The traditional Diamond Head Summit Trail, really, isn’t a hiker’s hike. The Diamond Head trail is easy and it’s short. For those reasons alone, it is probably the most popular tourist hike on the island of Oahu. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous views of Waikiki Beach that you are awarded with once you reach the summit of Diamond Head.
A diverse group of people summited Hawaii Loa on Martin Luther King Day, 2012. In the above picture, from left to right, you have the newest member of Hyde Manor (where Marvin, Andy and our cat, Killer, reside), Jackie, who was born in Germany. Next you have Andy, a typical, nothing special, white American. Then you have 2 very shady Filipinos, Coty and Joel, who would complete this trail for the 3rd time. Then there’s the Thai guy, Ahnate. And a possible recurring character in EH Tales, Gentaro, from Japan. This picture was taken by an awesome Indian dude, Marvin. Hawaii would see a melting pot at one of its summits like never before.
Koloa Gulch is an 8 mile roundtrip waterfall hike that leads to a massive waterfall (or 2 if you have time) in back of this Hauula valley on the windward side of the island. While long, the hike is not difficult as there are no strenuous inclines or declines save for the very beginning of the trail. Caution is warranted as flash floods would be extremely dangerous at certain portions of the hike and one must be careful of falling rocks as well. It is still a fairly tiring hike but delivers an excellent waterfall for those who make it to the end.
While Marvin spent the first day of 2012 just a few clouds away from Heaven, I decided to spend it at arguably the most famous surfing beach in the world, Waimea Bay. Located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, Waimea Bay is known as a world class surfing spot and the backdrop for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, or, as it is affectionately know, The Eddie. The Eddie is currently being held this year, waves cooperating, until February 29, 2011 (the event started on December 1, 2011).
The winter season is a favorite time of the year for Hawaii surfers, mainly because of the waves that the winter swells bring. However, if instead you are looking for idyllic and calm “beach” experience then look no further than the Ko Olina Lagoons located at the ritzy J.W. Marriott Ihilani. These mini beaches are actually four man-made lagoons (Hanu, Naia, Kolola, and Ulua). The rock walls surrounding the lagoons keep the waves from venturing in and therefore you’re left with a relaxed water experience. It’s like swimming in an open ocean pool – it’s chill, very chill.
The Kealia Trail is one of the few hikes that you can do on the North Shore of Oahu. Located in Mokuleia, the Kealia Trail is comprised of nineteen gradually climbing switchbacks. Yes, nineteen switchbacks. Nineteen. If you’re looking to increase the firmness of your gluteus maximus [NSFW link] then consider the Kealia Trail.
Mele Kalikimaka or Merry Christmas from all of us at Exploration: Hawaii to all of you! We hope that you eat a lot of Christmas ham and peppermint candy canes. Don’t worry about the calories, you can always burn it off on a hike and since you’ve got tons to select from (see the archives) choosing one won’t be a problem. Be safe out there and happy trails!
The view from the summit of the Poamoho Ridge Trail is spectacular. In fact, the view from Poamoho is probably my favorite view on the island along with Lanihuli. But I am getting ahead of myself. The long walk to the actual trailhead of the Poamoho Ridge Trail was a journey in itself.