How Many Calories Burned Hiking Calculator? (Check This First)

how many calories burned hiking calculator

You can burn close to 5,000 calories on a full day of hiking. You can burn calories while walking. The amount depends on how fast you walk, how many calories you burn, and your weight. If you want to burn more calories than that, it’s best to walk at a slower pace.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and walk 10 miles per day, your daily calorie burn will be about 1,500 calories, which is more than you could burn in a single day. If you’re walking at 10 mph, that means you’ll burn about 2,200 calories in one hour. That’s a lot of calories for a short walk.

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How many calories does a 2 hour hike burn?

You can see that the difference is significant when compared to the calories burned per hour for someone who weighs 200 pounds. So, if you want to lose weight, you need to eat more calories than you burn. There are a number of ways to do it.

Is hiking better than walking?

Hikers burn more calories than walkers because they use steeper paths. Hikers burn less calories than runners per half an hour. The benefits of this form of outdoor exercise include improvements in cardiovascular fitness, reduced risk of injury, and improved mental and physical well-being.

Why do hikers get fat?

Hikers may experience weight gain because of an increase in water weight, an increase in muscle mass, or a rapid intake of high calories. The hiking community was asked if they had ever experienced any of these effects. Weight Gain from Water Weight gain from drinking water is a common problem among hikers. Water weight is the amount of water that a person consumes in a day. It is measured in ounces (oz) or liters (l).

Water weighs about 1.5 pounds per gallon (1.8 kg/l) when it is at room temperature. When it cools down, the weight of the water drops to about 0.6 oz (15 g) per liter (0.9 kg). This is about the same weight as a can of soda. Weight loss from water can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, lack of hydration, and over-hydration. The most common cause of weight loss is dehydration.

If you are dehydrated, your body will not be able to absorb as much water as it would if you were fully hydrated. This can cause you to lose more water than you would normally lose. In addition, you may have a higher body temperature than normal, which can lead to a loss of body water.

Can I hike everyday?

As long as we approach it in moderation, daily physical activity can bring a host of physical and mental health benefits. Hiking every day is not bad. Hiking is the low-intensity exercise you need to stay healthy and fit. Hiking is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories, and improve your overall health. It’s also an excellent exercise for people who are overweight or obese.

Hiking can also help you lose weight if you’re trying to lose the extra pounds that come with a higher body mass index (BMI) – a measure of your weight in relation to your height.

If you have a BMI of 30 or higher, you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or certain types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC also recommends that you limit your daily calorie intake to 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day, depending on your age and activity level, to prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy weight.

How often should I hike to lose weight?

Hiking is a great way to lose weight by doing it every day. If you want to gain weight, hiking is the best way to do it. It’s a great cardio exercise that will help you burn fat and build muscle. You don’t have to be a marathoner or a triathlete to benefit from hiking.

However, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a moderate pace and work your way up to a faster pace as you get more comfortable with the activity. The more you hike, the more calories you’ll burn and the better your body will burn them. If your goal is fat loss, you should hike at least three times a week to get started.

Does hiking count as cardio?

It’s good for you as well. Lower your risk of heart disease can be achieved by hiking. Your blood pressure and blood sugar levels can be improved. Help you lose weight. And it’s a great way to get in shape. Hiking can help you burn more calories than any other form of exercise, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study found that people who hiked for an hour or more a day burned more than twice as many calories as those who walked for the same amount of time. In other words, hiking burns a lot of calories, but it doesn’t burn them all at once. Instead, it burns them over a period of several hours, which is why it can be so effective for weight loss and other health benefits.

How long does it take to hike 5 miles?

If you are a beginner, 5 miles takes around 2 to 2.5 hours. There are a lot of factors that can affect the length of your hike. Pre-hike planning can be done with these factors in mind. The answer depends on many things, including your fitness level, the weather, and the time of year.

The average time to complete a hike is around 3 to 4 hours, but it can vary depending on how much you hike and how many people you have with you. For example, a 4-hour hike can take around 4 to 5 hours with a group of 4 or more people.

If you’re a new hiker, you may want to start with shorter hikes to get a feel for the terrain and get used to the pace of the hike. It’s also a good idea to have a map to help you plan your route. You can download a free map from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at

This map will give you a general idea of where to go and what to expect along the way.

Does hiking tone your body?

Hiking long, flat trails will build endurance and stamina, while hiking short, steep trails will tone your muscles and increase your heart rate. If you want to get the most out of your time on the trail, you’ll need to make sure you have the right gear for the job. Here are some of the best hiking boots you can buy right now.

