Hiking Koko Head

The adventure of the weekend was hiking Koko Head crater. Now, when I saw “hike” I want you to understand that I use the word very liberally. The background starts with World War II when a radar station was put at the top of the crater and a tram was run up to the top of the crater head. After WW II the tram rails were taken apart and laid into steps for the trail. Basically the “hike” is an increasingly steep 1 mile incline up  an uneven and gravelly “staircase”

Looks like fun, right? I think if Dave had been on his own he would have made it to the top without stopping. As it was, he had me slowing him down, so we took a few stops for Gatorade and water. I was struggling by the time we got to the top (though not as much as some of the tourists we saw), but the view at the top was totally worth it.

Aside from the view, the most incredible thing to me were the people hiking it. On one end of the spectrum were the locals out for a little “light” morning exercise.

And on the other end out of shape tourists who honestly had no business being on such a steep trail head. Case in point, we actually saw a man being air lifted off on the way down. About a 1/2 mile up the trail is a trestle bridge spanning over a 10 foot deep gorge. The man was heavier set and middle aged. He was on the trail head side of the bridge, and it looked like he either stumbled when he tried to cross it and fell a little (not into the gorge luckily. He was lying right where the bridge began and there was still an incline into the gorge).

He wasn’t the only one we saw that shouldn’t have been trying to hike Koko Head, though. Especially as we neared the top, increasing numbers of people were sitting on the sides of the trestles, gasping for breath and almost none of them had water with them. Aside from their own health concerns, this actually made the top of the trail all the more dangerous. With the locals jogging the narrow trail, and the tourists (myself included), barely dragging themselves up, there was more than one incident when it looked like an accident was about to happen.

I guess it all comes down to knowing your surroundings and your capabilities. For one, I’m motivated to getting better in shape, so next time I’m not dying by the time I reach the top!

Pictures credit actually goes to Dave on this one. (We hiked all the way to the top before I realized my SD card in my computer instead of the Nikon.) Since credit should always come with a blog link (in my book), you can find his here and here (full disclosure, you’re about to jump to financial blogs).



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