Kaau Crater

This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater

3.7 miles Loop 2351 feet
birding hiking nature trips bugs forest muddy
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Rebecca Hicks

1 Completed0 Reviews

It was muddy but a great trail. Even my 8 year old was able to do it.

Michael Calderon

16 Completed0 Reviews

Dean Calistro

4 Completed4 Reviews

Chris Stanifer

5 Completed5 Reviews

Amazing trail along creek with three waterfalls. Very muddy and can be dangerous.

Brian Rogers

27 Completed2 Reviews

Expect lots of muddy areas, great to have Microspikes for your shoes. Great reward with the views you get, love this hike!

Rey W.

12 Completed2 Reviews

Definitely a challenging yet rewarding hike.

If you are an extreme hiker/climber then maybe this hike could be labeled as "Easy" but for myself, an experienced hiker/trekker/mountain biker with multiple trails under my belt, this is moderate-challenging hike.

First off, this is a VERY wet and muddy hike. Some mud so deep in areas that your entire foot to your ankle will submerge so bring proper footwear. Due to the fact this this is an ungroomed hike, at times the trail itself can be overgrown with vegetation and hard to see. Look out for colored ribbon to keep u on track. There are parts when you will be high above the river yet on a VERY narrow, slippery and muddy trail only inches from the edge so watch your foot placement. There are 3 gorgeous water falls and pools however in between each fall are natural rock water slides that you must scramble up. There are ropes there to assist you but do not place all your weight on them. No one knows who put them there or how long they've been there. After the last fall and a couple more scrambles you will get to the ridge of the crater and be greeted by a spectacular view and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Once at the top you can hike the single trail around the craters perimeter or you can take the trail to the left and loop it back to the trailhead.

Not to scare you or push the issue but I have first hand experience of how slippery this trail is. On one of the high, narrow trails I slipped and almost fell completely off the trail into the rocky river approx.. 30ft below me. In less than a second I went from hiking the trail to hanging off the trail, literally being held up only by my elbows. So please be careful. Many people have died there.

Even after all the mud, rain ( yes it sprinkled periodically during my hike ), and death-defying ordeal. I still thoroughly enjoyed the hike. The challenge was well worth the reward from the river crossings, waterfalls, lush green forest and spectacular views. I'd do this hike again.

Joshua Evans

1 Completed1 Reviews

Fantastic hike, going up the third waterfall my friend and I kept gleefully yelling "it keeps going!"

Very muddy with lots of stream crossings, I wore high top hiking boots which were perfect to keep the mud and water off my feet. My friend wore low tops and his feet got soaked and caked in mud. Lots of discarded sneakers strewn here and there. Definitely not one to wear the slippahs on.

Warning: This is marked "easy" but definitely depends on your perspective. If you regularly trail run and rock climb then, yes, this is easy in that there are no life threatening moments. For the rest of us there are lots of opportunities to twist your ankle on roots and stream crossings and VERY steep sections that have ropes in place and require bouldering skills. Not a novice hike. And most definitely don't go if it's raining hard, prime territory for flash flood.

Jessica Andersen

2 Completed2 Reviews

This was such a great hike! I found it to be moderately challenging. I'm not sure how it was rated easy when there is rope climbing, rock climbing and slippery conditions involved.
Do not follow the directions on Yelp.

The trail is extremely muddy from start to finish so make sure you wear shoes with good traction and that you don't mind getting dirty. Bring more water than you would think you need and some light snacks. Don't be scared to use the ropes. You will need them.

Take your time and enjoy the views from the top of the ridge.

Ferre Preece

1 Completed1 Reviews

Melissa T.

This is an absolutely wonderful hike, plan accordingly due to some rope/rock climbing on parts of the hike, try to visit when it has not rained in at least a couple of days.

The hike consists of 3 waterfalls, there are markers throughout the trail to guide you. If it has recently rained expect to find parts of the hike slippery and VERY muddy. If you proceed after the 3rd waterfall you will continue on to the Crater Ridge Trail which can easily add 3 hours+, as you will want to capture the outstanding view from the top of the ridge.

I suggest you wear pants as you WILL go through patches on the hike in which bushes can scratch your legs for a good few minutes. If you plan on doing the entire Ka'au Crater RIDGE trail expect it to take about 6 hours, plan to bring enough water and snacks. Proper shoes are recommended if you want to do the entire hike (& if it has been raining especially). The views I can not stress how amazing they are, give yourself plenty of time to do this hike.