Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hanauma Bay/Rock Bridge

I love finding new adventures in our own neighborhood.  
Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike is one of our go-to afternoon/evening strolls because its easy, has gorgeous views, and is dog friendly. But today, we decided to venture a little further and found a new adventure  that led to a rock bridge formation on the edge of the cliffs! The water from the sea has naturally eroded part of the cliff's edge, and left a small rock formation connecting on side to the other.   It's a thrill to stand on the bridge as the waves from the ocean nearly(?) crash over.

Here are some photos from our journey today:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mo'ole Falls Hike

This is by far my favorite waterfall hike on Oahu.  The entire hike has 8 waterfalls, but we only had time to see the first 2. I've sworn to keep the trail head a somewhat secret, but lets just say it involves running across the Pali Highway. Be careful! After crossing the highway, go through a gate in the fence and you are on your way to a beautiful trail and even more beautiful waterfalls! Simple Disclaimer: There are only waterfalls when it's been raining heavily for a few days in a row. The more rain, the bigger the waterfall.

The trail is pretty easy because it's mostly flat.  The scenery is beautiful, and it feels like a scene from Jurassic Park. Right before the first waterfall you will find a water pipe tunnel.  Go through it.  It's a little dark so it's best to bring a flashlight or use your cell phone.  But if you use your cell phone, be careful not to drop it, because the ground will be very wet.  At one point in the tunnel our shoes were completely submerged in muddy water.

The first waterfall will be a couple minutes after exiting the tunnel. It's a smaller waterfall, but its splits on the way down, making a nice photo op. We even found some tree vines to swing on.

Follow the path up to the right, and use the ropes when necessary. The next part is a little steep and be careful, because the ground can be slippery. The next waterfall is about 20 minutes away. It is the largest waterfall on this hike.  It also has a small pool to swim in, but the water is freezing!

Mariner's Ridge Hike

Mariner's Ridge is one of the more popular hikes in Hawaii Kai. It's a great hike for families and dogs too. It offers views of Hahaione Valley on the way up, and Waimanalo at the very top. The hike is shaded most of the way and very enjoyable.

The weather was definitely overcast on this day, but the view was still great:

Kamehame Ridge

Kamehame Ridge Hike is one of our favorites because it's easy and has a big pay off. It's great for an afternoon/evening stroll with the puppies or early morning walk to start the day before the weather gets too hot. The trail begins at the top of Kamehame Ridge.  Park your car on the street and squeeze in between the holes in the gate leading to the paved road up the hill. Sometimes cars drive up this hill because the ending destination is a popular launching pad for hang-gliders. After passing by "Winner's Camp" there will be a pink marker on the right side of the path, which leads to the carpeted launching spot.  From there, you can see beautiful views of Waimanalo and Rabbit Island.

Morning Hike:

Evening Hike:

 If you continue up the road past the pink ribbon, you will find electrical towers and small buildings.  If you walk through the gate to these towers and around the side, you will find another destination: marked "The Dead Man's Cat Walk".  It's a cement strip that literally curves off the side of the ridge.  It's a cool spot for a photo op:

Hanging off the edge of the platform:

 Caught the sunset on the way down (the picture doesn't quite capture how orange the sun was that night)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tom Tom

For some reason, we seem to try new hikes only when we're under a time constraint... like this one time when we had an hour and a half to hike part of the Tom Tom trail before work.  This hike takes at least 2 hours. The full hike can take up to 4 hours. It starts at the Makapu`u lookout and ends somewhere in Waimanalo.  However, we hiked until the top of the Kamehame trail and ran down that path to our car (park one car at the Makapu`u lookout and one at the beginning of the Kamehame trail).

This ridge hike allows you to see gorgeous views of the east side, especially Makapu`u Beach, Sea Life Park, Rabbit Island, and the beginning of Waimanalo. The shallow reef provides beautiful views of turquoise colors in the sea.  Half way through the hike, you will find a puka in the ridge.  Photo op! If careful, you can stand inside the puka.

Pointing to the end of our hike... after climbing two very steep hills

The view from the end of the hike

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sunflower Fields forever

Once a year, lovely sunflower fields bloom in the North Shore.  We've been checking last year's location every other week since the beginning of October, but still no luck.  But thanks to our friend, who spotted "fields of yellow" to the right of snake road, we found them! The fields are beautiful, and it seems as though a lot of other people have found them too.  Families with small children were exploring, as well as couples with dogs too. We took advantage of the beautiful scenery to take some photos for Daydreamers Hawaii, a clothing line handmade by one of us girls. Check out the designs for sale at

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ka`au Crater Loop Trail

This hike has everything you could want: It's a valley hike, a ridge hike, has 3 beautiful waterfalls, rope climbing on the side of a waterfall, a gorgeous crater, views of town and the east side, and every step is surrounded by beautiful foliage.  Be ready to get really close to mother nature. 

The beginning of the hike starts in the back of Palolo Valley. 
The trail follows a water pipe about half way into the valley.

 the views are beautiful
                                                                     Waterfall #1
Waterfall #2
The trail leads you up the side and onto the top of the waterfall.

Waterfall #3
Follow the rope trail up the side of this waterfall
so begins the ridge trail... the trail gets pretty steep on the way up
Ka`au Crater
lunch break at the top of the peak... views of the east side of Oahu
so begins our slippery journey back to the beginning (3 hours in)
 The ridge trail leads around the entire crater
 Back to the valley: 5 hours later, 6 miles complete
Some essentials for this hike:
- lots of water
- a lunch or snack 
- high socks or long pants 
- a bathing suit if you want to jump in the waterfalls

Start early because the entire loop takes about 5 hours to complete. 
It's completely worth it and one of one of our favorite hikes!