Is hiking once a week enough exercise?

Hiking is a form of cardiovascular exercise. The American Heart Association says to exercise for 150 min/week on a moderate level or 75 min on a more vigorous level. A short hike once a week will do the trick. If you want to do a longer hike, you will need to increase the duration of the hike. For example, if you are going to hike for an hour and a half, then you should increase your hike to two hours.

This will give you more time to enjoy the scenery and enjoy your surroundings. You will also be able to take a break from the hiking to eat, drink, and rest. If you do not have the time for a hike of this length, try to find a shorter hike that you can do in the same amount of time.

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How many calories does hiking uphill burn?

A 150-pound person burns about 10 more calories per mile when walking up a hill. A person of the same weight on a flat, level road burns more calories than a person of the same weight at a 10% grade. This is not to say that walking uphill is a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great way to burn calories.

But it’s important to keep in mind that there are other factors that can affect your calorie burn. For example, if you’re running uphill, you may be burning fewer calories than you would on flat ground. Also, the amount of time you spend on an incline can have a big impact on your calories burned.

If you walk uphill for a long time, your heart rate will increase, and your body will need to work harder to maintain your pace. On the other hand, walking downhill can help you burn a lot of calories, especially if your goal is to lose weight.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking?

There’s a reason why many outdoor enthusiasts are generally fit. The combination of walking, carrying gears and backpacks, and even climbing promotes fitness and health. Backpackers who love going on long hikes are also known to have great stamina.

calories hiking burn

But how many calories do you burn hiking? In this article, we will explore the health benefits that you enjoy while doing outdoor activities. We will also identify common factors that help you burn more calories.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Hiking?

Hiking is not as intense compared to other outdoor activities such as running or swimming. However, the slow and steady rate that you take while hiking means you can last much longer. On the other hand, running takes about an hour or two.

Even a day of hiking on an easy trail will burn more than running. Hours on your feet can add to the total calories burned. While running burns more calories per hour, hiking is a much more leisurely activity, which means you can last for a few hours up to a day.

For example, a person that weighs around 160 pounds burns around 850 calories when running at 8 miles per hour. On the other hand, if the same person goes on a hike, he would burn around 500 calories per hour. Spending three hours on a trail would burn around 1500 calories.

Here’s an example of calories burned by a male and female with typical weights during a hike. We assume that they are not carrying any gears and the trail is fairly easy with minimal elevation. Additionally, we assume a moderate pace of 4 miles per hour:

Additionally, the calories you burn will depend on various factors. The length of your hike, your weight, the terrain, and the weight of your backpack contributes to the overall calorie burn.

calories hiking burn desert

Factors That Contribute To The Overall Calorie Burn During Hiking

Hiking is one of the most versatile activities that you can do to lose weight. Aside from the opportunity to explore and travel, you can burn more calories as you adjust various aspects of your hiking. Of course, the more you hike, the more calories you burn. It is especially true if you go on extended hiking trips.

1. Body Weight and Fitness

Just like any physical activity, the body weight of a person plays a significant factor in the calories burned. A higher body weight means a person needs to work harder for any activities.

For example, a person who weighs around 130 pounds will burn up to 370 calories per hour of hiking. On the other hand, someone who is about 200 pounds can burn up to 570 calories with the same activity.

Additionally, your fitness level also determines how long you can hike. While fit people burn fewer calories during hikes, that just means the body is adjusting to such physical activity. It is a great opportunity to go on longer hikes or take on more challenging terrains.

2. Length of Hiking

A study in PLOS One showed that hours of outdoor activities would improve your overall mood better than physical activities indoors. The research showed that people who spend a lot of time mountain hiking for hours showed more increase in elation and calmness. This also helped decrease anxiety and fatigue.

Because it improves one’s overall mood, many people are likely to spend more time doing outdoor activities. Hiking is qualified as moderate physical activity. That means, walking leisurely for 10 miles can burn about 900 if you weigh around 180 pounds. You will also burn more calories if you are carrying gears or walking much faster.

calories hiking burn snow winter

3. Gears and Backpack

Much similar to your body weight, the extra weight that you are carrying while on a hike will contribute to how many calories you burn. You will have to do more work and use more calories if you are carrying a heavy backpack.

For example, a typical backpack with essential supplies would weigh around 40 pounds. This will increase the calorie burn to up to 750 calories for a male hiker and around 650 for a female hiker assuming a fairly challenging trail.

