I put my GoPro HERO3 Black Edition to good use during our recent kayak and hiking trip to Chinaman’s Hat (Mokolii Island). Of course, I’m always a bit weary whenever I take my GoPro into the water with me, especially after this incident en route to the Mokulua Islands (see third paragraph). In fact, this trip almost ended in another GoPro tragedy. As we were carrying the kayak to the shore of Kualoa Beach, I noticed that my GoPro, attached to my GoPole, was nowhere in sight. I had left it on the trunk of my buddy’s car, in plain view. Had I not remembered until later, it probably would be in someone else’s hands. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. And we have these photos to show for it.
If you enjoy the outdoors, then Hawaii is an exceptional place to live. Many say that Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches and best waves in the world. However, if you look mauka, or towards the mountains, you’ll also notice her beautiful valleys and ridges. Comprised of volcanic rock, Hawaii’s hiking options are unique and in a class of its own. Below are seven reasons why hiking in Hawaii is indeed awesome. However, be warned. A spur of the moment hike might lead to the start of a new hobby, and then a lifelong obsession.
Chinaman’s Hat is a common sight for those visiting the Windward side of Oahu. This little islet is located in Kaneohe Bay and is about 1/3 of a mile offshore of Kualoa Regional Park. The small hat-like island is easily accessible via kayak, however, some people choose walk to the island. Yes, at low tide it is typically shallow enough for you to walk to. We chose to kayak.
It’s been a while since I last hiked up this beast. Not so long ago, I’d do this short scorcher once, maybe twice, a week for exercise. And then life took over and I suddenly didn’t have much free time. Well, things have changed. Koko Crater is one of those hike that will quickly help you to figure out whether you’re in good cardiovascular shape, or not. In my Koko Crater hay day, I was able to make it up to the top in under twenty minutes. Today, I was far from the time. Time to dust off those old hiking shoes (or get new ones) and get back into hiking shape. After all, this new change is the start to new and fantastic things.
Lazy Saturday, means lazy hiking day. And in Hawaii, it doesn’t get any lazier than the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. It’s paved all the way up to the lookout. However, there are a couple of exciting variations to Makapuu. The last time that Exploration: Hawaii was up there, we had the very unique and rare opportunity to visit the inside of the lighthouse, and then took a backside route to Pele’s Chair. It was spectacular, and we even unleashed the Animal Heads Super Team to the world.
Looking to experience Hawaii’s ridge hiking scene? A good place to start would probably be the Kuliouou Ridge Trail. We first reviewed Kuliouou Ridge Trail way back in 2011. My gosh, 2011 seems like eons ago. This intermediate level trail hasn’t changed much since 2011. The tiresome switchbacks are still followed by the walk through ironwoods and cook pines, with the last third of the trail being a nice climb up to the spine of the eastern portion of the Koolau Summit Trail (KST). If you’re new to the island, or new to hiking in Hawaii, then I’d definitely give Kuliouou a try. I’m pretty sure that once you’ve tasted what Kuliouou has to offer, you’ll want to experience the rest of the eastern ridge trails that lead to the beautiful KST.
Over Spring break, Ikaika and I decided to hike Hawaii’s best known trail: Kalalau. The trail is 11 miles long one way and ends at a famous camp spot. Originally planned as a 4 day and 3 night event, we ended up shortening it to 2 days and 1 night while still completing all of the 22 miles, camping at the beach, visiting one of the major waterfalls, and capturing the Milky Way along the way.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a timelapse video. I had these stills sitting on my hard drive and had completely forgotten about them. Decided to put together a timelapse of the first sunset of of our first day hiking through Haleakala National Park. It was an unforgettable sunset, that I got to enjoy with wonderful company.
Looking to waste sometime before our flight home during a recent trip to the Big Island, Michelle and I visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. I sold Michelle on the colorful, tropical fauna. All I really wanted see was Onomea Falls. The waterfall itself is very easy to access. It’s actually one of the first attractions that you’ll encounter as you work your way downhill and through the botanical garden.