Koko crater pano

Koko crater pano
best view of the island

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kamiloiki Ridge hike

No work again on a thursday (slow month) so off to try something different. Was thinking maybe Hahaione, Mariners ridge or Kamiloiki since it was such a nice day. Finally the vog and Kona winds seemed to have left us...
Since havent been there in while and it is a pretty easy trail, Kamiloiki won! Hopped in my car, hit 7-11 for a sandwich and super big gulp (my energy drink!) and off I went.

(insert picture of Heiau here)

lol somehow forgot to get good shot of the Pahua Heiau (having fun trying to do gopro video again).

View along the trail of the farms in that valley. I never noticed that this trail is like a mini Lanipo! Up and down hills the whole way. But, unlike Lanipo, the hills are a lot smaller so no way as hard!!
View of the other valley with Hawaii Kai and Koko Crater in background. It was a great day with light breezes and lotsa clouds. Thats only way to do a ridge hike, make sure u go early or pick a day with lotsa clouds.

As you can tell, there is NO shade on this hike! Be good idea to wear hat or carry umbrella?
finally had a bit of shade that lasted for like 5 minutes. All the endless hills really suck you dry, so carry a lot of water too!

As you can tell, the scenery doesnt change much. Just up and down u go with no shade!

And finally made it to the trees!! Once u reach here u are pretty much almost done with the hike. The shade really felt great and there is even a small camping site over here.

 There is a short, grassy section with a power line pole right in the middle of the forest.  Its not that big so nice change of pace.

 And this section (if you finally reached it) is the final drive to the top!! The hike to the top is tame compared to almost every trail on the Koolaus! Not kidding, just a small hill and u up to the top.

 Tadaa!! what an awesome view of Waimanalo and etc. But this shot is a bit up the trail towards Kailua direction.

Couple shots more of the scenery. You get nice view of Olomana too.
Saw another set of poles near the summit. I was below them exploring on a side trail.

And another view from direction I came from. Right about here I was looking for a geocache and noticed a trail heading towards Hawaii Kai. Thought it might run along the ridge west of Kamiloiki ridge so I wanted to see! After following a bunch of ribbons, the trail started to go downwards into the valley between the two ridges. I didnt wanna be stuck down there with a long long walk in a pretty thick looking forest with no way back up to my car! I turned around to go back up to the top and just my luck, the ribbons disappeared!  Guess you can only see them from the ridge looking towards Hawaii kai, not the other direction.
This is what it looked like whole way. Thick, dead grass! Looks easy to walk thru but it isnt. That stuff just grabs your legs and slowly sucks away your energy pushing thru it! Every once in while id see a ribbon or two but no trail. Got to a spot where I saw some old soda cans and figured I must be close to the trail. So I climbed up the side of the ridge and guess where I came out?
Right back at the campsite!! What a waste of time! I still had to go all way back up top to finish the geocache and time was running out. I was using up my water pretty quickly and I was tired!! lol
Finally clawed my way back up the trail, found the geocache and another awesome view! And right about here I heard voices coming up the trail. So far on the few times I've done Kamiloiki ridge, I've never met anyone on it. Saw a group of people heading towards the summit via the trail I got lost on!
Seems they mistook it for the Tomtom trail!  Guess more then one person getting lost today!

They went that away and I went this away!! Hope they found the correct trail to Waimanalo! I've never gone down it before , just partways. They said they thought the trail down was by those poles in the far distance. Hope they are correct!!

 Finally started to head back home. I couldnt wait to get in my car and drink my soda that I was carrying in my pack! I was too tired to unload everything to get it out!!
This is the ridge thats across from Kamiloiki ridge. Thought that trail went on there! Guess wrong, again!! Wonder if that rock formation is climbable? Looks tuff....
And looking back towards the summit, if u follow that valley to where the trees are, thats where I probably ended up.. It would have been a long, hot walk cutting thru that valley.
My final tally for the day, 5 miles with 2k in climbing. Not that hard at all if you just did the ridge and back. Probably cut an hour off the hike I did. Overall it was a fun day, no real danger even with my crazy bush whackin!! I think Kamiloiki ridge trail is great for beginners since there is no real dangers. The trail doesnt climb that much and the view at the top is awesome!!
happy trails!!

And here's a video I made of this hike, please enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Diamond Head hike on a Saturday!

