Where: Kaaawa, Oahu, Hawaii
Distance (round-trip): 0.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 216 feet
Time (round-trip): 1 hour
Vacations take on all shapes and sizes. From mellowing out to partying it up, the common denominator of a good vacay is that it usually results in disconnecting from the typical grind by experiencing something exciting or new. Although we love going off the grid and getting away from it all, sometimes an ideal vacation involves mixing and matching. On our recent trip to Oahu, we did just that. Once arriving on this beautiful island, you’ll likely get the relaxation started by immersing yourself in the bustle of Waikiki Beach. If you’re anything like us, after a day or two of Mai Tai’s while lounging beachside you will get the itch to explore the lush tropical landscape that surrounds you just outside the city.
Since we had just one week to soak in all we could from this Hawaiian holiday, we were a bit torn on what outdoorsy stuff we wanted to get into. Although we could have opted for some longer haul strenuous hikes, we decided that we would shoot for something that gave us the most bang for our buck, without completely wrecking our bodies for the remainder of the trip. Less than an hour drive from Waikiki, we headed to the Pu’u Manamana Trail to check out the Crouching Lion Hike.
If you’re used to gritting your teeth and pushing through the pain to earn your views, sorry, this isn’t quite for you. Sure, the terrain is steep, muddy, and slick on your way up (you could definitely benefit by strapping on some microspikes), but after just a few minutes you can already catch sweet views over your shoulder as Kahana Bay emerges behind you. Although you can opt for a 4-mile loop that will take several hours, we decided to take the out-and-back trail to save some time. Within 30 minutes, we reached the gorgeous viewpoint. We can confidently say that these are easily the most amazing views for the least amount of effort that we have had the pleasure of taking in.
From left to right, wide views of the lush, deep green Hawaiian landscape and vibrant blue-greens of the ocean enfold unobstructed in front of you. This elevated lookout provided an amazing perspective to take in the intersection of these diverse elements. The jagged rock, tropical foliage, vast oceanic vistas, and blazing temperatures experienced here really just reinforced why we decided on calling this beautiful island home for the week.
Even if you take some time to snap your share of stunning pics, this quick hike will leave you with tons of time to maximize the rest of your vacation. If you hit this hike in the morning, you may want to check out some of the beaches the east side of the island has to offer (we love Lanikai Beach), and with those fresh legs you may just have enough energy to reintroduce yourself to those Mai Tai’s come happy hour.