For anyone that lives or has lived in Hawaii, you know the arduous summit that is Koko Head Crater Stairs. It’s a hike made of 1,065 railroad tie “steps”. I use this term loosely, because in my mind, steps are plush and carpeted. These…not so much. Hiking in Hawaii was completely overwhelming to me when we first moved here. In fact, this Oahu hike was the first one Dane ever did and he kept saying “oh, you’ve got to go with me!” And I just kind of nervously laughed to myself because hello – all those steps at such a steep incline is insanely intimidating. I’m happy to say that nearly 7 years later…this Oahu Hawaii hike is my FAVORITE! Koko Head is steep, nauseating and completely amazing once you get to the top. I’ve dragged more than 1 friend and multiple family members up there to prove it 😉 If you’re contemplating the hike, here’s what you need to know about hiking the Koko Head Stairs in Hawaii!
Hiking Hawaii: Koko Head Crater Stairs
While strenuous, it’s one of my favorite hikes in all of Hawaii and is an absolute must-do if you’re here! Here are so snaps I took as proof if you’re hesitant 😉 These are all the amazing views you’ll get once you navigate yourself up the railroad tie steps. Luckily, if you get winded on the way up, there is plenty of room on both sides to step aside, catch your breath and let others pass. You’ll want to make sure you pack PLENTY OF WATER for this hike! There is no shade on Koko Head either, so pick a time that isn’t so hot!
We’ve conquered Koko Head at all hours of the day, but I think my favorite time to do it is right at sunrise. If you’ve never done the stairs before, I would not recommend this, since it requires using a head lamp at the very beginning and the railroad tie steps can be difficult to navigate if you are unsure of where you are going.
You’ll see plenty of people running to the top (not me), but don’t feel discouraged and take your time!
Dane and I have done the hike more than ten times and even dragged both sets of our parents up this mountain. While they were all EXHAUSTED at the top, they all agreed that every single step was worth it and we always treat them to a lovely brunch at the end. (19 Delicious Brunch Spots On Oahu)