Ka’au Volcano Hike on Oahu

I was 24 years of age and I was living in Hawaii. What could be better? I was employed AND I was living in paradise.

A friend of mine named Fred Randall showed me a Chevron Gas Station auto map. He pointed to an image of a dormant volcano that was located in the mountains above and behind Waikiki. He challenged me to go hiking with him and explore it. By looking at the map, we drove to the first valley to the right of St. Louis Heights. Now days on Google.com you can see it with Google Maps. It is Makiki Heights above Palolo Valley. It looks like a round area on the map.  It is called Ka’au Crater. Go to Google.com and search for Ka’au Crater or try URL below.


We parked the car and started hiking up hill. The trail ended and the way got steeper. There were heavy-duty vines growing up, down and  sideways across the face of the mountain. We had to kind of weave ourselves up and over, and then climb down under the thick branches. It was a bit like nature’s version of a crooked ladder. We climbed up further and further up the hill side and eventually it leveled out and we finally came to a volcanic area. It was a volcano all right. But it was filled with marshy grass, water and moss.

When you walk out toward the middle it was kind of mushy and with every step your feet threatened to sink into the water. The place gave us the impression that no one had ever been there before, but I doubt if that’s really true. It was a nice adventure. That is why I remember it so vividly.

We were thirsty, On the way back down it started to sprinkle. When the rain drops got bigger, we put on our military oilcloth rain ponchos with the built-in hood. That kept the rain off of us. Even better we were able to quench our thirst by extending the rain poncho out with our arms.  This spread the poncho out enough to collect some fresh rainwater. We were able to slurp it up and satisfy our thirsts.

(C) 2019 John A. Peters The date of this hike is circa 1961

3 thoughts on “Ka’au Volcano Hike on Oahu”

  1. Don’t understand (quench our thirst by holdinghimself to spread and collect enough)…

    I get you collected water but not how.

  2. What year were you in Hawaii at the age of 24, young and innocent? Were you living in Manoa. We have a music group called Ka’au Crater Boys. (Edit in It was 1963)

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