hike

Oahu Day 6 | Kaneohe Sandbar, Crouching Lion Hike, Sandy Beach

 

Day 6 — Kaneohe + North Shore + Waikiki

There are almost no words to describe the Kaneohe Sandbar. It’s a huge bar of sand in the ocean where the tide goes up and down, on days where the tide is low, the sand just sits like an island above the water.

We rented a kayak from Holokai Kayak and Snorkel. After some research, most prices were competitive and around the same amount, but they gave us a good deal! Threw in the seat backings and an anchor. We kayaked out about a mile from the shore to the sandbar.

We unfortunately went on a cloudier, actually rainy day, so there weren’t many people around. While the sun did come out here and there, it was pretty cloudy. Still it was an amazing experience and hope to go back again.

We continued up the east side of the island on Kamehameha Highway towards the Crouching Lion hike. Put the directions into the map and park alongside the road north from the trailhead, there will likely be other cars there. Usually I hear this area is pretty hard to get parking, but we went on a cloudy/rainy day so had no problem getting parking. Walk south down the highway towards the ‘Area Closed’ sign and start here.

Stay left as you hike up, this is the more direct route. You will have to climb over a fallen tree. Unlucky for us, it was a rainy day, and while the uphill climb was cardio it was also pretty slippery from the wet mud. It wasn’t raining when we went up so were able to climb the 1 mile up pretty quickly probably in about 20–30 minutes. The views at the top were quite rewarding, we didn’t actually hike to the very point that is a singular rock since it started raining. We reached the overlook before it continues to the rock, they consider this the Crouching Lion “mini” hike.

We started to hike back down and this proved to be one of the hardest hikes I have ever done, not because it was tiring but because it was so vertical going down with no traction. Not to mention, it was pouring, and the mud continued to get more and more slippery. It probably took us about an hour to slowly make our way down, and we came back super muddy. I wouldn’t recommend this hike on a rainy day but would recommend it on a sunny, dry day.

One thing I did want to do was find a swing along the road on the beach. And when people say if you just drive along the road and you will find one, they were right, I probably spotted 3 or 4. {They were all along the east side.)

After our drive along the east side of the island we continued driving towards the North Shore. We stopped for garlic shrimp at Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp which is the truck still on the east side right before you drive to the top of the island. This one had almost no line versus the other Giovanni’s in the heart of North Shore that almost always has a long line, highly recommend this location.

To finish the day we watched the sunset at Sandy Beach with our Hawaiian Sun Guava and Lilikoi (lychee) drinks. While it was crowded and touristy, it was a really great spot, this is also where the famous curved palm tree is.

This day ended with lots of dessert, we had to get our Matcha and Chantilly coco puffs from Liliha Bakery. Cannot recommend enough, we even bought and froze a dozen to bring home.

Followed by our search for the Modo mochi donuts! Tip: this location is IN the Mitsuwa Marketplace IN the Waikiki International Market Place. It was a tiny booth like storefront. My favorite donuts from them were the cookies and cream, and black sesame!

 

Oahu Day 3 + 4 | Lulumahu Falls, Shark's Cove, North Shore

 

Day 3

We spent the majority of Day 3 visiting both of Jordan’s grandpas cemeteries. Our first stop was Mililani Memorial Park. After that we went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, which was a mix of stand after stand of souvenirs and people’s second-hand goods. We bought a few Ikaika Hawaiian Warrior Helmets as souvenirs for our car rearview mirror. I would recommend doing a lap around the place, although this will take a while before purchasing to get a sense of pricing.

For lunch we went to Button Up Cafe; since it was so small and the wait would be 30 minutes for a table we decided to take it to go. We found a nearby park just down the street to eat by the water (Neal S. Blaisdell Park). The nice thing about this park was that it was pretty empty and you could see parts of Pearl Harbor.

We ordered the Kalua Pork Hash and Tiramisu French Toast, both delicious! I wouldn’t say this was our most memorable meal on the island but well worth it!

Our next stop was Valley of the Temples to visit Jordan’s other grandpa. We planned on going down the street to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, which seems to be a spot everyone visits in Hawaii but we ran out of time and wanted to make sure we had enough time on our hike.

Lulumahu Falls wasn’t a challenging hike, I would say easy, about 1.5–2mi out and back. The only drawback was how extremely muddy it was, so be ready to wear shoes that you don’t care about. Also if you hate wet socks, don’t even bother wearing them. It is easy to get a little lost on the trail, but follow the pink plastic ties. We followed these the whole way and would have been the only way we found the waterfall.

Most hikes in Hawaii are private property, so I would recommend staying away most hikes out of respect to the land and risk of getting ticketed. This hike seemed visited by many and okay to go on.

Park at Nuuanu Pali Drive, and choose and entrance. There are two entrances, one where the the private property signs are that walks through a bamboo forest or through a wire gate that walks around the bamboo forest.

You end the hike at this 150 foot waterfall with a small pool at the end.

Day 4 — North Shore

We started another day early at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. While this spot was more crowded, it was a great snorkeling spot especially for families with kids. The water was shallow but you could see tons of fish. This area is enclosed by a rock barrier, but you can go beyond this barrier where the water is a little deeper and see more fish. I would recommend water shoes because it is super rocky and sharp.

Even though it’s called Shark’s Cove, there aren’t sharks, its because of the lava rock formations that look like a shark. We even found some great trees to hammock under for a bit.

We had to also make a stop at Haleiwa Bowls which was probably my favorite acai bowl of the trip.

We ended our day meeting up with Keri and Brandon to shoot for sunset. We even had a beautiful haku lei by Sky!

Here are a few of the photos they took for us!