Friday, May 29, 2009

Diamond Head State Monument

Last weekend we finally had time to go on another hike. We actually did three different hikes over the Memorial Day weekend but I'm only posting this one because one of the other hikes was Koko Crater again and the third hike didn't produce any good pictures.

Diamond head is located right on the edge of Waikiki and although it is mostly considered a tourist attraction, my boyfriend and I still like to go there for exercise. And for only $10 for a yearly pass... you can't go wrong.

See the white square on the top of the mountain, that's the top of the trail!
Beginning of the rocky and dirty trail...

It's not too clear, but in this picture you can see the switchbacks in the trail.
Almost to the top but still have the dread steep 99 steps to go.

What is with all these "hikes" with stairs? And these stairs are tall and narrow so you really gotta watch your step. A lot of times you'll pass people clinging to the walls for dear life.

And after the 99 stairs you come to this spiral staircase that takes you up to the very top. It's really dark in here and the stairs are barely comfortable enough to fit two people.

Gorgeous day! The views at the top were totally worth it.

This is looking back into the crater. That's the parking lot. And the yearly pass my boyfriend and I have only allows us to walk into the park so our car is parked about half a mile away from the parking lot, outside of the crater.

View of Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Koko Crater: The Stair Master from HELL!

On the outskirts of Hawaii Kai, there is an old railroad track lined with greenery (depending on what time of year you go) with beautiful views of Waikiki in the distance and endless ocean... but did I mention these railroad tracks go STRAIGHT UP A MOUNTAIN?! 1,208-feet straight up to be exact! These railroad tracks, or "stairs", are an old World War II-era track system that used to transport military personnel and equipment up to the bunkers at the top of Koko Crater. Now days, the "stairs" are mostly used for exercise. It's not uncommon to start the hike and have people running by you, up and down the trail. I's pretty incredible actually.

My boyfriend and I have done this trail only about 5x so far, but can't wait to get back there more often this summer. It's about a 20 minute drive from where I live, so not too bad. I usually take my dog, Poki, with us so she may be in some of the picts on this blog. :)

This is a picture of the hike on our way to the beginning!

At the start of the "stairs" looking up...

A little over half-way up the mountain looking back down. The baseball fields in the background are the beginning of the "stairs".

Picture taken at the same spot as the one above, but looking up towards the top. That isn't even the end of the hike... you can't see the top from this angle.

Almost to the very top looking back.

Finally at the top and looking on the other side of the mountain. The weather was really bad and all that rain in the picture hit us as we worked our way back down.

The side of the mountain that we just climbed... sunny and hot!

Can you believe that some people actually hike this ridge?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Here we go...

View from the top of Koko Crater Stairs

I am fortunate enough to live on a gorgeous little island in Hawaii. I was born and raised here on Oahu and although I've lived here my whole life, I have only recently (since September 2008) started hiking to help in my weight-loss journey (check out my other blog to follow my progress). Because the scenery is so beautiful here, thought I would keep my pictures and thoughts organized here. Enjoy!