Had a fee Saturday (rare day off) and was late getting ready so decided to try DH since havent done it in long time.
 Hopped in my car and headed out. Its not too far from my house to DH and when I pulled in, what do I see? A long line of cars and buses lined up. Got to gate and yup, lot full. Turned around and went to look for a parking space somewhere close. Forgot Saturday duh. Found one not too far and walked back.
My official "start of hike" picture! Had a bunch of people heading up the road.

Almost to the tunnel and you get a great view of Koko Head and Koko Crater. Great looking day for a  hike!

Scariest part of the whole hike! Walking thru that tunnel. The room to walk is not very wide and some cars come awefully close to you.  Do I trust tourist drivers in a dark tunnel? NOT! And when they trolley goes thru, he takes up both lanes.
Made it safely thru tunnel and here's what Im greeted with! A long line of customers trying to buy their tickets to Avatar! Cheap tho at only $1. I'm hoping that all those $$ are used to improve DH trail!
View from inside the crater looking towards the top. DH in the inside is like a desert! All the dried up grasses and plants. Hope people remember to read those signs that say "NO SMOKING!"
Think all those people are waiting to use the bathrooms!! Busy day with tons of tourist and locals!

 Wish I knew how to move the picture below this up here~!  The trail errr road is well marked and really clean. Credit goes out the the maintenance people. You would think with this many tourist all carrying water bottles and eating the place would be buried in trash!! 
Time to join the choochoo train of hikers up to the top. Most keep a nice , quick pace at this point. Guess the heat will get them later!! Joke, it was nice and overcast so not that bad at all..
sign, sign, everywhere a sign... Guess they gotta put up these to protect themselves.

Still following the train of people coming up and going down. Amazing how many people do this hike. All types, young and old.

I was waiting for a giant monkey to start rolling barrels down the trail!!

And finally getting rear the top. You can see in front the beginning of the shorter section of stairs. Still a zillion people in front of me!

Looking back to bottom more and more people coming!!!
And I finally made it to the short section of stairs. Now with the new parts they just built, you dont have to go up the longer section of stairs anymore (like it was that hard!). Now you can go left of the stairs and go around the other side.
This is the new section they built. Some people go up here or the long stairs.. think most went this way because when I went up the 100 steps, only had one person in front of me.

And the big section of steps! Before this was a work out and I'd be dying by the half way mark. Now with all those endless trips up Koko Crater, I just ran up them!!
Was this a jail? Who they trying to keep out? or were they trying to keep someone in?? Question but NO answers!!!
Just had to climb thru this small part to get to the top. I had to wait for a guy to try get his 2 small kids thru it! Good luck!

And here's what greeted me at the top!! A zillion people with the same goal as me! Get to top lol. Amazing is so many people went up to the top lookout and none were coming down! How many people can fit up there??
And here's the view of crater from the top. I found a great spot to sit (in the shade) and just watched all the people coming and going. I was being photographer taking pictures for tourist too!
Took a peek down the bottom of this section and wow, more people! You can see the new section they built. Seems pretty popular dont it?

Guess they dont know how to read the sign that says something bout NOT going over the fence!! But nice group shot...

And since I was up there, had to get the required shots of Waikiki and town. What a great day to be up there.... cept all the people lol.
This is part of what I had to battle to get my Waikiki shots!!! Some people just dont move!!

I wasted enough time at the top and time to head down.  Going down was nice a quick since gravity helps out. Second shot is the lookout section with tons of people hanging around. Must be fun being a tourist on a vacation!! I even had so much energy from this short hike, I ran up the 100 steps again!!

Gave up taking shots on way down since looked like shots going up lol. And, here's the best part of a hot, hike! Shaved ice! Prices are not bad. I was expecting to pay like movie theater prices but the soda was like $1.25? $1.50.. Too bad it was Pepsi !
And the final walk back thru the tunnel.. Overall, this was a fun hike with tons of distractions, tons of people to chat with and an awesome view of Waikiki and town. If you havent gone in while, get off your butts and GO!!
And the final tally, I dont think it was 5.19 miles.. sure didnt feel anything that long. But the gps kept losing receptions in the tunnels so.... and at 751 feet in climbing, its just a bit shorter then Koko Crater.

Finally finished my video of this hike. Hope you enjoy it.