My favorite hike we took on our week-long vacation in Oahu was up "nature's stairmaster," or Koko Head mountain. I single out the "up" of the hike because, although that was the hard part for some, the tough part for me was making my way back down. (I get a little weak in my knees on top of the side of a mountain.) The hike up Koko Head consists of 1,048 steps made of railroad ties, built during World War II to transport military supplies and personnel up to the lookouts on Koko Head. The first 500 steps is a fairly moderate climb. Midway up, it's time to cross a bridge made of the same old railroad ties (which I bear-crawled up and crab-walked down) and the remainder of the hike is extremely steep . But once you make it up to the top of this 1,200 foot climb above Hawaii Kai, the views of Hanauma bay are breathtaking. If you're like me, I remained clear of the edges of the mountain, but there are a few tiny trails at the top of Koko Head to grab stunning pictures, which the rest of my group took! Hikers ranged from local runners sprinting up and down the stairs (a couple which I saw braving this two or three times) to visitors of all fitness levels. When all was said and done, we all broke a good sweat and took in some stunning views of Oahu!
Another, much easier hike, was to Oahu's most accessible waterfall, Manoa Falls. An easy .8 mile hike up a gradual incline through lush rainforest, ferns and bamboo, it is easy to see why movies like Jurassic Park and shows such as Lost filmed in this gorgeous area. Manoa Falls was extremely easy to get to via moped, and is a nice hour-long activity to enhance your trip.
Aside from keeping moving the more obvious ways on our Hawaii trip (running on the beach-which is still a favorite), hiking is a great way for anyone to see whatever island on which he or she lands. And although I would like to explore more obscure areas during our next go-around, we still stumbled upon a gem of a yoga studio and surfed at Waikiki Beach- both of which you will definitely hear more about soon! Aloha!