Koko Head Stairs of Doom | Oahu, Hawaii

I like to take my kiddo with me when I got out on adventures, so I always read reviews before heading out in case it’s something too difficult for her 9 year old self.  The reviews for Koko Head were hysterical with one poster stating “For the love of God, leave your dogs at home and don’t wear slippers!” The morning of, we amped up with a healthy breakfast and met a Koko Head Stairs of Doombunch of friends for the adventure.

Koko Head trail is 1048 (to be exact) stairs/ railroad ties that were once used to bring military supplies to the bunkers on top of of the hill. I thought because I’ve been running the stairs at Red Rocks in Colorado for decades, that I’d kick this hike’s butt!  Red Rocks is at elevation and Koko Head is at sea level, making it easier I told myself.  Well, my body had long since adjusted to the sea level difference and this hike kicked my butt instead of vice versa.  My kiddo on the other hand did amazing, she ran to the top and back down to where I was trudging along, twice!

The trail starts out easy enough, but then quickly becomes a steep incline and there’s even a place where the ground drops out, seen in video below. Adding to our adventure a swarm off bees were buzzing around the spot where the ground dropped out (Yay!).

As the trail got steeper some of the girls dropped out and waited at the bottom. I’ve never had a problem with vertigo, but about half way up one of the girls was struggling. I sat down next to her to see if she was ok and WHOA the view around us was amazing, but the quickly moving clouds above us definitely messed with my vision.  I could only imagine how it felt for her being afraid of heights. Rather than sit there for very long and let the vertigo take over.  I kept on moving.Koko Head Oahu

Slowly but surely, we made our way to the top and it was worth every minute of it.  I was definitely chanting the mantra, “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” the remainder of the hike. The next time I go however, I will not carry 40 pounds of camera gear on my back.  I think that might make things a bit easier.  We did see one dog on the trail, and few people wearing slippers (flip-flops) really struggling to make their way.  So, I agree with the review I mentioned above, take lots of water, wear sensible shoes and I’d think twice about taking your dog.

Koko Head view
180 degree view from the top!

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