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Koko Crater arch


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Updated: November 23, 2016

Location: Koko Crater Arch is located just past the Koko Marina Shopping Center. However, instead of going up Koko Head, you drive a little further down to hike up the back side.

Type: Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate

Total Time: less than 1 hour

Distance: ~1 mile

Elevation: ~466 feet

Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: no
  • The arch is a natural rock arch on the side of Koko Crater.
  • Hiking above the arch can be extremely steep, so be cautious and take your time on that section.
  • The hike is pretty fast and straightforward, since you can see the end destination almost from the start.
  • The ground can be eroded and slippery at times so bring shoes with good grip.
  • You can go under the arch, from either the left or right side. I prefer to use the left side.
  • This hike is great for a sunrise, although we were able to see the sunset behind the mountain! The sun rises right above the ocean!

Your hiking backpack

  • Sun Screen
  • 1 to 2 Liters of water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • GoPro/camera


Take Kalanianaole Hwy towards Hawaii Kai. Drive past the windy road and park at the Halona Blowhole. Walk back along the road towards mile marker 15 and cross the road. Hop the rail and climb up the rocks. The path will lead you to the arch. There is no direct trail but it is fairly obvious where to go.

Our Journey

Everybody knows about Koko Head and is usually the first hike most people do in Hawaii. It is short, steep, and has amazing views. A lesser known trail is the Koko Crater Arch. This hike is an easy afternoon hike, which could easily be done within an hour. The arch is a natural rock formation on the side of the crater. People take pictures under the arch, and even over the arch. We parked at the Halona Blowhole and walked back on the highway towards mile marker 15. We climbed up the rocks and just followed the ridge up to the arch. There isn't really a trail to follow, but there is only one way up, and one way down. Within minutes you should be able to see the arch in the distance. Once you reach the arch, the ridge gets extremely steep. The rocks are also loose gravel so be careful with each step you take. We took the left route around the arch to get under it. I feel like this is the easier direction to get under the arch. You can also walk out in the bushes about ten feet or so to take a picture of the whole arch. We took lots of pictures and we decided to take the right side heading back. The right side has a way down and I'm pretty sure the rope is still there. And then eventually, you climb back up the rocks to get back on to the trail you took up. Instead of sliding down the rocks, you can also take the higher path to the trail faster. However, the foot holds are really narrow and you are holding on to the rocks for your life. One miss step and you would fall over the ledge. I took the high path, and my friends went down the lower path. We both met a little further down from the arch at the part where the trail turns to the left. Heading back down the trail was simple and we went down the rocks back to our car. The only difficult part of this hike would be getting to the arch, and getting down from the arch. If you continue up above the arch and continue going, the trail will lead you to the Koko Crater East Rim trail.

























Walk along the guard rails and climb up the rocks in the distance.




















Climbing up the rocks right above the rails. This is the start of the trail.



















A view of Koko Crater!



















You can see the coastline on the left.



















The arch gets fairly steep once you reach it.



















Head up the arch for a bit, and you will see a path on the left

leading around and under the arch.



















Here's a nice side view of the arch.

























We headed back taking the path on the left.

























I took the little ledge back up to the arch. My friends went down the path below.

























Looking back towards the arch.

























Heading back down the arch towards our cars.

























Here's a shot during the sunset!




















Heading down the ridge.



















For a more in depth write up about the stairs, check out Koko Head. For a more in depth write up of the full trail above the arch, check out Koko Crater East Rim.

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