Not quite the pain in my legs and back as Koloa Gulch, but I laugh at the pros who call this easy. We'll get to the FMF (Fat Man Factor) at the end.
Let's get to the pics.
I'll let you find your way. Really easy to find this trailhead. I got here at about 7:30am and had to park a bit down the road, but it's a residential area. It might have been a little better had I waited til folks left for work :-).
About 100 yards in you have choices. Kuliou'ou Valley to the left and Ridge to the right. Today I went the to the ridge trail. About 453 switchbacks (slight exaggeration) to the top.
Not too far in and, in true Hawaii fashion, you're greeted with beautiful views. But it gets better....
Nevermind that I'm fat and out of shape. Getting to the summit of these hikes takes me awhile because I will literally stand still for 20 minutes at a time, enjoying the peace and, sometimes, trying to be quiet enough for the birds to get close enough for a shot. Only one came within sight today, but there's a lot more beauty to take in. I love the trees in the next to last pic. Beauty at it's finest!
Yeah, never trust the 3 minute hike videos. They say 2-3 hours round trip and mention stairs once, while having a shot of 6 stairs in the background. All of the stairs are after the half way point, pretty much the rest of the way to the top. LOTS OF THEM. Thought I was on Koko Crater again for a second.
There's no missing it once you're there :-).
You CAN, I suppose, pass the sign in the last pic. Another trail goes down, around and up the mountain there in the background. That's above my pay grade, folks.
The views are breathtaking! The entire windward coast right in front of you.
Turn around and there's views all the way back to Diamond Head
Just some shots from the top.
Back down we go
Pretty cool natural arch formation
Lots of this. Just can't get enough of it :-).
Overall a great hike! Around 3.25 miles round trip and between 1800-1900 ft elevation. It's a good lil workout for you pros and a 'dear Lord, please don't let me die on this mountain' kind of hike for folks like me.
FMF (Fat-Man-Factor): 7 (FMF is a difficulty scale from 1-10, from an out of shape, fat, white guy's point of view). Yeah, the reviews said I should be done in 2-3 hours. Well, it took me 3 to get up and 1 to get down. Pretty good for a fat guy :-). As is usually the case for me, I take time taking pics and trying not to die on the way up. Cardio is rough going up, footing can be tricky if it's muddy, coming down. Sure, any time you're hiking on a mountain ridge, there's danger, but this would be low on the danger list. If you have some gung-ho kids, they might make it. I actually found a family turning around at the half way point with no desire to brave the grueling final half. It IS a beast, but as always, the pay off is amazing! Happy hiking! Here's to many more hikes in the year to come!