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The Koolau Summit Above Waimanalo


When the sun comes out, the ocean off of Waimanalo (Oahu) glows electric blue.


The views are energizing.


These views can be seen by standing at the top of the mountain.


Tom (myspacetom), Dawn (djdawn) and I hiked the summit of the southeast Koolau Mountains to take photos of this view. Below us, Waimanalo.


The skies were overcast but this being the windward side of the island, conditions change fast.


There are many ways to reach the Koolau summit. When we hit the summit, Dawn and I headed north along the ridgeline.


Looking back toward Makapu’u we could see Tom up on the ridgeline. There’s a launch pad for hang gliders and paragliders up there. On certain days you can watch them jump off the mountain and soar.


We hit a concrete runway that some hipster vandal has decided to give a name. Tom speculated that this might have been used as a platform for cables that used to run up the mountain. (Note: this area is off limits and no longer accessible to hikers.)

UPDATE: 2/23/2016 — The land owners have destroyed this strip of concrete because too many people were hiking up to take picture here. 


We walked out to the edge to get some shots.


Tom shoots with two cameras. One is a Nikon D800. The other is this enormous Nikon D4.


As is usually the case, if you wait long enough, the sun will poke its way through the clouds.


Any folks over at the beach must have been happy about that.


The colors come alive in the sun.


From up here you can see the Mokulua Islands (or Mokes) to the left and Rabbit Island to the right.


On this windy day, waves were pounding the eastern facing shores of the Mokes.


Rabbit Island, or Mānana Island, is a seabird sanctuary and off limits.


Maybe someday Bjork will have a house here.


If you were to turn around while up at the Koolau summit, you would see this view of Hawaii Kai behind you.


But for me, the ocean view helps me recharge.


After spending almost two hours at the summit we called it day and hiked back out.

This story was last modified on February 23, 2016. (Originally published in February 2013.)

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