Under semi-bad conditions (cloudy skies, and muddy slopes after a night of heavy rain) we decided to complete the Ka’au Crater Hike. This one has been on my list of “Hikes I need to do” since I got here, so fractured finger or not, I was going to complete it. We gathered up the troops and took two cabs and a car to the end of Waimoa Road in Palolo and fought pouring rain for the first 10 minutes of the hike (so glad we did not turn back!).
The crew: Camilla, Sebastian, Aleks, Elise, Lisa, Gisle, Kim, Sondre, Nora, Matt & Rami. And Karoline & Hallvard who are not in the picture.
Ka’au crater consists of two parts. The first one is the climb to the crater where you pass by three beautiful waterfalls. This is where we got our first glimpse of the first one, after roughly 50 minutes of hiking on a small but fairly easy trail.
First waterfall up close. Beautiful one!
The guys decided it was time for a swim. The rest of us decided this was a good spot for a small snack & water break.
At the top of the second waterfall. To get here we had to climb a 90 degree angled slope with the help of roots and ropes. Totally made me feel like Indiana Jones.
Climbing the side of the third waterfall. This one is technically about 5 different waterfalls combined into one continuos stream of water that you follow upward for about 10 minutes.
And at the top of the third waterfall, after taking a trail to the right (follow the pink ribbons) you’ll find this: Ka’au Crater.
..and that means it was time to start climbing. This is the second part of the hike, where the trail takes you all the way around the crater. And while some people turn at the top of the third waterfall and go down the ridge line and back home, we were set on finishing the entire hike. We’re kind of stupid that way. Which is why I love this group. Our motto is basically “It’s always too early to turn back”.
Not turning back started with us climbing up to the first (and tallest) peak …
…where we took a well-needed lunch break.. Yes, there was mud involved. A lot of it. And there would be even more when we started to work our way around the crater. Downside of walking here right after a night of heavy rain.
The ridge line (and those white dots are my fellow hikers) and Waimanalo in the background. Gnarly!
Group picture with Honolulu in the distant background.
The view of Kailua (and Waimanalo to the right). Pretty sick. In a good way.
The ridge line continued on, and then it took a left turn after the second tower. All muddy slopes from there till we got to the lower part of the ridge again. Accidentally turned off on the wrong ridge line on the way back down to the trail end, and ended up wandering around in the forest before we finally ended up by this sustainability farm one valley over from the one we were supposed to be in.
Then we got chased by the owner of the property we had stepped onto, before he realized how lost we were and decided to drive us back to the main road. Which meant stuffing the 14 of us onto the back of his truck and giving us two bottles of Corona to share for the ride. Best Corona I have ever tasted in my entire life.
The next time we do this I will double check to see that we are on the right ridge line for sure.
It made for a good story though.