Longer hikes will require more gear and supplies. Water will probably be the heaviest supply to pack. As such, extended hikes with a fully packed backpack will burn more calories. Consequently, it is important to bring along the right backpack to help you manage the weight of your supplies and gear.

4. Type of Terrain

A hiking trip on a mountain will definitely burn more calories than a leisurely walk on the flats. Just like any exercise, the more you increase the intensity of the physical activity, the more you will expend energy.

If you are looking to lose more weight during your hikes, try a rugged trail with significant elevation. You will use around 28 percent more energy on uneven terrains such as steep hills or a forest trail. Your leg muscles, especially your hips and knees, will be harder when you walk on uneven ground.

For instance, hiking on a moderate elevation will burn about 600 calories per hour for a hiker with a weight of 185 pounds. The calories burned will further increase to up to 750 when the same hiker navigates a steep uphill terrain.

calories hiking burn terrain

5. Intensity of Hike

Increasing your general pace during the hike can also contribute to the total calories burned. If you are able to maintain a vigorous pace throughout your hike, your body increases its metabolism and even keeps burning calories 14 hours after the hike.

For example, if you are about 165 pounds, walking at a speed of 2 mph will burn around 185 calories per hour. If you go faster to about 3.5 miles per hour, you will increase the calories burned to up to 275.

Of course, the terrain and the pack that you are carrying will affect your speed. A general flat terrain is much easier to hike. You can reach around 4 miles an hour on average on this trail. However, an uphill hike may reduce your speed down to about one mile per hour. However, take note that you will be working harder on this trail, so you have the opportunity to burn as many calories (or more) even at a reduced speed.


calories hiking burn field

The number of calories burned during your trip will depend heavily on your weight, fitness level, and the intensity of your activities. Additionally, if you will be covering more miles in one hike, then you have the opportunity to burn more calories. Furthermore, the extra weight that you are carrying and the terrain will have an effect on how much energy your body will use.

Aside from burning calories, hiking, or any outdoor activities will provide great benefits to your overall mental health. Exploring nature will also take your mind off your tiredness, which can encourage you to challenge yourself further.

On the same note, you should always come prepared when taking on challenging trails. Make sure that you have all the gear, such as a multitool. You may also want to bring along a backpacking tent that best fits your needs during the trip.

How many calories do you burn hiking koko head trail

Hyatt Centric


Lotus Honolulu

Hilton Waikiki

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 1.6 miles (2.6 km) round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 900 feet (275 m)
  • Top Elevation: 1,207 feet (368 m)
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate / Hard

Koko Head Hike: What To Expect

The Koko Head hike is a little bit like Hawaii’s version of the infamous Manitou Incline in Colorado. To be fair, Koko is not as hard as Manitou, but instead of high elevation to contend with, you do have the tropical heat and humidity of Hawaii.

Koko Head is also plenty steep. Even seasoned hikers will be feeling intimidated when they arrive at the trailhead and see the gargantuan climb that awaits them. From the very start, you can already see the tiny hikers ascending the mountain, looking like ants in the distance.

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With that said, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll reach the top before you know it! The first time you do the Koko Crater trail feels like a total slog, but each subsequent climb gets shorter and easier.

Still, this hike is no joke. I would highly recommend wearing good shoes and bringing lots of water. I’ve done the Koko Head stairs in sandals before, but it’s very awkward and I wouldn’t recommend it.

A hat and sunscreen are also imperative if you hike Koko Crater during the day, because there’s almost no shade at all on the trail. A good way to beat the heat and crowds is by starting earlier in the day.

Koko Head Hike Koko Crater Trail Stairs Top Oahu Hawaii

Koko Head Stairs Of Doom

For this entire hike, you’ll be climbing a steep set of railway ties (‘stairs’) going up the side of an extinct volcanic mountain known as Koko Crater.

There are 1,048 stairs at Koko Head trail, to be exact. However, unless you’re a giant, each stair will actually take several steps to climb because they’re very big and awkward. The dusty trail and slick metal ties can also be slippery.

These stairs were actually built as part of a military railway during World War II, but they’ve been used by hikers for many years, so clearly they work alright for that purpose too!

Koko Head Hike Koko Crater Trail Stairs Of Doom Oahu Hawaii

One short section near the middle of the Koko Crater trail involves crossing a bridge over a ravine with an intimidating 10 foot drop, but you don’t have to walk across it if you don’t want to.

