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Koko Head Crater on the island of Oahu has to be the most rewarding hike we have completed in a long time. To say Koko Head has an amazing view is an understatement. Hiking the 1048 stairs of Koko Head with camera gear was tough but I wanted to spend a couple hours capturing the scenery and history of Hawaii Kai’s famous mountain. We had one tripod and one camera, that’s it. Only the essentials.

Walking up the stairs of Koko Head was fairly easy in the beginning but as we progressed people started to get tired. The gradual incline became very steep. Lots of breaks for me but I was able to finish the hike in 24 minutes. We started at 5:55am so it was still dark on the way up. The crazy part was watching hikers already descending the stairs and most of them we would see later as they did the trip more than once. Awesome!

I did not take any pictures going up the hill but once the summit had been reached we extended the legs of our tripods and started the photo shoot.

 Sunrise on Koko Head

From the backside of Koko Head you can capture a sunrise with silhouetted shots of Lanai and Molokai. The neighbor islands can only be seen on clear days. Sandy beach, Makapuu and the amazing sites of our Ko’olau Mountains were glowing with the morning light. With vast views and such a large scene to photograph I had to take multiple shots from left to right then blend them into one large panoramic image. I was in the process of taking this panoramic image and seen a crazy trail runner guy jumping from rock to rock up the ridge until he ran right passed me. Haha! I watched this guy fly up Koko Head ridge like a mountain goat then run down the stairs.

The front side of Koko Head was awesome for pictures because the sun was behind us. This highlighted the city of Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, all the way to Ewa Beach. Once again, the view was so large I felt that a panoramic image would be the best option. I took four images with my tripod mounted camera and ended up with the image below.

Enjoy the photos!

Koko Head Trail Oahu Base of Hill
Road to Koko Head Trail on Oahu
Hike up Koko Head Crater Oahu
Koko Head Oahu
Koko Head Crater Trail Hawaii Photo Tours
Stairway to Koko Head Oahu
Carry a jug of water up Koko Head Oahu
Step up the stairs on Koko Head Crater
View from Koko Head Crater Oahu

Chris Rose
My name is Chris and this is my super cool job. We set-up & facilitate photography tours, workshops, and free photo walks for residents and visitors to Hawaii.
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