Koko Head Crater – A Must-See Hiking Destination in Oahu
If you’re looking for a challenging hike with amazing views, the Koko Head crater is definitely worth checking out. Koko Head is a volcanic crater located in the eastern part of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. The crater is about 1,200 feet wide and 300 feet deep. It was formed about 100,000 years ago when the Koko Head volcano erupted.
Koko Head is the highest point on Oahu, rising 642 feet, or 196 meters, above sea level. It’s an ancient tuff cone that has been somewhat dwarfed by its neighboring peak, Kohelepelep (or Pu’U Mai) which reaches 1208″. The western slope of Koko’s head contains a community called Portlock, a part of Hawaiian Kai.
The Koko Head Trail is a popular hiking trail that leads to the top of the crater. The trail is about 0.8 miles long, and it takes about 45 minutes to hike up to the top. The views from the top are amazing, and you can see all of Honolulu and the surrounding islands. When the US military built bunkers on top of Koko Crater in preparation for World War II, they also installed a railroad leading to its summit.
This is evidence that HPD officers were already using this area like an airport before 1966, when the administration fell from air force control back into city hands. The Koko Head crater features steep stairs that can be challenging for some hikers. However, the views from the top are well worth the effort.
On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Diamond Head crater and the Waikiki skyline. The Koko Head crater is also a great place to watch the sunset. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, especially on hot days, as there is no shade on the trail. Visually dominating the area, Koko Crater is a large tuff cone that contains horse stables and an extensive botanical garden. The former features cacti or succulents with various shapes of specialist plants from Hawaii’s dry climate inhumated desert environments.
Koko Head is a wonderful spot for picturesque views of the ocean, with its eastern slopes overlooking Maunalua Bay and the western side marked by Waipio Valley. The topography here varies from sloping fields to dense woods that provide shelter from the sun’s rays as well as excellent hiking opportunities, depending on how far you go up into these mountains! Note that the trail can be very crowded on weekends, so try to go during the week if possible. Have fun, and be safe!