Stop 5: The View from Koko Crater
There is a State Park within Koko Crater that enables you to go into the old crater from the up-wind side. Very little ash was deposited here during the eruption because the Trade Winds were blowing strongly at the time. Although the crater floor is very hot and dry, there are some interesting plants and lots of birds. However, you can see that the inner slopes are heavily eroded, so watch out as we climb to the top along the rim on the left side of this image!
The first interesting view that we get as we totter along the sharp edge of the crater rim is looking down on Sandy Beach. This beach is one of the most popular on Oahu for body surfing -- but it is also one of the most dangerous because of the steeply dipping beach, swift currents, and pounding waves that crash you into the beach just when you're not expecting it.
Almost there! Pausing to look south towards Hanauma Bay, we can see that the popular swimming spot is formed by at least two craters that are now submerged. Check out the air photos Air Photo number 4 for other views of this State Park.
The view from the top is well worth the effort, as one can see all of Hawaii Kai and look towards Diamond Head. Notice also all of the breaking waves far off shore -- these are here because the reef is very shallow along the southern part of the island. The breakers therefore mark the edge of the reef.
From here you can continue on to Stop 6 on the ground.
Return to Southeast Oahu Virtual Field Trip
Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze