Ka'au Crater

A hidden crater high up the Ko'olau
DATE: 22 June, 2010
TOTAL TIME: 4.5 hrs
PARTICIPANTS: "Loafer" Mike, the other Mike, Me

As far as views go, nothing thus far on the island compares to this hike. Period.  From the peak of Ka'au Crater, one has damn near a 360 degree view of Oahu. Diamondhead Crater, Waikiki, Kokohead Crater, Kailua, Kaneohe, Honolulu Airport, Dupont, and the Inland Empire.

Left to right: Me, "Loafer" Mike, The Other Mike

Three Peaks (Olomana) below us
The hike itself was a gem in variety. If you like waterfalls, you've got three. Granted, you have to climb them all to reach the base of Ka'au Crater, but the view of this little known crater itself is breathtaking. Climbing to the peak is slightly dangerous due to all the erosion, but nothing anyone sober with four fully-functional limbs couldn't handle. It is possible to climb down to the crater floor itself, but due to time constraints and the oncoming heavy rain, we opted to walk down the west rim and take a right at a junction for a more direct route to the trailhead, skipping a return trip to the waterfalls.

A waterfall greets us after a short walk through the woods

Standing over the second waterfall
The rain did make things interesting and fading daylight reminded me of the Moanalua waterfall incident a month back, but it all ended well. At the beginning of the trail, we had to walk along an ugly pipe which paralleled the trail all the way to the first waterfall. It was ugly, but after about 10 minutes of walking, I was kind of glad it was there sort of as a fourth hiker through the valley. That is until we all agreed it probably carried sewage.

A pipe accompanies us throughout the first portion of the hike

Climbing up the third waterfall

Taking it all in from the crater rim

Clear view of Diamondhead and Waikiki

Trail gateway

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