January 20, 2017

Hawaii has turned me into a morning person. I used to hate getting up early, but now I jump at the chance to go see the sunrise and get a head start on the day. It helps that the sun doesn’t come up until around 7:00 am in the winter here. So when some friends asked me if I wanted to get up early on Thanksgiving morning to climb 1,000 stairs and watch the sunrise, of course I said yes.

Koko Head (4 of 7)

I didn’t take a single picture on the way up, mostly because I was climbing stairs and wondering why I thought this was a good idea. But then I got to the top just before the sun came up.

Koko Head (7 of 7)

Those views. That sunrise. A million things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving morning.

Koko Head (6 of 7)

It was an incredible experience and I thought it was such a perfect way to start Thanksgiving.

And on the way back down, we saw a double rainbow.

Koko Head (1 of 1)

If you want to get a better idea of what the actual trail looks like go here. No way was I going to waste time taking more pictures on my way down when I had to get home to eat pie!

Tips for hiking Koko Head:
–  I definitely only recommend doing this if you’re in good physical shape because it is hard. Steps are just hard and this hike is literally stairs and nothing else.

– Bring lots of water and sunscreen because there isn’t any shade.

– Go as early in the morning as possible, before it starts getting hot.

– Wear sneakers or hiking boots. I wore my hiking boots and it helped a lot.

– If you go before sunrise, make sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp.


What’s the best sunrise you’ve ever seen?

Koko Head (5 of 7)


carolann signature (1 of 1)


29 responses to “Koko Head at sunrise”

  1. Hawaii literally has the best sunrises and sunsets ever! I know that I would be second guessing myself going up all those stairs, but like you said the view makes it all worth it! I think that the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever seen has got to be when we were visiting Maui and saw the sunrise on top of Haleakala. It was so worth it to wake up at like 3 or 4 in the morning!

    • Carolann says:

      Between that and your post about Hawaii, you have convinced me that I need to get to Maui! I never really had it on my radar but now I really want to go!

  2. Heidi says:

    So incredibly beautiful!!! I can’t wait to make a trip to Hawaii someday.

  3. Sarah CC says:

    These photos are so beautiful – especially the rainbows! I would love to visit Hawaii someday…but I think I should start training myself for the wakeup calls now, haha, I am so NOT a morning person. (Pretty much the only thing that can get me out of bed before 8am is A. risk of being fired, and B. a badass sunrise)

    • Carolann says:

      The good thing about coming to Hawaii is that you will be so jet lagged that it will be easy for you to get up for the sunrise!! It’s so worth it and then you get to go for some awesome Hawaiian coffee!

  4. Jen says:

    This is absolutely stunning! It really is amazing how something like this can instantly turn you into a morning person. 🙂

  5. Susannah says:

    Wow! So beautiful! It’s amazing what you can see when you’re willing to get up earlier. 😉

  6. Julie says:

    I would definitely jump at the chance to do this even though I hate waking up early! Gorgeous!! You are truly rewarded with a beautiful show!

  7. Audrey says:

    Sooooooo gorgeous! I love that you went in the early morning and witnessed the sunrise. So perfect!! And especially on Thanksgiving!
    Maybe I need to move to Hawaii to fix my morning-laziness. I am terrible at waking up, even though it was a new year resolution. Ugh!

  8. Oh that is stunning! What a way to start Thanksgiving. I am definitely not a morning person, but I really wish I were. I’m hoping Sydney will turn me into a morning person for the same reasons!

    • Carolann says:

      It took me some to become a morning person. I had to kind of force myself to get up early for a while and then slowly I started liking it because I liked all of the things I was able to do in the morning! I feel like my internal clock shifted a bit too when I moved here. When it’s 5 am in Hawaii it’s 11 am in New York. I mean, I’m definitely adjusted to the time here, but I sometimes wonder if that had anything to do with it. I hope when you move you can get into being a morning person!

  9. ellesees says:

    I wish I had seen more hawaiian sunsets and sunrises when I was there!

  10. Rachel G says:

    We went here when we were in Hawaii! But we were a bit clueless and unprepared–we walked in from a bus stop at least a mile away, it was like 2 in the afternoon and blistering hot, and we were carrying no water. I think it was just kind of spontaneous, hey, I heard about this trail, after we’d been doing some indoor stuff that morning. We were total clueless tourists! I made it halfway before deciding that sitting down and resting while Angel went up to the top by himself would be the smarter thing for me to do. Angel made it up–piece of cake–but I guess that’s the results of running 10ks and half-marathons all the time. I just hung out next to the steps and enjoyed the view from the middle. 😛

    • Carolann says:

      That it something I would do. I was only prepared so well because I went with people who had done it before — one of them was a girl who made the mistake of going at 2pm in the afternoon and said never again. So we went at 6 am instead and they were able to talk me through it. It was really smart of you to not go up higher, and you probably got to see some cool views from the middle anyway. I see helicopters airlifting people off of hikes all the time and it makes me sad, I don’t think people realize how dangerous some of these hikes are here and how hot it can get. So I am glad you stayed safe!

  11. Carly says:

    I went to that link and THOSE STAIRS! haha I don’t know if I could manage it, but that view is so amazing and I can see how it’s worth it! What a great way to start Thanksgiving.

    • Carolann says:

      I had seen the hike many times from far away, so I kind of knew what I was getting into… but nothing could have really prepared me! It was really hard and I took a lot of breaks. It definitely was worth it and I do want to do it again, but I want to get into better shape first.

  12. Duckie says:

    Amazing photos! Makes me miss home so much because of those views – the crowds, traffic and cost of living I could do without, though. Lol.

    • Carolann says:

      Oh my gosh, the traffic!! It’s insane. I’m from New York so luckily I have lots of practice in traffic, but it’s crazy!

  13. Emma says:

    Now, these are views worth getting out of bed for!

  14. Jane says:

    That is seriously magical! Alright, I’m ready for a Hawaiian vacation!

  15. Karolina says:

    I often take a day just to walk around looking for street art as well, so it`s a perfect place for a walking or rent a car and start travelling.

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