Hawaii Hiking

Hiking Oahu: Crouching Lion

A little while ago I told you guys that I would be creating a few short posts about each hike I did in Oahu. I recently published one about hiking the Koko Head Crater Trail. Today I’m going to be talking about the next hike we did, which was the Crouching Lion Hike.

This hike gets its name from one of the mountain peaks at the top of the hike that resembles a crouching lion. It’s located in Kaawa Hawaii, and makes for a nice half day hike and provides stunning views of the Windward side of the island. The trail entrance is off of Trout Road, but you technically can’t park here, so you might need to look for parking further down the street.

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This trail is a lot more difficult than Koko Head in terms of the terrain and the drop offs. The first part of the trail is fairly straight forward. It’s a little rugged and slippery, so bring proper footwear, but there are no steep drop offs or tough rough climbing to do.

However, after you clear this part, the trail gets a little bit more intense. The trail sort of opens up once you clear the easy part and this is where you’ll experience some steep drop offs. The rest of the trail runs almost right along the edge of the cliff, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

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At this opening you’ll see a lot of families turning around because the trail is too close to the edge and is not safe for kids. The trail will still have a lot of people on it though, just be sure you’re comfortable with being that close to the edge of the mountain; it was certainly giving me some nerves! However, you’ll get to see some amazing views of Kahana Bay on the way up.

There’s also two ways you can climb the trail once you get to this opening. You can choose to go up towards to the crouching lion, or go the other way, closer to the ocean, where you’ll get a better vantage point to see the crouching lion.

We headed towards the crouching lion first, however, stopped just short of getting to the lion resembling peak because it got a lot steeper than I was comfortable with. Nonetheless, we headed towards the other side of the mountain and made it to the top to enjoy these views and a perfect view of the crouching lion.

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Time to top: 1 hour
(Your time will entirely depend on you. You athletic abilities, how fast you go, how many times you stop, etc. I’d recommend about 2-3 hours for this hike to give you time to get up and down and enjoy the views at the top!)

Tips for Hiking Crouching Lion

  • Bring lots of water. It’s important to stay hydrated.
  • Wear sun protection. Sunscreen, a hat; make sure to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays!
  • Bring proper footwear. This trail is a lot more slippery and rugged than Koko Head, so you’re going to want to make sure you have proper footwear to prevent you from sliding down the steep areas.
  • Don’t forget your camera! You’re going to want to make sure you can capture these views!


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