Koko Crater Railway Trail
Koko Crater Railway Trail
4.5
About
Also known as the "Koko Head Stairs," this abandoned WWII railway track is a steep and challenging hiking trail with over 1,000 steps (but worth it for the panoramic views).
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  • Anita S
    Lake Cowichan, Canada77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    61yr old and out of shape....GO FOR IT
    Took taxi to Koko Head from Waikiki ($$) arrived by 10am. Lots of other hikers. I was nervous about completing this hike but just took it slow and steady. Lots of places to step off trail which I did frequently. Being railroad ties and not actual steps was def interesting! I didn't cross "bridge" part went around. Felt incredibly proud of myself when I reached the top! I kept hiking up dirt trail to metal platform at very top and wow the views. Loved looking into crater and towards Waikiki. I spent a hour at top just sitting on platform and enjoying views. Going back down I was very careful and mindful of every step. I actually went sideways AND held on to railway metal rail lol. I didn't care how I looked! Yes it was steep from top. When I felt more comfortable I let go of rail and still went sideways. I made sure I moved aside for everyone passing me. Yes some were running...up and down...wow. This is a challenging but doable hike. Go for it! I took bus back to Waikiki. Walked to plaza, took a bus to transfer station then #23. Was about a hour to get back to Waikiki
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 15 May 2023
  • Jim K
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not for the faint of heart but great views
    Very steep steps to top of Koko Head; if you have any issues wit heights or not very fit this may not be for you. If you make it to the top (30-90 minutes depending on pace) you are rewarded with a great workout and views. There is plenty of room to pull off to side and rest if needed.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 15 May 2023
  • Sarah B
    Boston, Massachusetts152 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quite a workout and view
    This hike will kick your butt and then some. Be prepared for that and you’ll be fine. Not for someone who doesn’t have an established fitness routine with cardio and endurance. You’ll hear such folks (myself included) questioning their choices on the way up! Did not make it to the top, the last 90 feet are nearly vertical, just brutal, I couldn’t do it and tapped out. But even the view from there was fabulous! No regrets.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 June 2023
  • Ron
    Tampa, Florida14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good tough hike
    I hiked Koko head on my last day in Hawaii. Koko head is pretty challenging but the view from top is worth the hike. Definitely hike at your own pace and bring water. Best time to hike is early morning or during sunset. Aloha
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 1 August 2023
  • Chris Pouliot
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Challenging but the view is worth it!
    The climb up is something that needs to be done in the morning before it gets too hot. The view at the top is breathtaking, well worth the effort. Beware on your way down however as it is easy to slip and tumble (my wife did and got banged up). Took us 1h40mins to get up going slowly and taking multiple breaks. Bring lots of water and snacks as there is nothing available at the top....
    Visited August 2023
    Written 5 August 2023
  • Happiness54300038802
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good challenge for 76 yo man
    My son’s family lives near Koko head and impulsively I went one midday. I didn’t feel all that well at about 900’ (of 1,000’) so I didn’t finish and just came back down. I’m short so the stairs were tougher for me then, say a switch back trail. Also, I felt insecurity with footing and had to be cautious, otherwise I envisioned slipping and damaging a knee or worse. Because I didn’t get to the top I can’t really give it a proper review, but I can say that the next time I’m over there, I’m bringing hiking pole(s). What I liked best was the exertion level by time as it has the right amount of both for me.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 10 November 2023
  • Alexis O
    Grand Rapids, Michigan170 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Views at the Top
    This was hands down the most physically demanding and mentally challenging hike I’ve ever done, but the views at the top made it worth EVERY bit of suffering! The key things to keep in mind are to take it slow, bring and drink LOTS of water, go EARLY to avoid the heat, and pay attention to where you’re walking. This would not be a good hike in wind or rain. There are lots of places to pull off the trail to take breaks and there is a section that is pretty sketchy with exposed drop between the rail ties, but there is a bypass if you want to play it safe!
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 December 2023
  • Paul Stewart
    Cameron Park, California9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a beast, but nothing like you have done!
    I like to push myself on certain hikes and this a great one to test you. That said, I believe anyone can do it, but you just need to pace yourself and rush. Just turn around when you are out of gas and enjoy the view, then March on. They have pullouts to rest and sit if needed. One water bottle is enough, but a cool drink waiting for you in the car….🙏🏻👊🏼 I you are not afraid of heights and can focus well, take the railroad ties all the way up and down. If not, take the dirt trail pull-out for the section where the ties have a 40-50 drop underneath the gaps. Once at the top, explore the different paths for the plethora of views.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 December 2023
  • CEO
    Haleiwa, Hawaii763 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Views from the top.
    We hiked up to the top of Koko Crater on Tuesday at around 8 am. The trail was not too busy this early in the morning. And the sun is not as intense as later on in the day. It took us around 35 minutes to reach the top. We made several 1-2 minute stops to enjoy the views and take pictures. The steps are well maintained. Wear sport/hiking shoes with good support and grip. Steps are higher than standard stairs. It's safer to hike on a dry day. I suspect it can get slippery when the steps and loose gravel are wet. The best rewards when reaching the top are the awesome views. We hiked down after about 20 minutes. The hike down was faster. Watch your steps and be careful on the way down. There is no need to rush. We stepped aside to let people pass. Parking is free. There are bathrooms at the park but none on the trail. It's good to bring water and stay hydrated.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 March 2024
  • Noelle DeLeon
    Baltimore, Maryland36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A challenging hike but worth it!
    It is truly an amazing accomplishment to get to tackle this hike. It was so nice to experience people being kind and uplifting to other people. We all wanted to finish this hike. Definitely worth your time and effort to get to see the views from the top. Loved the renovations they have done to make the trail safer.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 March 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,630 reviews
Excellent
1,945
Very good
559
Average
98
Poor
14
Terrible
14

