Tom’s Experience hiking the Crouching Lion trail:
Crouching Lion is a Hawaiian hiking trail that follows the Pu’u Manamana ridge on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The full loop is called the Kahekili-Manamana loop.
This trail has steep drop offs and is very dangerous, not unlike Angels Landing in Zions National Park, except there are no chains here to help you maintain your balance.
The trail is a loop that goes for about 4 miles, but it took us about 5 hours to complete. The trail is difficult to find in places, and very overgrown. Multiple times we were basically crawling through the mud in order to get under the heavy overgrowth. Also, there are many places where the trail seems to disappear and you must follow pink ribbons tied to trees.
The trail is also very steep on both sides. I know that at least a few hikers who have tried to hike this have died, so make sure you stay focused while hiking this trail and watch where you are placing your feet.
The total elevation gain is 2,000 feet. most of which is gained or lost near the beginning and end of the trail. This trail has some great views of the ocean and the steep drops can take your breath away.
We did this hike on a very windy day where the wind threatened to blow us off of the knife edge ridge. We forced our way through the overgrowth and enjoyed this hike.
Crouching Lion was really exciting and a hike I will never forget but be careful, my wife slipped on a tree root at one point and nearly went over the edge. Fortunately we all made it safely home. Dogs are allowed on this trail but make sure they are okay with heights.
Crouching Lion Hike Directions: The crouching lion trail is a 4 mile loop with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet. The elevation gains and losses are near the beginning and the end of the trail. and the middle of the trail is where the dangerous knife-like ridges are. To get there travel 25 miles on the drive from downtown Honolulu. Take the Pali Highway to get to the windward side of Oahu. Once you are through the Pali Tunnels, descend downhill, turning left on Kamehameha Hwy. About 2.5 miles later, turn left onto Likelike Highway. Turn right onto Kahekili Hwy. which after 4.5 miles transitions to Kamehameha Highway (key landmarks there are a 7-11 store on the right and the Hygienic Store on the left. Continue on Kamehameha Hwy. for just short of 10 miles. Parking is available at the Swanzy Beach Park. Walk north up Huamalani Rd to the trailhead. The trail is between two properties and there is no reason to go up anyones driveway looking for the trail. After this the trail is sometimes hard to follow but there are usually pink ribbons tied to trees to help with directions.
Crouching Lion Trailhead = 21.553926,-157.855665
End of trail = 21.557981,-157.862678
Please comment below to share your experience on the Crouching Lion or any other nearby trails. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.