Hiking Hawaii: Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

May 12, 2015  •  3 Comments

-by Edyta-

With so many hikes around Oahu, it is not hard to pick one that will suit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a short hike, all day hike, shaded hike to a waterfall or a hike with views of the coast, you can find one on the beautiful island of Oahu. On Tuesday 2/23/15 Vlad and I decided to get some exercise and headed to hike the Hanauma Bay Ridge. As we were driving towards the southeastern part of the island, the weather was getting gloomier by the minute. After parking our car we walked along the highway looking for the trail head. Ignoring Uncle Sam’s “No Trespassing” signs we quickly found ourselves on a small paved road with no one around us. 

Soon after that we met a local couple walking their dog and asked some questions about the trail. We also confirmed our suspicion that the “No Trespassing” signs are widely ignored by locals who enjoy this scenic area. 

We walked up the paved but steep road and found ourselves overlooking Hanauma Bay State Park which we visited and snorkeled on our first trip to Hawaii five years ago. The park is closed on Tuesday so there was no soul in sight. The sky was cloudy so the water was not as blue as on a sunny day. But the views were still spectacular.  

Right behind us was our frenemy Koko Head, a super steep rail hike which we hiked two days before (see previous post). As always, it looked bad ass. 

We read online that there is a natural stone bridge somewhere on the coast but were not able to locate it despite asking a few locals. But that’s probably for the best as it was a very windy day and the bridge is often swept away by large waves and it claimed some lives in the past. 

Anyhow, here are some photos of our hike. 

Nature is so beautiful. ViewView This was shortly after we started the hike. Looking back there was Koko Head as well as the Hawaii Kai residential neighborhood. On our right was Hanauma Bay State Park.  Beautiful view from the trail on Hanauma Bay. The beach is empty because the place is closed on Tuesdays. Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike in Oahu Hawaii. Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike in Oahu Hawaii. Hanauma Bay State Park in its full glory - no tourists as it's closed on Tuesdays. On the top we came across these structures. Radio structures on the top Radio structures on the top The first part of the hike was on a paved road that ended at these weird structures.  Going down this part of the bay was very steep. We knew it would be a challenge to go back up but the views of the ocean were calling us.  This part of the trail was very steep. This part of the trail was very steep. After that point we walked down a pretty steep part of the mountain towards the ocean.  Not sure what those tents are. I was told they might be fishermen tents.Suspicious looking tents on a rocky shore as seen during our Hanauma Bay Ridge hike. Looking for the natural bridge we took a small detour and walked close to the shore when we spotted these weird tents. They looked pretty suspect so we quickly walked back to the main trail.  We did not figure out what these tents were for. We hoped it was for some marine research or fishing and not some shady activity. What do you think? Does it look shady? Hmmm, yea it does. On the rocks by the ocean Suspicious looking tents on a rocky shore as seen during our Hanauma Bay Ridge hike. After asking some local friends we came to conclusion that these tents were most likely set up by fishermen. These dry trees looked a bit creepy but provided for a nice contrast to the super alive looking green grass. Koko Head hike. Koko Head hike. Back on the trail and walking back towards Hanauma Bay we got to admire Koko Head and these cool silver trees.  This was a relatively easy walk with some really awesome opportunities for photos. We stopped frequently to admire the surroundings.  Taking in the view of Koko Head from Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike. Taking in the view of Koko Head from Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike. Vlad taking in the view.  Free like a bird and feeling happy! What more could a girl want than amazing mountains, ocean and some free time to explore? Feeling good while hiking Hanauma Bay Ridge. Feeling good while hiking Hanauma Bay Ridge. Hiking in Hawaii makes me really happy.  Here I am looking at the bay and Koko Head. I love the colors painted by nature. The day was gloomy so the water was not as saturated in color as on a sunny day but it was still beautiful. Peacefully overlooking Hanauma Bay Peacefully overlooking Hanauma Bay Standing on the edge overlooking the bay.   We refuse to get a selfie stick because it's lame and also because Vlad's long arms are way better. Couple Selfie Couple selfie Sometimes you just have to take a break and a selfie ;-)  The hike was long but worth every second. Because of crappy weather we had the whole trail to ourselves. Me as a tiny dot helps to put the size of the hike in perspective. Me as a tiny dot helps to put the size of the hike in perspective. That white dot is me walking back towards the main paved trail which is located on the top edge on the horizon. The last part of the hike was very steep.  The slopes are steep and the workout is more strenuous than we expected. But the views are well worth it!Steep slopes of Hanauma Bay Ridge trail. Steep slopes of Hanauma Bay Ridge trail. Nature can be so beautiful.  Hanauma Bay on its rest day.  After we got back to the main trail (paved road) we spotted some more people getting their exercise or walking their dogs.  Luckily we hit no traffic on the way back. You'd probably be surprised to know that Honolulu is in the top 3 (LA & SF) for worst traffic among US cities. That's one of very few flaws of this place. 





Baby Romper(non-registered)
Thanks for sharing such a great information!
Trendy Preset(non-registered)
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We had great time at Hanauma bay. It's a perfect spot to experience Hawaii's marine life. We got there about 7am and the parking lot was full when we left at 10:30am. Hanauma Bay is a preserve, and it seems to be managed well. . great snorkeling - so many colorful fish. The water was cloudy on our visit because of the ocean surge outside the Bay. T Be sure to look your car and take valuables with you as the lot is known for theft. Here’s some photos from our visit to Hanauma Bay. https://lookintohawaii.com/hawaii/4187/hanauma-bay-nature-preserve-beach-park-beach-oahu-honolulu-hi

Tom @ https://lookintohawaii.com
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