You can easily bypass the scary bridge section by walking through a clearing in the foliage to the right of the path.

This detour is marked with a helpful sign so you’ll know when to turn off the main path. Most hikers take the detour.

Danger Warning Sign Bridge Bypass Stairs Doom

The last one-third of the Koko Head trail gets noticeably steeper and harder than before.

If any section of this hike deserves to be nicknamed the ‘Koko Head stairs of doom,’ it would be this dizzying final section of the trail.

At this point, you might even see some tired people climbing up the stairs on all fours, or scooting slowly on their butts as they go back down.

When you reach the end of the Koko Head stairs, you still have a little bit of walking to do to get to the top of the mountain. Just another 50 yards of easy walking and you’re there.

All in all, the total calorie burn on the Koko Crater trail is somewhere in the realm of 400 calories (roundtrip).

Top Of Koko Head Trail: The Summit View

The views at the top of Koko Head trail are really amazing. You get panoramic views of Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay below, and you can even faintly make out Diamond Head and the Honolulu cityscape in the distance.

On the other side of this panorama, you can look down into the ‘bowl’ of Koko Head’s extinct volcano crater, which has been turned into a botanical garden, and in the distance you can even see all the way out to Makapuu Point.

It’s a great view, and you’ll no doubt want to stay awhile to relax and take pictures! At this point, you finally have a nice breeze hitting you, and some trees and bushes to hide under for shade.

There are several abandoned military bunkers (‘pillboxes’) at the top of the summit, as well as an elevated metal platform that gives you even better views of the whole area surrounding the Koko Crater trail.

Koko Head Hike Koko Crater Trail Stairs Top Oahu Hawaii Kai

When you’ve finished chilling and exploring everything at the top of Koko Head summit, you’ll have to go back down the same way you came. Take your time and don’t rush, because the stairs can be even more slippery and hazardous on the way back down.

Alternatively, for a change of scenery you can hike out via the Koko Crater Rim trail, but this route is more sketchy and it takes you away from the Koko Head parking lot, so you’ll need to figure out transportation when you reach the bottom.

I’ll share more details on the Koko Crater Rim trail later in this guide. It’s an adventure in itself.

Is Koko Head Trail Dangerous?

The Koko Head trail is not dangerous if you’re careful and watch your step.

To be fair, there’s one short section where the railway becomes a bridge with an unnerving 10 foot drop below it, but you can go around this bridge if you want to, and most people do.

There have been some accidents and injuries on the Koko Head Trail over the years, but no falling deaths. The only deaths here have been health-related issues like heart attacks.

This isn’t a great hike for kids or older folks. If you’re in one of those categories, please take your time and go extra slow on this trail, especially on the way back down. Bring lots of water and a hat too. Seriously. Bring more water than you think you’ll need.

Warning Danger Sign Koko Head Hike Stairs Doom Railway Trailhead Oahu Hawaii

When people get hurt on the Koko Crater trail, usually it’s because they were rushing back down the stairs and slipped. I’ve seen this in news reports and also seen it happen in person many times.

It’s fun to race to the top of the stairs, but there’s really no reason to race down to the bottom. It’s just not worth the risk of getting hurt. Save the speed runs for going up the stairs, and take your time going back down.

The Honolulu Fire Department rescues hurt hikers on this trail by helicopter several times per year. It’ll mess up your day and waste taxpayer money, and it gives the locals an excuse to call for closing yet another classic Oahu hike.

When a popular hiking trail in Oahu becomes a liability, the Hawaii government’s typical response is to close it down completely instead of working with the community and trying to find a better solution.

Let’s all do our part to hike the Koko Head stairs safely and responsibly so we can continue to enjoy this trail for many years to come!

Botanical Garden Makapuu Back View

US Military Bunker World War II Pillbox

How Long Is Koko Head Hike?

The Koko Head hike is about 1.6 miles roundtrip (2.6 km) if you start from the main parking lot. The hike isn’t super long. For most people, it will probably take about 1-2 hours roundtrip, depending on your pace.

Plan on probably at least 30 minutes to reach the top, and then almost the same amount of time to go back down. If you need a lot of rest breaks, it’ll take longer. If course it’s also possible to go faster if you’re super fit, and I’ve heard of people running to the top of the Koko Stairs in less than 10 minutes.

If you want to extend the hike and go even further, you can also hike the Koko Crater Rim trail and the Koko Arch, although these are a bit sketchy and aren’t recommended for everyone. I’ll explain more about these side trails later in this blog post.

