Hauoli La Hoomaikai or Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Exploration: Hawaii to all of you. We hope that you eat a lot of turkey and pumpkin pie. 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!
With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in full swing last week and leaders from all over the world arriving on the island, Joel and I decided to skip the busy city streets and instead explore the depths of Manoa Valley. Awaawaloa, or Mount Olympus as it is affectionately known as in the hiking community, has been on my to-do list for some time now for two reasons. First, it’s one of the Honolulu hikes in Stuart Ball’s The Hikers Guide to Oahu. And if you remember, I’m trying to complete all of the Honolulu hikes in Ball’s book by the end of the year. Second, Mount Olympus seemed (by name at least) very intimidating and I like to tackle intimidating things.
One of my goals is to complete all of the Honolulu hikes listed in Stuart Ball’s popular book, The Hikers Guide to Oahu. Eventually I would like to finish the entire book but for now my focus will be on completing Honolulu. Up to this point I had completed 5 of the 15 Honolulu trails. Kuliouou Ridge Trail would be my number 6.
Collecting sunset and sunrise timelapses throughout Oahu is a current (and recent) obsession of mine. However, in order to capture these spectacular sunrises requires me waking up during obscene times in the morning. Take for example my most recent sunrise timelapse to the Lanikai Pillboxes located atop Ka’iwa ridge in the beautiful and affluent town of Lanikai. If memory serves me correct, I woke up at around 3:30 am to get ready for the hike and then left my apartment at around 4:30 am.
The Makiki area is a great place to live. The University of Hawaii is five minutes away. I can walk to work at Queen’s Medical Center. Ala Moana Beach Park is a hop and a skip from my apartment. And as if that’s not good enough, the Honolulu Mauka Trail System is located right in my backyard. About two minutes from my apartment is the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve. Just above the reserve is the Hawaii Nature Center. A few feet beyond the nature center is the start of the Makiki-Tantalus Trail, a grand 8-mile loop trail.
We’ve featured the easternmost point of the island of Oahu on this site before (see Makapu’u Point), but what about the westernmost point of the island? That distinction belongs to Kaena Point. Located just beyond Waianae and Yokohama Beach, Kaena Point is actually a nature reserve and bird sanctuary that is managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Chinaman’s hat is a common sight on the windward side of Oahu from both various summits on the Koolau summits (for example: the Manana summit) to simply driving along the Northern section of the island. Shaped like a Chinese peasant’s chapeau from rural China, you may be surprised to learn one can easily access the island for a small adventure. While seemingly small from afar, this off island destination becomes increasingly intimidating as your approach her shores.