When you think of tropical islands, cocoa often comes to mind. But have you ever tried Koko, as in "Koko Crater"? This former Army outpost on Oahu just east of Honolulu is 1048 steps of vertical torture.
It opened just a few years ago to the public and is very popular with runners, hikers, and those who want to enjoy a 360-degree view of the island. But the only way to the top is to take those 1048 steps. While I made it up in about 20 minutes, some athletic folks do it three or more times in a row every day.
Not even Steve McGarrett and Lori of Hawaii Five-O made it to the top in a recent show!
When you get up there, make sure to hydrate. Perhaps some ice-cold cocoa milk would suit your taste.
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A View From Koko Summit
Climbing over 1048 railroad ties (and one narrow railroad bridge) to the summit of Koko Crater is a huge accomplishment. The rewards are spectacular views straight down to Hanauma Bay to your left and Hawaii Kai to your right. I recommend the former as your next destination after this climb. The snorkeling is world-class. In fact, you can even snorkel there at night. It's the perfect cool-down after a successful summit of this steep volcano guaranteed to produce a sweat. Look down from this view on top of the world into the crystal-clear waters of the bay and remember, the best snorkeling is out past the bouy.
Spend a cooler evening at the top of Koko Crater and gaze west. You're guaranteed an unobstructed view of a classic Hawaiian sunset over Honolulu. If the conditions are just right after a passing rainstorm, you may even see a rainbow over Pearl Harbor or the northern mountains.