Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,144.00 ft (348.69 m)
Trail type
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike up Koko Crater is short and sweet but quite steep. In less than half a mile and 900 feet, you climb up 1,000+ stairs under the Hawaiian sun. The climb, however, is very much worth it; on the top, you’re rewarded with sweeping views of the 32,000 years old Hanauma Bay, the ocean in the south, and the mountains in the north.

Koko Crater is a cinder cone near Hanauma Bay. This roughly 7,000 years old, tallest, and best-preserved cinder and ash cone, juts up above the rest of the surrounding land like an impressive candy corn piece and one look at it might discourage any attempt at summiting it even before it had begun. 

The trail is accessible without the car; the bus goes quite near and the mile-long walk from the bus stop to the bottom of the stairs makes for a nice warm-up and cool-down. (The best part about starting at the bus stop? Most days, there's a Leonard's Bakery truck with hit malasadas!)

Get off the bus/start at the Koko Marina Center. From there, follow Lunalilo Home Road for 0.3 mile, then turn left onto Anapalau Street. Walk straight until you reach a park with a few fields and a bathroom, about half a mile. Walk through the parking lot that’s up ahead, then turn left past the field onto the smaller Koko Head Park Road. You’ve just done your one-mile warm-up.

Prepare for what’s ahead as you follow the road for 0.3 mile until you reach the bottom of the stairs; then start climbing. Somebody lugged up bricks that proudly announce how many stairs you’ve climbed. You can keep track that way as your brain focuses solely on survival.

About halfway up is a bridge bypass. It’s good for those who don’t like heights (the railway is several feet off the ground there and it’s very obvious) or those who like to stay unharmed in case the day you’re there is the day the slightly unstable bridge falls.

At the end of the stairs, simply follow the footpath that’s there a bit higher up. After what might feel like the longest half-mile of your life, you’ll reach the top. Enjoy the views; you’ve earned it!

To get back, simply retrace your steps. Be careful on the stairs; some people have more trouble with the descent than the ascent. The tired legs don’t work as well as they should and it’s a long way down; you wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of the crater by rolling.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Short hike that packs a punch. Gorgeous views. Fun challenge.


Very exposed. Challenging descent.

Trailhead Elevation

20.00 ft (6.10 m)

Highest point

1,222.00 ft (372.47 m)


Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Potable water
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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