Koko Crater Railway Trail-Honolulu, Hawaii


When my friend Sarah of the popular Instagram SDFearless asked if I wanted to go on a “little” hike in Honolulu before we hit the beach I said sure. As we approached the Koko Crater Railway trailhead a woman walked briskly to her car panting that she needed water. An older woman approached us her face stoic, she said “If you can’t finish, it’s okay. Just pace yourself. It’s okay to give up.” Her words fueled my apprehension.

Stepping from rail to rail was easy at first. However as the trail became steeper and the sun beat down I began to doubt my ability to complete the hike. Suddenly there was a bridge with no railings to cross, the view of the ground below in between the railway ties was terrifying. I focused on the rail directly in front of me moving from rail to rail till I made it across. Sarah barely broke a sweat and ran up portions of the trail. The last stretch of the trail was excruciatingly steep. Even using my hands to pull myself up my knees were still burning. My head filled with dizziness and I felt nauseous.  I had to rest every ten feet until my head cleared and the nausea subsided. After ten feet or so it returned, the lack of shade was draining. My friend Sarah was very patient with me, she smiled and offered to call it day and go to the beach. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t make it to the top. Progress was slow, when we finally reached the top Sarah took a victory picture. I’ll let you look at the photos below-the scenery made up for every difficulty hiking up.

Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI 08-IMG_4499-001 Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI 11-IMG_4550-001 12-IMG_4562-001 07-IMG_4524-001 09-IMG_4548-001 10-IMG_4527-001 Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI 16-IMG_4426-001 Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI Koko Crater Railway Trail - Honolulu, HI

34 comments
  1. Afterglobe

    August 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Nice work! You did it! Some of those hikes aren't easy. Of course, then you had to go back down, right?

    Reply
  2. Paul Gravdahl

    August 7, 2013 at 12:51 am

    That is such a cool hike! Bet the beach and a cold drink really was nice after that!

    Reply
  3. George Powasnick

    August 7, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Me and my friend Frank met you and Sarah at the top. I helped take a few photos of you and Sarah together.
    Good summary of the climb….it was VERY challenging. Interestingly most at the top felt a connection as they had achieved a rewarding personal goal and could relate in the euphoria most felt.
    Good luck in your travels!

    Reply
  4. tom

    August 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This looks like such a sweet hike. I like how there is no messing and its just straight up no windy bends and stuff plus the views are definitely worth it.

    Mind you I’m not so sure flip flops were the best footwear ;)
    tom recently posted…Lagos Nightlife – PortugalMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Franca

    August 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

    It must have been pretty though, but the great feeling you had once you completed the hike and you were right at the top must have paid off surely! Well done!

    Reply
  6. Tom

    August 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Great photos and it must have been a great trip! I wish I could climb it… I hope some day!! Amazing views. You’ve got a great blog!
    Tom recently posted…Exploring The Sites of ChinaMy Profile

    Reply
  7. Megan Claire

    August 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Lol “little” hike – Love it! You’re pictures are amazing, I can’t wait to get to Honolulu now just to do this hike. Great post Anna – thanks for sharing :)
    Megan Claire recently posted…Incredible InsectsMy Profile

    Reply
  8. Jenna

    August 10, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Looks like a pretty intense hike, but a fun one too! Congrats on making it to the top! The views look beautiful and it’s cool that the path is the tracks
    Jenna recently posted…Iceland Travel Tips From A Local & TravelerMy Profile

    Reply
  9. Darcy Vawser

    August 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Wow! What a workout! Do you know why someone built the railway up a mountain side? :)

    Reply
  10. Travelex Traveler

    August 13, 2013 at 5:18 am

    It is going that extra mile, making it to the end that is most fulfilling! Well done!

    Reply
  11. John J Donatelli

    August 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    OMG, that's just freaking awesome Anna, great job!

    Reply
  12. Leo

    August 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    That looks fun! I know those stairs would have even kicked my ass! Great pics Anna! You must of have felt great getting to the top!

    Reply
  13. Karla

    September 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Wow! What an original trail & what a hike that was!

    Going up must be quite a challenge but you are rewarded with a fab view ;)

    Congrats on making it!
    Karla recently posted…Capture the colour 2013My Profile

    Reply
  14. Will Parsons

    December 28, 2013 at 1:32 am

    HiAnna,
    Great story and excellent pictures. I too am fascinated by the railway track; did you find out what it was all about.
    When you come to New Zealand come and see us and share some of your stories,
    Cheers
    Will

    Reply
  15. Lester Privott

    December 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Excellent story! Looks like you had a great time, I am looking forward to future posts.

    Reply
  16. Ruth

    January 6, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I can’t believe you did this hike in flip flops! I have done the Diamond Head hike in Honolulu. When I go back I want to do this one. Amazing views!
    Ruth recently posted…Happy New Year and Third Anniversary!My Profile

    Reply
    • Petra

      June 27, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      That was my thought too ;) you made it extra hard by not wearing proper shoes but I bet you knew that already ;)

      Reply
  17. sol

    April 22, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Amazing Views! And glad to see having an adventure like that. I want to try it in the future.

    Reply
  18. Lales Wanderlust

    June 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Great view! Glad you made it to the top AND wearing flip flops! Those are the types of hikes that feel so hard going up, but going down is even worst

    Reply
  19. Lales Wanderlust

    June 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Great view! Glad you made it to the top AND wearing flip flops! Those are the types of hikes that feel so hard going up, but going down is even worst

    Reply
  20. Pingback: The Volcanic Landmarks of Oahu, Hawaii – The Conclusion | VolcanoCafé |

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