DATE: February 22, 1997
WEATHER: mostly overcast, medium winds, slight showers.
HIKERS: Daryn Ohta, Grant Tokumi

This hike was the most treacherous hike I've ever been on in my entire life! This is definitely not a beginners hike. The distance is not really the problem. The problem is the chances of slipping and falling off the sides. The pictures can give some idea of how narrow the ridge was with sheer cliffs on both sides.


The trail starts at sea level off the main highway, but after maybe 30 minutes of hiking, you already get to a spot where you can look down and see the Crouching Lion. You can see the head of the Crouching Lion at the top of that steep cliff. There is a detour trail that will take you right to the top of the lion's head to check out the views. We decided to check out that detour.

These next 4 pictures were taken from on top the Crouching Lion's head. This is a view of the Kaaawa area.

I thought this was the Crouching Lion Inn, but when driving back after the hike, we realized that it was actually a place called Maakua Village.

If you continued on this detour trail, you could go to the top of this point. Daryn was actually there when this picture was taken, but I guess he was too far to be seen in this picture.

A view of Kahana Bay with a nice rainbow in the background. The rainbow looked nice but we knew that if a rainbow could be seen, then rain couldn't be too far away. We felt rain drops soon after but luckily it only drizzled for little while.

The trail goes along this type of narrow ridge for quite a ways with lots of rock climbing. There are some cables along the way to assist in some areas.

The ridge behind Daryn is part of the trail. Check out how narrow it is. The drops on both sides goes just about straight down for a VERY long ways with hardly any trees or brush to stop your fall if you slip off. Walk really carefully.

Yikes!! This nice picture pretty much tells the story about this hike.

More examples of the narrow ridges.

Daryn is looking down the side of the mountain in this picture, something I would not recommend if you are afraid of heights like me. The clouds rolled in over us later in the hike so things became very wet. Cloud can be seen creeping over the mountain in the upper left hand corner.

This view is of the Kaneohe area and was taken at the point where the loop trail starts to turn around and head back out.

View of the outside portion of Kahana valley on our way back down. Clouds blocked our views for most of the return trip so this was what we saw when it cleared up.

A nice view of inner parts of Kahana Valley.

We're still alive!!

This picture was taken from Makaua Village looking up at the Crouching Lion. That bump on the right side mountain is the lion's head. That's where we were sitting.

The distance is supposedly 4 miles, but I think it might be farther. In any case, it will take much longer than an normal 4 mile hike because you have a tendency to walk a lot slower when its slippery and you have "I think I'm going to slip and fall to my death" running through your head. We took 5.5 hours to complete the hike. This included maybe a half hour on that detour trail to check out the Crouching Lion, but it didn't include a break for lunch. As we got higher, things got a lot wetter, and we were in the clouds for a good portion of the return trip with some moments of rain. The threat of a full-on downpour made us realize that we should get out of there instead of taking a lunch break.

Make sure you don't go alone on this hike because its no walk in the park. There are areas that require you to climb up and down rock faces with huge drops on both sides of you. There are areas where you need to walk narrow ridges with nothing to hold on to on either side of you. The early part of the return trip becomes a bit easier, giving you some time to regain your composure, but after a while, the ridge becomes narrow and slippery again. However, this time there are at least trees on the sides to hold on to as you go down.

Recommended book for hiking directions on Pu'u Manamana

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Personal Notes

Jan 31, 1998
Revisited Pu'u Manamana with Alex, Stacie, Matt, Chad, and Hyun. Weather was perfect, very dry, no clouds, cool. Hike seemed much easier (not as dangerous). Maybe the weather had something to do with it.