to challenge ourselves for 4th of July and do Koko Head. Had read about it and thought it’d be tough but doable. I might have omitted some information about it to my partner to avoid him pulli...  more »
Google
  • I recommend coming here for a good work out or to enjoy the view. Parking is free and I suggest you get here in the morning since it won't be too hot later on. Most of the regular or fit athlete comes here in the morning like at 5 or 6am. They usually finish the run pretty quick but for most people who don't exercise like me then it can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours if you take some break in between. I recommend wearing shoes with some traction since there are dirt and you have to get a grip when going down. There is one part where you can take a side trail if you are scared of height. This part is about 40 feet drop from the floor and you just have to be careful. I've seen people done this trail in flip flop and even dogs doing it. It isn't hiking but more like climbing 1500 steps of stairs. Once you get up to the top, it's worth it since you get a nice breeze and take loads pictures. I definitely recommend a bottle of water, some sun screen and shoes with traction or grip of this is your 1st time. I don't consider myself a outdoor hiker but anyone can do it. This trail is going to get your whole back wet and legs shaking and even stomach cramping. Overall, many locals run on this trail for their workout and there is a reason for that. Great workout with a rewarding view at the top versus a stairmaster that don't give the same feeling.
  • This was a brutal hike, even for someone who hikes regularly. But the view is so worth it. A few notes: bring water, a camera, and good shoes. There are quite a few people on the trail so be prepared to make room and share the space. There's a part with a bridge, so if you're afraid of heights like I am, take your time and be careful, or take the longer path around that part. Bonus: there's a bunch of cool WW2 building left up there with graffiti on them, and a view of the other side of the mountain if you go up further. Be careful though, it's very windy and the cliffs are no joke.
  • Killer little hike, but gets busy on the weekend. Sketchy railroad ties are your steps to the top. Be sure you got the right foot ware on. You’ll def feel it if your looking to get a burn. I’m in reasonable shape and the first time was challenging. I felt coming down was just as challenging. But what a view at the top!
  • One of the hardest things I've ever done, but I was in average shape at the time. Started the hike just after sunrise, and I was sweating buckets in about 10 minutes. I took my time going up, stopping to catch my breath. Start early, wear a hat, bring water!! Enjoy the view at the top. There's a spot where the ground underneath the tracks drops away, so if you're afraid of heights that might make you nervous. Just stay focused on the tracks.
  • The way up wasn't bad. I'm in okay shape and I did it in 30 min. Take your time on the way down. There are plenty of places to slip and trip if you're tired or not looking where you step. Neat little bunkers and beautiful vistas await at the top.
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