Oahu is truly the ultimate adventurers playground offering an endless selection of death defying hikes in any given direction.
There are so many insanely gorgeous, can’t miss hikes scattered around Oahu, and Crouching Lion hike is definitely one of them.
Crouching Lion, being a high achiever in beauty, is one of Oahu’s most popular trails that certainly offers some of the best and most iconic views of the island.
It’s not to be taken lightly when we say Crouching Lion is one of the best hikes in Oahu, and an adventure you seriously can’t miss!
Crouching Lion hike is actually officially closed, but that clearly hasn’t stopped anyone from hiking this spectacular trail.
There are a few things you need to know before exploring Crouching
Lion, so keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Crouching Lion Hike!
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How Long Is The Hike?
As one of he shortest hikes on the island it only takes around 30-45 minutes to reach the summit.
With that being said, it takes around 20-25 minutes on the way down.
The Kahekili-Manamana loop is a completely different story. This trail connects to the Crouching Lion trail and takes around 4-5 hours to complete with a significantly greater degree of difficulty.
If you are interested in the views, hiking the Crouching Lion segment of the trail will without a doubt suffice.
Is The Hike Difficult?
You have to assume that any hike capable of being completed in around 30-45 minutes and offering these type of panoramic views is going to be a pretty steep climb.
Like most steep hikes in Hawaii, you can expect segments of the trail where you will be partially relying on the ropes to assist you along the way.
However, unlike other strenuous trails such as Olomana Three Peaks, Moanalua Valley and Pali Notches, Crouching Lion does not have the vertical rope climbs where your life is literally in the hands of a complete stranger’s rope tying abilities.
Not to mention the worn out and frayed conditions of the ropes.
Conversely, the ropes of Crouching Lion are principally there to assist you on the more slippery parts of the trail that have been worn out from the sheer volume of traffic that this hike receives on any given day.
On parts of the hike where there is no rope or if you flat out just don’t trust that same sketchy decaying 100-year-old rope, there are plenty of trees and roots around that you can use to help you.
Is The Hike Dangerous?
As long as you move cautiously and don’t get ahead of yourself, then you should be fine.
Like we said before, this is one of the least dangerous hikes offered in Oahu, since there are very few parts where you actually feel like one wrong move could very well be the end.
It may not be very dangerous, but you wouldn’t bring your grandmother along.
Furthermore, once you reach the first level of the summit (which offers the least amount of danger), if you’re uncomfortable with preceding any further, then you can simply call it quits there and still witness all the spectacular views that the Crouching Lion hike has to offer.
However, if you do elect to continue the trail along the Kahekili-Manamana loop, than you can definitely expect some steep and dangerous segments of the hike.
Although we had initially wanted to complete the entire Kahekili-Manamana loop, which takes around 4-5 hours to complete, the views from the first few peaks of Crouching Lion were so spectacular we ran out of time.
We hiked up Crouching Lion in a slippery pair of Adidas sneakers with relatively no traction what so ever, however the hike would have been a lot less difficult in good pair of hiking boots.
What To Bring?
- Hiking Boots
- Hiking Gloves (Optional)
If you have a drone, BRING IT! Otherwise you will be kicking yourself in the ass later for not doing so.
How To Find The Trail?
Address: Crouching Lion Hike, 52-204 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
The Crouching Lion hike is located about 45-60 minutes out of Waikiki depending on Oahu’s deplorable traffic conditions.
A majority of the journey will be spent along the ever so gorgeous Kamehameha Highway, so be sure to factor in some additional time for all the impromptu scenic stops along the way.
Approaching from Waikiki once you reach the destination on your maps, the trailhead will then be somewhere on your left.
Do not park along Trout Farm Road. There is a possibility your car will get towed.
Parking is available just up the road at Swanzy Beach Park.
The trail has been permanently closed, so will not see any official hiking signs for the Crouching Lion hike.
Instead, just look for a ‘Do Not Pass’ sign. The trailhead is located in between this sign and a telephone pole just beyond it.
At first it will feel like you’re on the complete wrong path as there is no clear hiking trail for the first 5 minutes. Keep going uphill and you will find the point where the trail starts!
Last Bit Of Advice!
Don’t Hike On A Rainy Day
This trail is slippery enough as is on a sunny day. No need to make it more difficult then it need be.
Hike During The Off Times
Aside from there being less traffic towards sunrise and sunset, the photos are guaranteed to come out that much better during the golden hour.
Beware The Summit
It’s very easy to get too comfortable once you are sitting atop Crouching Lion. Just be aware of your surroundings and don’t get too cocky, in order to help prevent any tragic accidents.
Are We Missing Something?
Did we forget to mention some important information in The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Crouching Lion Hike In Oahu?
Drop your comments & suggestions below!
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