O'ahu Mini Hike: Crouching Lion

9:00 AM

Crouching Lion gets its name from the shape of a lion that the rocks form at the top. It is actually part of a larger hiking trail, that loops around the Pu’u Manamana mountain ridge. This hike takes roughly 30 minutes to reach the peak so it’s pretty quick.

Legend of Kauahi

It is always fun to learn a little something about the hikes I do. I usually find out some interesting stories wile researching for a planned hike and like others I have done, the Crouching Lion Hike has a legend behind it.

The story goes that the demigod, Kauahi, was sent from Tahiti to watch over Kahana Bay. Ancient Hawaiians had never seen a lion and actually thought he was a dog. Even though Kauahi wished to explore O’ahu, he never left his spot and eventually, he began to turn to stone. One day, Pele’s sister, Hiiaka sang to Kauahi. Her voice was so sweet that he tried to stand, breaking the strong roots that bound him. Unfortunately, he could go no further than a crouch before he was stuck, forever guarding the valley and bay.

Finding the Trail Head

Finding the entrance to the trail is easier than it seems. If you walk along the mountainside of the road, Trout Farm Road to your back, you will see the trail beginning just after the “Do Not Pass” sign. There are no trail markers but you can easily see where the footpath is.

Note: Do not park on Trout Farm Road, they will have you towed.

Short Trail

Since the trail is not clearly marked with ribbon or anything, the idea is to keep going up. You’ll see remnants of the trail and parts where it has worn away, but do not worry, it is pretty easy to navigate. You will walk through thick brush under the tree canopy for a ways, until you are out in the open. Strangely, the path becomes more defined the higher you get, once you’re out in the open, it is unmistakable. You will be increasing elevation rather quickly as you ascend.
Once you are free from the forest, you follow the dirt path under a cliff of sharp lava rocks, you might have to crouch as you pass this part. After this point, you can see the “crouching lion” (I did not get a good photo of it). If you choose to continue, this part is more tricky and dangerous. The loose rocks and dirt do not make for good footholds.

Spectacular View

From the peak, you can see the various blue shades of Kahana Bay and the small city of Ka’a’awa below. The greenery on the mountains is amazing, as usual, and from the height you can really take in all the scenery of the Windward side.

Please be safe and remember to pick up your trash so other can enjoy the beauty.

Alecia <3

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