Koko Head Trail is one of those trails where you ask yourself, "Why am I doing this again?" I am not sure of the numbers of steps it takes to get up to the top but it's a lot. For the most part, the trail can be crowded later in the morning so it's best to go early. The people there range from the very fit to the "Sherpa Grandma/Grandpa." I saw kids and dogs doing this trail but don't let that fool you. You will be sweating and breathing deep about half way through.
The view from the top is breathtaking. You can, on a clear day, see all three Islands and the other side of Koko crater. There are plenty of places to hang out at the top but there were a lot of bugs when I was up there. The trail isn't very shady but there a few sections you can sneak a break.
Overall this isn't much a hike but a workout with a view at the end. Wear nice shoes (hiking shoes or Vibrams that grip) and take you're time going up and down. You don't want to hurt yourself by slipping or having a heart attack.
Afterwards I recommend getting some Shave Ice over at the shopping center. There's also a Jamba Juice or Teddy's Big Burgers. If you need a carb fix I suggest Boston's Pizza.
-There is a part of the trail where the tracks turn into a bridge with no bottom. I can be a bit scary/dangerous. There is a way around the bridge if you head to the right (shady section).
-Watch out for concrete parts of the trail. It gets covered in dirt and becomes more slippery.
-The road to the parking lot is usually closed from the Highway and you have to go through residential area (west side) to park.
-Go early when the suns not beating down on you.
-Take your time.
-Bring at least one water bottle.
-Wear a hat.
-Don't leave any valuables in the car or in plain sight of windows.
Our family is into extreme adventures, and this one did not disappoint. Our 2 teenagers counted the steps. One counted 1000 and the other counted 1003. Everything was wonderful, except the gnats at the top. We listened to a local who said to duck down and that seemed to be better. The top was pretty crowded, but we are from a large city, so it did not bother us. Visited 5 days ago
Koko is a "no, no" for the week or weary.
This trail is really just a brutal set of steps going straight up the side of a crater. The “tracks” are heavily abused and can be crowded.
The view at sunset is spectacular as you can see diamond head/Honolulu from the ridge and in the same span look over your shoulder down the inside of the crater.
FYI…Going up is actually easier than going down (ouch-ie, my knees go crunch). However, if you plan ahead you can get back down the easier way if plan a lift from the botanical gardens on the northeast side of the crater.
This one is definately for those with some masochistic tendancies! The walk up is a very straight, steep, disused railway which never seems to end however the view from the top is truely awesome and with a bit of luck you will think the trip up worth it.
Take care on way down as it can get very tiring on the legs.
Don't do this hike in the heat or if your unfit. Visited on Jul 20, 2011