A Journey to Mount Olympus (Awaawaloa) via the Kolowalu Trail

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.

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A Sunrise Hike To The Lanikai Pillboxes Atop Ka’iwa Ridge

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.

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Makiki Valley Loop Trail: Connecting the Maunalaha and Kanealole Trails

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.

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Kaena Point: A Nature Reserve Located on the Westernmost Point of Oahu

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.

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Mokolii Island (Chinaman’s Hat in Hawaii): Introduction To Offshore Adventures In Hawaii

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.

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Hau’ula Loop Trail: A Short Jungle-Like Hike Perfect for Beginners

The single most limiting factor (in my opinion) when it comes to hiking in Hawaii is the weather. More specifically, rain. And if you know me then you know that I am not a fan of rain. Despite recent lofty plans to complete some epic hikes, Team Exploration: Hawaii had to modify their schedule in order to cooperate with the cloudy skies and occasional showers that Oahu has been experiencing over the last couple of days. With that said, our planned hikes that involved multiple summits on the Ko’olau range as well as an attempt at completing the treacherous Kalena had to be scrapped.

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