Recently I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Hawaii on a work trip. We were staying in Waikiki and there were a group of us who decided we’d take on an early morning hike up Koko head.

At 4.50am we jumped into an Uber and set off on our adventure. Koko head is located about a 25min drive from Waikiki. We made the trek up the Koko head trail in the dark with the goal to reach the top before sunrise. It’s a steep and challenging hike and the track is simply an old and very worn out rail track built during World War II.

Parts of the track are worn away and unsteady and with the humidity it can be very slippery. About 1/3 of the way up you cross a bridge that drops off to the bush below. We didn’t quite realise how dangerous the bridge section of the trial was until we returned back down the track in daylight. The last part of the trek up is very steep and some of the track is worn away making the height of the steps big enough that you need to use your upper body to climb over. Climbing up in the dark was incredible. Turning around and watching the city lights behind you and the nights sky slowly change colour as we got higher up the mountain.

We reached the top just before sunrise, hot, sweaty and tired. There was a refreshing breeze at the top and the silence of the morning sky was beautiful. We waited for the sun to rise and took in all the changes of the colours of the sky, ocean and the land around us. It was spectacular! The 360 degree views from the top looking back over the island are amazing!

After a little rest and a good look around soaking up the view, it was time to head back down. I did find the way down physically much easier than the way up but was completely surprised at the state of the track and what I had actually climbed in the dark.

The track itself isn’t easy but it’s only about 40-50 min walk to the top taking your time and quicker coming down. It’s a little challenge getting to the top, for the reward of the views that await when you get to the top. I’d highly recommend doing it around sunrise as it would be unbearable in the heat of the day. If you love hiking, it’s a must do when visiting Waikiki. A quick adventure that got us back to our hotel by 8am, ready to start our day.


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