Ka’au Crater

I definitely needed to get out this last weekend and do a hike. Fortunately, Ilja found the coolest one yet. Ka’au is in the valley just next to mine, called Palolo Valley. Julien, Ilja and I headed over there about 10 am as it was an estimated 5–6 hour hike.

We approach the first sign of the trail-

“Ka’au Crater is an untamed trail, continue at own risk”- Directly behind the sign we start climbing down rocks and approach the stream we have to cross multiple times.

This is 100% the natural rainforest, crazy right!!! Well, we reached the stream and started following it, crossing a few times back and forth.

Sometimes, we would stumble across some natural obstacles. But hey, we got through it with some celebrations.

After about an hour of following along the pipelines in the forest and getting drenched by the rain, we started getting close to the first waterfall. This waterfall is the most massive one I’ve ever seen. With the rain, it was flowing very strong and the pool below would be unswimable. The water was spraying everywhere, so this picture isn’t the best as I was trying not to get another water damaged phone.

We continued on…. Except now the next hour consisted of rock climbing. People before have hooked up ropes to help, which definitely was appreciated. It was pretty sweet, and made for a good little arm workout.

In the middle of climbing we reached the second waterfall. Not sure what the yellow stuff was, but it was still incredible. By this point all our clothes were soaking wet. We came across an older couple who told us to be careful on the third waterfall, but a group of people was taking it on ( this is important for later ).

The next step was rock climbing up the side of this falls to the top where we needed to cross.

& so on was more rock climbing. We reached the bottom of the third waterfall. The first thing we saw was a hat and decided to pick it up. I put it in my bag and we began to climb up the side of this waterfall. This waterfall went up forever and needed to be crossed 2–3 times. Once again, THANK YOU to the people who have put ropes up. As we were crossing the waterfall I put all my trust into the ropes. As we reached the last, and scariest crossing, I had to have a leap of faith moment. I just went for it and we freaking made it to the very top!!! This picture was at the bottom, doing no justice for how far up this thing went.

By the top of this, we had just a little more climbing until we reached the ridge line. Here you can see the marsh up in the valley. You can even see the ocean from here! We got lucky as the sun came out just for this moment.

From this point on was UP the muddy and slippery ridge. The fog also made a return, looking pretty spooky.

Once we reached the top, we had caught up with that group the couple told us about. Most of them were from Colorado, which was ironic as I was wearing my Colorado shirt. We ended up chilling with them the rest of the time.

On the way down, I have no pictures but the bruises and scratches on my body can do me justice for how crazy it was. At some points it was easier to slide down on your butt in the mud. It was a mud slide. We walked (and slid) the whole crater down. Talking to our new friends about that crazy third waterfall, one guy mentioned losing his favorite hat there. Yes, the hat I picked up!! Pretty cool when it comes full circle. We made it down pretty fast and when we reached the stream we all layed full body and had to scrub the mud off of us. My shorts are forever mud stained. It felt so nice though, 5 miles later.

We ended up going to eat at the new Aloha burrito with our friends. As there’s no Chipotle here (not sure how I manage), I have to get as close as I can get. I can’t complain, it was pretty good and had some fire guac.

This was definitely the most crazy amazing hike I’ve done so far. It’s so great exploring all this world has to offer. The rainforest at the zoo was always my favorite thing, but the natural rainforest is a whole new level.