OverviewKohelepelepe is the high point on Koko Crater a large volcanic cinder cone located in the southeast corner of the island of Oahu. This specific summit is located just to the northeast of Hanauma Bay across highway 72 (The Kalanianaole Highway). The summit height is 1208 feet with a clean prominence of 1008 feet making Koko Crater the 31st most prominent summit in the state of Hawaii.
Kohelepelepe is known for the tram line that runs to its summit. The railroad ties make a staircase that runs 1000 vertical feet in less than half a mile.
*Please read the note on the confusion between Koko Head and Kohelepelepe in the note section. You will often find Kohelepelepe referenced as Koko Head.
Getting ThereFrom Honolulu:
Find and get on H-1 headed east. Continue on H-1 till till the freeway ends and turns into highway 72 (The Kalanianaole Highway). Continue 5.3 miles to Lunalilo Home Road. Take a left on Lunalilo Home Road and continue 0.3 miles to Anapalua Street. Take a right on Anapalua Street and follow it into the Koko Head Regional Park. Continue to the obvious parking area 0.3 miles into the park. Park and walk the dirt path to the base of the railroad tie stairs to the summit.
Red TapeThe park hours for most parks in Honolulu county are from dawn till dusk, but this could change. Consult the County of Honolulu upon your visit for questions. There are no fees on parking or hiking in the park.
CampingCamping is a sticky issue in Hawaii. Due to the squatter situation camping is heavily restricted throughout the island of Oahu.
Below is the site for Honolulu County Parks:
Here are the park details for Koko Head Regional Park:
Here are the camping rules and involved parks for Honolulu County:
Note on NameWhile working on this I discovered that Koko Head and Kohelepelepe (Koko Crater HP) are two distinct areas. Koko Head is the high point above Hanauma Bay (and is referred to as such) whereas Kohelepelepe is used to refer to the high point on the Koko Crater rim. You will find that most people when referring to Koko Head and/or the Koko Head stairs are referring to Kohelepelepe. This is probably due to the reference of the Koko Head Regional Park in which Kohelepelepe and the Koko Crater are located. Koko Head has a road to the top of it, but it might be off limits as there are communication or radar towers up the road. Ironically, Koko Head is not actually located in Koko Head Regional park as you can see by the outline in link two under camping.
Note on PreparationThere is little shade on the stairway that runs to the summit. It is recommended that an adequate water is brought for the climb. Also, hiking early in the morning or in the late afternoon is ideal as temperatures and humidity at other times can cause heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Time to summit for an in-shape hiker/climber is around 20 minutes (took me 25 minutes on the nose). Expect around an hour if out-of-shape.
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