Time: <1 HOUR
Distance: 0.5 MILES
Elevation Gain: 250 FEET
Foot Traffic: LOW
Challenges: Short steep climb with loose rock
Sights: The Arch, Halona Blowhole, Halona Beach Cove
What to Bring: Nothing necessary
This very short, yet lesser known hike gives a different perspective of the popular tourist destination, Koko Head Crater. A short hike from the Halona Blowhole will allow you to see this magnificent rock arch while also getting incredible views of the Pacific.
Well it was Valentine's Day. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I was single and still had not found future Mrs. Steve, I decided to take my mind off it and go for a hike. What better hike then the short, yet beautiful Koko Crater Arch Hike.
The best place to park for this hike is at the Halona Blowhole Lookout. CAUTION: Car break-ins are very common in many of these popular tourist destinations. On the day I did this hike, the window of my car was smashed and two bags were taken (Happy Valentines Day to me). Luckily, I've always anticipated this happening so I never leave valuables in my car. It's one of those nuisances we have to deal with to live in this incredible place.
Since we are here, we might as well take a quick stop at the blowhole. The tide was pretty low and the water calm, so we weren't able to see any good spray.
Now time for the hike. This hike starts by taking a left out the parking lot and walking up the highway. The shoulder is plenty big enough for you to walk, but I do recommend walking against oncoming traffic... just in case.
That will also give you a better view of Halona Beach Cove, another awesome place to chill on this side of the island.
When you see Mile 15 marker on the other side of the highway, that is your cue to cross. The best way up the cliff is just past this point, where the guardrail comes to an end. At the top right of this photo you can see a couple people walking. That is where we are going.
Right as the guardrail ends, get off the highway. There are plenty of footholds and grabs over here, so it should be easy to climb up to the "ridge." You definitely want to get on top here, because it will be much more difficult later. This is the only technically challenging part of the hike.
Blinded by the light!
It won't take long before you are on top of the ridge. If you turn around, you can see awesome views of the outside of Koko Head Crater as well as the coastline.
But we came here for the arch. I love this shot of the couple walking on the ridge with the sun in the background, so romantic for a Valentine's Day hike. If you look at the top right corner of the photo, you can just barely see a white spot. That is the arch.
It's pretty easy to find the Arch, just follow the natural shape of the ridge and you will be led right to it. This couple is currently walking towards the Arch, but they will have to take a right to get off the ridge to get underneath the Arch.
And that right will lead you here. This part of the hike is actually pretty steep, but it's the best way to get below the Arch. Beware, there are some small loose rocks during this part, so try to be careful your hiking partner below you doesn't take one to the face.
But after that little bit of effort, you will arrive underneath the arch. It feels a lot bigger and more impressive here than when you see it in the distance.
And there's also plenty of opportunities for good photo ops.
But for me, just getting to the arch wasn't enough, I wanted to get on top of it. I do not recommend most do this, this is considerably more challenging than the rest of the hike and a lot more dangerous. It's a somewhat steep climb...
...And you have to tiptoe around this small little ridge.
But the view is a little bit better up here...
And I was able to snag this pretty sweet photo of the sun setting below the opposite ridge...
....But let's be honest, the real reason you climb on top of the arch is for the insta opportunity. #forthegram
Check out my video of this short and sweet hike!
Have you experienced this natural wonder of Oahu? Tell your story below!
Also Check Out:
- Wikipedia's post about Halona Blowhole
- Unreal Hawaii's story about the Koko Head Arch