We’ve written about the Kuliouou Ridge Trail here and elsewhere on the site. It’s one of my favorites because it’s very accessible and the views are stellar. It’s also one of those hikes that I always recommend that visitors and locals try. For one, it’s legal (no breaking any laws here). Second, it’s a solid hike that’s worth the required workout. Finally, for many, it’ll be just a short drive away. Of course, you’ve got to get past those, errr, damn switchbacks. Don’t let those switchbacks deter you, though, because the views that await ahead…they’re complete bliss.
Tucked behind the million-dollar homes near the posh Portlock is Spitting Caves, know for its naturally manicured sea cliffs and ocean spewing cave. Daredevils have been known to jump off the 65-foot cliff. Beware though, many deaths have occurred here, as the many memorial placards indicate. You’ve got to be a strong swimmer to get your feet back on dry land. It’s probably best to not even get them wet.
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.
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.
A short trip along the Koolau Summit Trail (KST) would be how Exploration: Hawaii would kick off the recent Memorial Day Weekend. The previous week, fellow hiker, Allison, suggested that we do a short non-grinder type hike. I like non-grinders. I mentioned Hahaione, a little known trail in Hawaii Kai that quickly leads to the eastern portion of the KST. Waianae Ahnate, as he has been nicknamed, thought that it would be a good idea to use this hike as a meet and greet for the group of people that would be joining the usual Exploration: Hawaii suspects on an upcoming backpacking trip to Haleakala. New hike and new hikers. I was in.
I am fortunate that my job allows me to have a very flexible schedule. I’m a lecturer at the local University here, and so my schedule is very much like that of your typical college student. This means that I have a reasonable amount of free time on my hands. Oh yeah, I also still get winter break. Yes, being a University instructor is awesome.