Is Koko Head A Volcano?

Koko Head is a popular hiking destination located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Many visitors are drawn to its challenging trail and stunning views at the summit. But is Koko Head actually a volcano?

Geological Background

Koko Head is not a volcano in the traditional sense. It is actually the remnant of a tuff cone, which is a type of volcanic landform created by explosive eruptions. Tuff cones are formed when hot lava interacts with water, causing steam explosions that fragment the rock into ash and other volcanic materials. Over time, these materials accumulate and solidify, forming a conical-shaped hill like Koko Head.

Hiking Koko Head

Despite not being a volcano, Koko Head is still a challenging hike due to its steep incline and uneven stairs. The trail consists of over 1,000 railroad ties that were once used to transport supplies to a military bunker at the summit. Hikers must ascend these ties, which can be quite strenuous, but the panoramic views at the top make it all worth it.


While Koko Head may not be a volcano in the traditional sense, it is still a unique geological feature that offers a rewarding hiking experience. Its tuff cone formation and challenging trail make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Oahu. So if you’re up for a challenge and want to take in some breathtaking views, consider hiking Koko Head on your next trip to Hawaii.

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