Joe R
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Haven't hiked in years but managed- just. Partner chose to stay midway as it does get much steeper as you get closer to the top. Definitely take water and good shoes and was extremely windy off the main tracks at the top by the cliff edge. Highley recommend.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kchaney16412
Plymouth, IN14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This was on our list to do and the more we read and talked to others, we really doubted whether or not we could do this! haha. We traveled as a family with a 17 year old son and almost 14 year old son. We are all pretty active in our daily life and this was still TOUGH! We went as early in the morning as we could per recommendations. We had to rent a car and the rental car shop didn’t open until 8, so I’d say we didn’t get to Koko until 9 or so. We packed plenty of snacks and water and brought a light backpack and wore plenty of sunscreen. This was a brutal hike from the first stair. My husband didn’t make it more than halfway. He was afraid of injuring himself. My sons and I made it to the top, but needed to take several breaks along the way. There is plenty of step offs. The views from the top were breathtaking and worth the climb. But it was really hard. I would do it again, especially since I know what to expect now. I would still recommend going early in the day and taking fruit/nuts/water to eat along the way up or at the top before you come back down. Great experience! and it is FREE!
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian F
Toronto, Canada22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
One of the few free, but awesome adventures on Oahu. As everyone says...go early, take water, and for any weekend warriors..take your time and rest often, to make sure you get to the top. The look out is great.

Two days later, and my calves and quads are still burning, buy worth it.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noelle DeLeon
Baltimore, MD36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
It is truly an amazing accomplishment to get to tackle this hike. It was so nice to experience people being kind and uplifting to other people. We all wanted to finish this hike. Definitely worth your time and effort to get to see the views from the top. Loved the renovations they have done to make the trail safer.
Written 4 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CEO
Haleiwa, HI763 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We hiked up to the top of Koko Crater on Tuesday at around 8 am. The trail was not too busy this early in the morning. And the sun is not as intense as later on in the day. It took us around 35 minutes to reach the top. We made several 1-2 minute stops to enjoy the views and take pictures. The steps are well maintained. Wear sport/hiking shoes with good support and grip. Steps are higher than standard stairs. It's safer to hike on a dry day. I suspect it can get slippery when the steps and loose gravel are wet. The best rewards when reaching the top are the awesome views. We hiked down after about 20 minutes. The hike down was faster. Watch your steps and be careful on the way down. There is no need to rush. We stepped aside to let people pass. Parking is free. There are bathrooms at the park but none on the trail. It's good to bring water and stay hydrated.
Written 1 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jehovich Medina
Jacksonville, FL52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
It was definitely a great challenge which I knew wouldn’t be easy but definitely achievable average time to complete between 30 minutes to an hour. My wife and I completed the hike in 48 minutes.
Written 26 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

meganwesley
Gainesville, VA24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
An awesome and unique challenge! Doable with lots of breaks going up. Mind over matter and steady footing on the way down.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah J
London, Canada5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Amazing views from the top. Steep and many steps, but you can rest to the side on the way up as frequently as you need.
No shade, so recommend early in the day or cloudy day.
Worth the climb!
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul Stewart
Cameron Park, CA9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
I like to push myself on certain hikes and this a great one to test you. That said, I believe anyone can do it, but you just need to pace yourself and rush. Just turn around when you are out of gas and enjoy the view, then March on. They have pullouts to rest and sit if needed. One water bottle is enough, but a cool drink waiting for you in the car….🙏🏻👊🏼

I you are not afraid of heights and can focus well, take the railroad ties all the way up and down. If not, take the dirt trail pull-out for the section where the ties have a 40-50 drop underneath the gaps.

Once at the top, explore the different paths for the plethora of views.
Written 30 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexis O
Grand Rapids, MI170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
This was hands down the most physically demanding and mentally challenging hike I’ve ever done, but the views at the top made it worth EVERY bit of suffering! The key things to keep in mind are to take it slow, bring and drink LOTS of water, go EARLY to avoid the heat, and pay attention to where you’re walking. This would not be a good hike in wind or rain. There are lots of places to pull off the trail to take breaks and there is a section that is pretty sketchy with exposed drop between the rail ties, but there is a bypass if you want to play it safe!
Written 22 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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KOKO CRATER RAILWAY TRAIL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Koko Crater Railway Trail

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