Catching up on posting – it’s been a while now. Recently did the Crouching Lion hike in Hawaii and to be honest it wasn’t as crazy as others have made it out to be. I thought I’d add my two cents to the plethora of reviews out there. My goal is always to simplify the directions and help you find these trails. If you do a quick search on the Crouching Lion Hike, you’ll see many reviewers tell you that the trail head is hard to find, the trail is steep and people die. While it’s true a few have died on this hike, it’s not because of the trail itself. It’s because they veered off the trail to take selfies or other photos. Personal choice, not by trail design. The hike overall takes about 30-45 minutes to reach the top.
The trail head is relatively easy to find and so is parking. Match up the below map with yours and you’ll see parking on the side of the road, most likely other cars will be there during daylight hours as well. The trail head is across the road and you can enter the trail through any of posted “area closed” signs. General rule is that as long as your climbing up you’re going in the right direction. The very first obstacle is a tree trunk growing horizontally across the trail. From there it’s just following a path.
Here’s a few shots on the trail – remember to turn around and take in the view when you’re taking a break (if needed).
The initial trail up is at around a 45 degree angle. Though not intensely difficult I would still recommend some shoes with good grip and not running shoes. If it’s wet, it’ll be a muddy climb. Once you reach the plateau, the trail will fork: go left for the top of the lion’s head and a great view over the highway below and ocean or go right to get a better view of the “lion” and possibly continue further into the mountains. Keep in mind now that there will be a constant breeze since you’re traveling along the ridge line.
Here’s a pano looking back on the way up to the lion’s head. You can find plenty of pictures from the top of the lion’s head so won’t bore you with those. Overall, highly recommended if you’re out on the east side. It’s one of the few trails that won’t cost you half a day or get you all sweaty if you decide to continue to nicer venues.