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Crouching Lion Loop Hike


"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

Updated: April 5, 2017

Location: Located in Kaaawa, this hike overlooks the beautiful Kahana Bay!

Type: Forest/Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate

Total Time: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: ~1 mile

Elevation: ~600 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • This hike is a mini hike that can continue on to other ridge hikes. This write up is just about the loop hike.
  • The Crouching Lion hike goes up to a rock face that is supposed to look like a lion crouching looking out towards the ocean.
  • The Crouching Lion Inn was a nice spot for lunch after, but it has recently closed down.
  • Taking the clockwise or left path of the loop leads you directly to the rock face.
  • Taking the counter clockwise or right path leads you up to the side ridge, which ultimately will lead you up to Pu'u Manamana.
  • Both paths are about the same distance and difficulty.
  • The trail is becoming very weathered and slippery due to the foot traffic. Be careful when climbing the steeper parts and use the ropes or tree branches if you need to.
  • The hike is short, but can be steep at parts. Take your time and take breaks.
  • This hike is a popular trail, so expect to have a bunch of other hikers on this hike as well.
  • The view overlooks Kahana Bay and the shore line.

Your hiking backpack

  • 1 Liter of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Sunscreen
  • GoPro camera
  • Mosquito repellent (if raining or muddy)


Take the H3, Likelike, or Pali towards Kaneohe. Continue onto Kamehameha Hwy and then onto Kahekili Hwy. Continue on past Kaaawa until you reach Kahana Bay. Before the road starts bending around the bay, you will see a dirt parking lot on the right side. You will see signs for the start of the trail.

Our Journey

This is a fun and short hike. There's always amazing views the whole way up. I was planning to go back to this hike and fly my drone, but it was still being fixed. Luckily some of my buddies brought theirs and were flying them around. The hike started at the dirt parking lot. We crossed the street and headed into the forest on an obvious trail and signs. Within five minutes you will see the trail split between left and right. The left trail isn't so obvious, but it is more direct to the rock. We chose the right route and did the loop counter clockwise. The trail can be steep at parts, but nothing too difficult. There are lots of spots to take breaks and soak in the views of Kahana Bay behind you. We ended up on the ridge and could see the path leading up to Pu'u Manamana above us. However, we weren't planning to do that hike today, so we took a left after about five minutes. The side ridge lead us into a foresty area and then opened up right below the rock face. We climbed up, took some photos and continued on to the other rock like summit. After a nice break, we headed back down the other trail into the forest to complete the loop. The dirt was slippery and steep at parts, but there were a lot of ropes and branches to hold on to. We descended pretty fast and came back to where we started. The whole loop took us about an hour or so. It was a great hike with amazing views!


























We entered the forest through a pretty obvious trail head.


























On our way up. We gained elevation pretty fast!


























A cool tree on the way up. Nice spot for a hammock!


























We contoured to the right of this vertical rock face.


























The view opened up behind us!


























Continuing up the steep climbs.


























Rays of sunlight shined in through the clouds.


























Up on the ridge within twenty minutes.


























The views of Kahana Bay were amazing!


























Walking up the ridge for a bit, we took a left and headed back into the forest.


























Within five minutes, the views open up and you are greeted with the Crouching Lion!


























Amazing views, but steep drop offs. Be careful!


























The views from on top of the rock.


























The greatest game you'll ever play...LIFE.


























The hiking crew today. Ready to take pictures!





























Heading over to the other rock summit.


























The view of the city below was amazing.


























Sitting under the shade. The rocks are sharp here.


























A view at the top! Beautiful!


























Heading back down the other path to complete the loop.


























Still some amazing views the whole way down!


























We found a nice hammock spot to relax!


























The eroded dirt path. Very slippery.


























And back where we started!

We headed back to our cars and enjoyed some Waiahole Poi Factory for lunch.

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Crouching Lion Loop Hike
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