Crouching Lion

Location: Ka’a’wa, Oahu, HI (Off of Kamehameha Highway, before Ahupua’a ‘O Kahana State Park)

Distance: ~1.5 to 4 miles (to Summit)

Type: Day-hike/Loop

Rating: Difficult

Permits & Fees: None are required for this hike. Parking is located along the highway.

Preparation

Sunscreen, bug spray and water are a must. Several points on this trail are muddy, so it’s important to wear the appropriate hiking shoes.

The Hike

There are three main “trail-heads” to this hike. All are marked with signs that read “Hazardous Cliff” and “Area Closed- Do Not Go Beyond this Sign.” – Oops.

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We chose to begin the hike at the trailhead where a yellow bench was located. The only clear way to know if you are on the right path is to look for trail markers. These can be anything from empty water bottles, neon ties on trees, or trail ducks.

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The hike up the mountain was extremely narrow, steep and slippery. We continued hiking up until we reached a mini rock wall. We weren’t sure if we would be able to reach the top this way, so we turned around and chose a different trailhead to start from (We later found out that it is possible to continue on the trail after climbing up the wall). The second trail we chose was also extremely steep, but the trail was more distinct. After about 30 minutes we arrived at a break in the thick forest and caught a glimpse of Kahana Bay:

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Perfect photo opportunity!

From here we hiked along a narrow ridge to the opposite side of the mountain to a cliff with more incredible views:

Additional signs were posted next to sheer drop-offs. Sadly, a few months prior, a woman fell of the side of the cliff, which is why all of the signs were posted. It’s incredibly important to pay attention while on this trail. While the views are incredible, it is a very dangerous trail.

We took an alternative trail to get back down to the highway. It was steep and infested with gnats, but it only took 20 minutes to arrive at the trailhead with the yellow bench (where we first started).

Although we did not hike all the way to the summit of Crouching Lion, this hike proved to be very challenging. I wouldn’t recommend this hike to inexperienced individuals or families due to how dangerous it can be.

That being said, this hike had the most beautiful views I have seen thus far. The weather was perfect and I highly suggest checking this hike out if you ever find yourself on Oahu!

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