Originally Beimes, Justin and I planned to do Puu Manamana but bad weather conditions forced us to choose another hike. I was pretty bummed as we all tried to think of an alternative because the entire Koolau Mountain Range was in the clouds. Just when everything seemed point less, Justin suggested hiking Koko Crater. My newfound sadness turned to excitement for I have seen many pictures of its backside and know it to be HTMC’s traditional New Year’s hike. I couldn’t wait to ascend the rocks and Koko Crater’s rim.
Cara and Nate decided to join us as well, and we all met at Koko Head Tracks. We then drove to the Blow Hole Lookout. From there we crossed the street, and walked over the guardrail to head up one of the ridges. Although we weren’t sure which one to ascend we knew once on top we’d be able to see where the trail led. Sure enough a faded dirt path showed the way, and soon the famous natural arch came into view. I was stoked to climb the bridge but stayed behind to take pictures of the view. One by one everyone gunned the arch’s rock face. Only Cara was left as I neared, and it was then I noticed there was no rope to aid in the ascent. I tried to guide Cara up but she was not used to climbing rocks, let alone smooth rocks, nor trusted herself to run it. I soon realized I would need to find her an alternative route if we were going to complete this hike. I peered over the edge and noticed a path along the side. Although I really, really, really wanted to be on top of the arch we made our way down the left side and walked under it. Cara and I headed upwards, and climbed up a white rock face meeting up with the rest of the crew. Needless to say I was super disappointed, but what a feat it was for Cara and I commend her for making it.
We walked through some shrub making the steep trek to Koko Crater’s rim. It was, indeed, a workout but the views of A.D’s, Hawaii Kai, and Hanauma Bay, and nice breeze made it all worth it. Plus with the bunker in view we knew we were almost done. Upward we continued maneuvering the rim’s rocks. Some we climbed, others we walked along side or under, and a few we jumped off of. It definitely broke up the monotony of the trail, and about thirty minutes later we were sitting nicely on top Koko Head's bunker enjoying the view. We took a lot of pictures and a much needed rest before heading down. It was nice to know that in another 10 minutes of all downhill we’d be done!
Koko Crater was a pretty fun hike. I'm sure on a clear day it's hot but luckily today it was cloudy. The beautiful natural arch, rim trek, gorgeous views and easy descent make it one I'll definitely do again.