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Explore Oahu: Crystal Canyon

Posted by Sarah Klacik on

crystal canyon

Not for the faint of heart, Crystal Canyon is a hidden “hike” I’d heard about while chatting with a local, not long after I arrived on the North Shore. I logged it in the Someday part of my mind, and months passed.

A few days ago, when our normal hiking spots didn’t quite satisfy our desire for adventure, I remembered it. I grabbed some friends and headed out, warning them I didn’t know anything about it, other than where it was, and that "grandma" had done it…how hard could it be? Let's just stop and say I want to meet this grandma, because she’s won my respect!

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

Came to find out that it's a "Tsunami Evacuation Route"! The trail started out well - wide and flat. However that quickly changed as we got closer to the canyon, and before long, we were confronted with our first rock wall.

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

It didn't take long for us to find out it wasn't for someone afraid of heights.

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

As we continued climbing, the trail became less distinguishable, however it wasn't hard to spot the next rope, or "easiest" route up.

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

At the top of the next rock face, we were pleasantly surprised by a view of the ocean!

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

1/2 way up, we came to a large muddy pool of water, which seems to be a year-round thing, due to the ropes embedded in the side of the rock.

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

By this time, our hands were really feeling the rope burn. Note to self: If I ever attempt this again, bring climbing gloves.

Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

The top was anti-climactic, ending in an open area, surrounded by a rock face that is too high to scale without rock climbing equipment. (However we enjoyed pretending to!)

 Crystal Canyon © Coffee Gallery

Bottom line ... It's a treasure not a lot of people know about -- However I don't suggest you attempt it, unless you have rock climbing experience. While the ropes seemed in good shape, there were definitely times when they were supporting our full body weight.
The Details:

Location:
North Shore, Oahu
Behind Camp Erdman 
Parking:
Roadside. Stick your valuables in the trunk, or carry a backpack.
Difficulty:
Hard. Wear good fitting shoes, and keep your hands free.
Facilites: 
None.
Fuel For The Road:
A bowl of our housemade granola to give you some much needed energy for the climb!
explore oahu hikes north shore

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