Note: The Hidden Rock Bridge is not a sanctioned trail. As our disclaimer partially reads: “I’m not your daddy, these are dangerous as sh*t hikes, even the simple ones, if you got [insert applicable disorder, disease, or physical impairment] don’t even think about it yo.” Also, consider these tips on Hiking Safely In Hawaii. Mahalo.
The idea was simple: trek out to Hanauma Bay before sunrise, and catch the view from the Hidden Rock Bridge  as the sun was rising. My alarm was set for 4am and the Exploration: Hawaii crew was parked in the Koko Crater area by 5:15am. Unfortunately for us, the sun would be popping up shortly after starting our hike to the Hidden Rock Bridge. No matter, the sunrise served as a nice backdrop for us as we made our way to this natural wonder.
To access the Hidden Rock Bridge, you’ll need to jump on the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail. You may also see this trail referenced as the Koko Head Loop Trail or the Ihiihilauakea Crater Trail.Â This trail initially runs alongside of Kalanianaole Highway and begins as a paved road. The view within the first few minutes is top notch. Throughout the way, you’ll have views of the prominent Koko Crater and also the very popular Hanauma Bay. Of course, you’ll be getting a view of Hanauma Bay that the people on the beach won’t be able to get so close to the shore.
As you follow the paved road up, you will eventually notice a wide opening to your left. We took this left here and followed the makeshift trail along the rim. If you follow this trail, you will eventually reach the shoreline. During our visit, there were a couple of local fisherman with lines in the ocean. We set up shop opposite of them and began exploring the Hidden Rock Bridge. The tide was high and the waves were really crashing into the shore and the rock bridge. Marvin immediately went to check out the bridge. In my head, all I could think of was a rogue wave coming in and sweeping little Marvin Chandra away. He was lucky and got away unscathed. Another hiker, who appeared maybe 30 minutes or so after we had got there, wasn’t so lucky. She was making her way to the bridge when a huge rogue wave came in towering over her. Luckily, she was able to keep her footing and did not fall in. It was a close call, though. She was really lucky.
Of course, we had to get a group shot on the bridge. I told the guys that there was no way that I would be going on that thing, and so I stayed a few feet from the bridge, sitting on a rock with my back facing the ocean. With me, Joel, and Marvin set in the photo, Ahnate clicked the shutter and then ran to his spot. A few seconds later, a huge splash of water hit me from the front. I was soaking wet. I would have been safer on that damn bridge.
For a good time, check out this GIF: Rock Bridge GIF - (3.53 MB).
Explorers: Marvin Chandra, Coty Gonzales, Ahnate Lim, and Joel Sabugo
Total Distance: X
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Hanauma Bay Rim Trail to Hidden Rock Bridge Tips:
- If you coming from Honolulu, then you will park at the lookout that is located a fet to your left, just before the entrance to Hanuama Bay. Please note, though, that prolonged parking is not allowed here after 8am. If you leave your car here all day then you will likely be towed.
- Don’t forget sunscreen. You’ll be exposed the entire time.
- Don’t go on the bridge!
- Head over to Hanauma Bay after. Take a dip and do some snorkeling. Of course, bring your own snorkels to save yourself a few bucks!
1. Hat tip to David Chatsuthiphan of Unreal Hawaii for first blogging about the hidden rock bridge.