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Hiking to the Hidden Rock Bridge From The Hanauma Bay Rim Trail

Note: The Hidden Rock Bridge trail 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 club feet don’t even think about it yo, and if you or your estate tries to put this on me for damages I will F*ck your Sh*t up, I know some Samoans who can do it too.”

The idea was simple: trek out to Hanauma Bay before sunrise, and catch the view from the Hidden Rock Bridge [1] 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.

Making our way up. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Making our way up. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Epic view. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Epic view. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Trail to the rock bridge. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Trail to the rock bridge. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

If you do this hike in the afternoon, you can wave to all the tourists down at below at Hanauma Bay. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

If you do this hike in the afternoon, you can wave to all the tourists down at below at Hanauma Bay. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

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. 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.

Piece of cake. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Piece of cake. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Ahnate looks on. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Ahnate looks on. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Hills. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Hills. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Rock. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Rock. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Almost there. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Almost there. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

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.

The fabled rock bridge. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The fabled rock bridge. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

HDR perspective. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

HDR perspective. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Marvin, the daredevil. Of course, he is the one amongst us that cannot swim. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Marvin, the daredevil. Of course, he is the one amongst us that cannot swim. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

It was smaller than I thought it would have been. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

It was smaller than I thought it would have been. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Marvin in his colorful outfit. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Marvin in his colorful outfit. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Marvin found this. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Marvin found this. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Another angle. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Another angle. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

A different perspective. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

A different perspective. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Safe for now. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Safe for now. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Hipster shaka. The envy of lookbooks around the world. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Hipster shaka. The envy of lookbooks around the world. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Group shot. Wave coming. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Group shot. Wave coming. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Group shot. Wave hits Coty. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Group shot. Wave hits Coty. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Group shot. Coty all wet. Still alive. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

Group shot. Coty all wet. Still alive. Photo by Ahnate Lim.

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.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii, Blogger, Hiker, Foodie, Apple Aficionado, T-Shirt Enthusiast, Psychologist, and Rogue Scientist.

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