There’s an arch on the windward facing side of Koko Crater in southeast Oahu. It’s super easy to get to.
It’s a great place to check out and take pictures if you’re around the Hawaii Kai area or on the way to Sandy Beach.
Most people know Koko Crater for the tramway trail that goes straight up the face of it. People hike up it regularly to get a work out. I try to go once a week or so to get some cardio exercise.
You can hike up the tramway and then down the crater rim to the arch if you like. But a faster way to get there is to park at the Halona Blowhole Lookout and hike up to it.
Halona Blowhole Lookout is also where you park to go to Cockroach Cove (a.k.a. Eternity Beach).
This lookout offers some ridiculous views. During winter months you can typically see whales from here.
After you park you’ll walk along the road for bit. Stay on this side of the guard rail.
You want to make your way toward the Japanese fishing shrine. It’s that circular rock wall with the large stone in the middle.
But don’t go all the way to the shrine. Cross the street at the end of the railing. Hop the railing and descend to the right into the ravine.
Walk along the rock for a couple hundred feet and then make your way up the to ridge.
As soon as you see a way up the ridge that you are comfortable with, make your way up.
There’s no real trail to follow at this point.
But the sooner you get up to the ridge the sooner you’ll see these views.
It’s nicer to have views of the coastline than to be stuck in that ravine.
Look up at Koko Crater and you can see the arch. You might have to look closely as it sort of blends in.
The trail is well defined here though and you can’t miss it.
Once you reach the arch you can walk over it or under it. We started by going under. The dirt is all loose gravel here you so you’ll want to be wearing shoes with good grip. We went down the right side of the arch.
From here you can explore the area a bit.
It’s best to come here with a few people so you can have someone stay at the arch while you traverse the slope to get to this vantage point. On this day I came with Christina and Jake (Instagram: jake_of_all_trades).
If you’re going to go up the top of the arch you definitely want to be wearing some grippy shoes. The top is very steep and slippery.
I would advise against hiking up it in slippers. Sometimes there’s a rope up there but don’t count on it.
If you wanted to you can hike all the way up the rim of Koko Crater and then up to the top of the stairs. On this day we just wanted to take some photos and talk story at the arch.
Jake tried coming down this side of the arch and found that it was much more slippery (on account of the loose gravel) than the other side.
He went back up to find a comfortable place to sit.
Christina and I joined him back under the arch. We hung out for a bit happy to be away from any crowds. It’s a little tough to find a comfortable place to sit up here though as the slope is at an extreme angle.
Looking south we could see a bit of Hanauma Bay and Koko Head.
Eventually we went down the same way we came up.
Watch your footing here, the gravel is super loose.
We made our way up the left side of the arch.
The grade is super steep here too but the ground is course and easy for your shoes to grip on to.
At the bottom we made our way back into that ravine and back to the street.
It takes just 10-15 minutes to get to the arch from the parking lot. Once you’re done there are plenty of things nearby that you can do.
The closest “attraction” would be Cockroach Cove.
Other activities nearby:
- Hike the Koko Crater tramway.
- Go to Sandy Beach.
- Visit Portlock Point or China Wall.
- Hike down to the Makapu’u Tide Pools.
- Go to Pele’s Chair and Alan Davis Beach.