Koko Head Elevation

The Koko Head elevation / height at the summit is 1,207 feet (368 m).

That means if you start the hike from the main parking lot, like most people do, then there’s about 900 feet of elevation gain (275 m).

US Military Bunker World War II Pillbox

Entrance Fees – Koko Crater Trail

The entrance and parking for this hike are FREE at the time of writing, and you don’t need to book anything in advance.

If you enjoy this hike, consider donating to Kokonut Koalition. They’re a non-profit group that maintains the trail.

Is Koko Head Hike Legal?

Yes, the Koko Head stairs are 100 percent legal and many people hike them every day.

I’ll update this guide if anything changes!

Is Koko Head Trail Open / Closed?

Yes, Koko Head is open! The hike is open all year long except for occasional trail maintenance. It was closed for 3 weeks of renovation in 2021, but it’s very rare for that to happen.

Here are the official Koko Head trail hours:

  • Koko Head District Park: 4 AM – 11 PM
  • Parking Lot: 6:30 AM – 11 PM

The trail can be accessed 24/7 (all day and all night), and people often hike the Koko Head stairs for sunrise.

However, you’ll need to figure out somewhere to park since the main parking lot is closed before dawn. You should be able to find a parking spot on the road near the tennis courts.

Koko Head Hike Koko Crater Trail Volcano Oahu Hawaii

Best Time To Hike Koko Head

I would try to avoid hiking Koko Head in the middle of the day because the heat is brutal and there’s no shade at all. It makes it unpleasant and a lot harder.

Morning and evening are both great times to hike Koko Head, and if you plan it right you can even see the sunrise or sunset, which are both spectacular! More info on this below.

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Koko Head Sunset

The Koko Head sunset is wonderful. In fact, it’s one of the best places to watch the sunset on the whole island of Oahu. I’ve done this hike almost a dozen times, usually at sunset, and it’s always such a great show.

The sun sets right over Hawaii Kai, and there are usually no clouds to block it. This corner of the island is almost always cloudless, after all. The colors at sunset are brilliant and there’s a nice sea breeze as the temps start to cool off.

You’re sure to have company from other hikers enjoying the Koko Head sunset, but remember to bring a good light because you may be hiking back in the dark, and it’s important to see where you’re stepping.

I would highly recommend hiking this in the daytime once or twice before you attempt it for sunset. Some spots could be dangerous in the dark if you’re not already familiar with the trail.

Sunset Koko Head Hike Crater Trail Stairs Sunrise Oahu Hawaii

Koko Head Sunrise

The Koko Head sunrise is at least as popular as sunset, and the views of Oahu island are just as stellar.

The sun rises on the other side of the Koko Crater, so you’ll be watching it come up directly over the ocean and the volcano crater, with views of Makapuu Point in the distance.

You’ll want a good light for hiking Koko Head at sunrise, and again, I would highly recommend going in the daytime once or twice before you attempt it for sunrise. Familiarity helps a lot here.

Koko Crater Railway Trailhead: Parking Lot / Directions

The Koko Crater railway trailhead is located near Hawaii Kai, on the southeast side of Oahu island.

It’s about 10 miles from Waikiki, and the drive only takes 30 minutes. There’s a big parking lot at Koko Head District Park and it’s free to use for this hike.

You can use the map below for navigation directly to the parking lot address.

How To Get To The Koko Head Stairs

Most people rent a car in Oahu and drive to the Koko Crater trailhead. It’s also possible to get to Koko Head by bus, although that involves 15 minutes of extra walking since the closest bus stops are about 1/2 mile from the Koko Head entrance.

If you don’t have a rental car and don’t feel like figuring out how to use the bus, there are also Koko Head tours like this one where they’ll drop you off at the trail and then pick you up when you’re finished hiking. That way all of your transportation is taken care of.

When you arrive at the Koko Head parking lot, it’s a little confusing to find the trailhead at first. Follow the sidewalk that wraps around the baseball diamond, and then go up the dirt hill through the trees to another paved road, which will take you to the trailhead (GPS here).

Usually there are lots of other hikers coming and going, so it’s easy to find the trailhead by following the other hikers.

Koko Crater Rim Trail

If you want to mix things up on the Koko Head hike and do something different, you can combine it with the Koko Crater Rim trail, which loops in a circle along the top of the Koko Crater. This is your chance to walk along the rim of an extinct volcano crater!

