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, Cockroach Cove
What to Bring: Closed Toed Shoes
This quick hike gives you a different perspective of the popular tourist destination, Koko Crater. A short, but steep trek from the nearby Halona Blowhole will allow you to see this magnificent natural rock arch, giving you some great views of the coast and the exterior of the crater. Be sure to bring your camera--it's a perfect place to grab a couple photos for the gram!
Sometimes you just need a quick hiking fix. Nothing too long, a place to move your legs, find a nice perch, and take in your natural surroundings. Such was my mood when I decided to revisit Koko Crater Arch. As always, it hit the spot.
This trail follows one of the ridges on the crater's exterior to take you up to the arch. Very short, but it does get steep.
Parking for the hike can be found at the popular Halona Blowhole. This place is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the area, so it is very possible you may have to wait for a parking spot. There are some places people park along the highway as well, but I personally feel safer with my car in the lot. The lookout gives you a great view of world famous Sandy's AKA "Breakneck" Beach, but the view is even better from the arch.
On the other side of the lookout is Halona Cove or Cockroach Beach. Not the biggest beach, but there's a nice little cliff jump and a lava tube you can explore.
But we are here for the arch. Finding the path isn't overly difficult. Head left (when facing the crater) along the highway from the parking lot and cross the road to the crater side (watch out for cars!!). Once the guardrail ends, climb up the rocks to the crest of the ridge. This is the only truly sketchy part of the hike since you are scrambling up the edge of a rocky ridge with a decent dropoff,
Make sure you get up to the crest of the ridge right away, otherwise it will be harder later. You can actually see the arch from here... if you know where to look. It sort of blends into the background of the crater.
Do you see it yet? That's fine we will get a closer look. Continue to follow the spine of the ridge.
Eventually the ridge will loop right towards the crater. This arch is directly in front of us.
First, let's go under the arch. There's paths on both sides, but I think the left side is slightly easier. The ascent to the arch, is steep, so expect a nice little calf burn.
And we're here! It doesn't take much more than 15 minutes to get here.
It really is such a unique formation. I'm not sure why, of all the crater's ridges, this one has a big a hole in it. But it does. And so, we hike to it.
And take pictures. If you head to the left (when facing the crater), you can find a little path through the trees that gives you a different perspective of the arch. If you have a friend who wants to climb on the top of the arch, this is a perfect spot for a photo.
Or if you are solo like me, you can use your drone for a little arch seflie. Because let's be honest, the real reason you climb on top of the arch is for the insta opportunity. #forthegram
But there is something so magical about this spot. A pretty natural gem overlooking some incredible coastal views. This hike may not be long, but it certainly is sweet.
Check out my video of this little 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