Monday, January 31, 2011

Bucket List: Climb Koko Head

One hike climb that was on my to-do list most of the time we lived in Hawaii in 2007-2008 was Koko Head.  (Check out the gorgeous aerial photo of the Koko head crater on wikipedia.)  I never did it while we lived here because it was above the level of difficulty for my two little boys (at the time anyway), and there were plenty of other hikes to do around the island that I could take the boys with me.

Now that I'm back on the island for a fairly brief period of time, I made a promise to myself that I would conquer Koko Head while I was here.

You may recall a couple of posts ago, there's a wonderful view into the Koko Head crater from the trail going up Makapu'u Ridge. 

This time I had a completely different perspective of Koko Head.  There is a set of railroad tracks that were used to take supplies up to an Army coastal observation post during WWII.

Warning:  If you go climb Koko Head, be advised there is a bridge you have to cross which is open between the railroad ties down into a ravine.  This might freak out someone who is afraid of heights or who has small children with them. 

This turned out to be quite the stairmaster-type workout.  The picture above was taken from a horizontal position to show you the slope of the tracks going up the hill.

On the way up, my heart was pounding so hard I thought it would leap out of my chest.  I couldn't believe there were people passing me - RUNNING both up and down the tracks.

The view at the top was worth it...

That's Makapu'u Ridge in the distance.  
In the foreground is the other side of the Koko Head crater.

Hanauma Bay

Diamond Head

I foolishly thought that going back down would be easier than going up.  Going down was like a thousand squats.  It's not like Makapu'u where you just walk down a flat, paved trail.  Coming down those railroad ties was one careful and deep step down at a time.

Did I mention it was 1,083 feet of elevation gain in just 0.8 miles?  It took me 50 minutes to get to the top and 35 minutes to come back down.  Here are the Garmin stats with the altitude profile.

Today my legs are a bit sore and my right knee hurts, but I'm happy to cross Koko Head off of my bucket list.

1 comment:

SamanthaSimons said...

We loved Koko Head! Well, I did. Andy liked the view but not so much the hike. Until the trip down when I froze on the little bridge and my legs started shaking. That was good entertainment. We saw two different runners that were sprinting up, catching their breath and bounding back down...repeatedly.