The north rim of this crater is tough and dangerous, but the south rim (the side nearest the ocean) is quite a bit tamer and safer. If you only hike the south rim, I’d describe it as moderate. It’s definitely not suitable for kids or older folks though.

This hike is a great way to escape the crowds and see some alternate views at the Koko Crater. If you want to do three hikes in one, there’s even a side path on the south rim that intersects with the Koko Arch hike (more on that in a minute)!

Best Hikes In Oahu Hawaii Top Oahu Hikes Hiking Trails Koko Crater

Koko Crater Rim

Koko Arch Trail

The Koko Arch is a giant natural rock arch on the south slope of Koko Crater. It’s yet another photogenic and interesting feature of this extinct volcanic mountain.

Normally people hike to the arch on a short, easy trail that starts from the main coastal road by Halona Beach Cove, but you can also reach the arch from Koko Head via the Crater Rim trail.

In our case, a friend dropped us off at the Koko Stairs trailhead and we hiked to the top of the stairs, then we walked along the south Koko Crater rim until we found a spur path to go down to the Koko Arch. After taking some pictures at the arch, we walked down to the road at Halona Beach Cove and caught a bus home.

You’re in for a very tough hike if you do all of this in one day, and I wouldn’t attempt it if you aren’t plenty comfortable with heights. Even so, if you’re up for the challenge then it’s a great way to do three hikes in one!

Koko Arch

History Of Koko Head In Oahu Hawaii

Koko Crater was formed by the same series of volcanic eruptions in Hawaii that created Diamond Head, but nowadays it’s dormant and the last activity is believed to have been at least 7,000 years ago.

The Koko Crater railway was originally built by the U.S. Army in 1942 to carry men and supplies to a radar station at the top of the mountain for the wartime defense of Oahu.

It was then used as an air force station by the U.S. Air Force starting in 1947, but with advances in technology it eventually became obsolete for tracking aircraft. The Koko Crater installation was deactivated in 1966, and the U.S. Air Force handed it over to the city of Honolulu.

In the years since then, the Koko Crater trail has become a very popular hike in Oahu Hawaii, and as many as 500 to 1,000 people climb it every day for the thrills, the views, and the free workout.

A non-profit volunteer group called Kokonut Koalition has been formed to maintain the trail and protect it from being closed by the Hawaiian government. Check out their website and consider donating if you’re a fan of Koko Head.

As always, please remember to keep the trail clean, be considerate of other hikers, and leave no trace. Thanks and happy travels!

Koko Head vs Diamond Head

So in a comparison of Koko Head vs Diamond Head, how do these two popular volcano hikes in Oahu stack up? That’s a good question, and I’ll try to answer.

Both hikes are roughly the same distance roundtrip (1.6 vs 1.8 miles), and they take roughly the same amount of time to complete, but Koko Head has about 50% more elevation gain than Diamond Head. That means it’s steeper and harder.

The path at Diamond Head is in much better condition than the Koko stairs, so it’s definitely more suitable for kids and older people. If you want a good workout and calorie burn, however, Koko Head wins there. Koko is also better for seeing the sunrise or sunset.

The views at the summits are different, but great on both hikes. Koko Head and Diamond Head are both extinct volcano craters, and you can see old World War II military bunkers (‘pillboxes’) at the top of either summit.

Diamond Head is closer to the city and it has amazing views of Waikiki and Honolulu, while Koko Head has amazing views of Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay. Overall, they’re both great hikes if you have time!

Read More: Diamond Head Hike

Diamond Head Overlook

Koko Head vs Stairway To Heaven

You may also be wondering how Koko Head compares to the infamous Haiku Stairs in Oahu, also known as the ‘Stairway To Heaven.’

I’ve done both hikes many times over the years, and I have to say there is really no comparison in terms of difficulty. The ‘Stairway To Heaven’ hike is much longer, steeper, harder, and scarier than the Koko Stairs. It has about 3 times as much elevation gain and takes at least 3 times as long to climb.

The Stairway To Heaven also has much more epic views than Koko Head, but sadly it’s closed and illegal for the public to climb, even though the stairs are arguably in better shape!

More Hawaii Travel Tips

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this travel guide for the Koko Head hike in Oahu, Hawaii. We always love climbing the Koko Head ‘stairs of doom’ for sunset when we’re back in Oahu.

Don’t forget to check out my other Oahu hiking guides and my complete list of the best things to do in Oahu Hawaii!




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