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Bowman Trail
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mini location map2013-02-24
40 by photographer avatarzukerrach
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Bowman TrailHonolula, HI
Honolula, HI
Hiking avatar Feb 24 2013
Hiking7.40 Miles 3,082 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   6 Hrs   42 Mns   1.10 mph
3,082 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Jared insisted that I had to see Pearl Harbor while on Oahu, so we drove all the way down to the southern coast only to find out that the next tour wasn't for a couple hours. Not wanting to wait around that long, I opened my hiking book and found the longest hike in the area, and we were on our way!

The trail started behind an elementary school-- we had to park on a subdivision street, as with every other hike I did on Oahu. The "trailhead" was barely visible, as the first half mile or so was a climb through a small ironwood forest with tall grass covering the trail. As if our heart rates weren't already high enough, we were then met with an old red dirt road that took us onward at an uncomfortable incline. At our turnoff, there was a creepy old graffiti-ed concrete building (with blankets inside).

The rest of the hike has all blurred together in my mind, as we simply followed the ridge for several miles. There were countless great views of the Honolulu area and the rainforest canopy, a couple huge banyan trees ( :GB: !), a very creepy boar carcass hung up in a tree ( :-s ), several near-death experiences, and many helpful cables!

I started getting nervous about the time when I realized we were only about 2/3 of the way there, and we only had about 3 hours of daylight left (and, of course, I had only brought one headlamp-- the spare I had been planning to bring for Jared was still packed in my suitcase, next to my spare batteries and hand crank flashlight). However, we had already come this far, and the summit beckoned (and also I was too proud/stupid to actually turn back)!

Once we started getting closer to the final climb and we were able to get a good look at the mountain, I found myself wondering several times how it would actually be possible to get up there-- it looked nearly vertical! We pressed onward, and soon my question was answered: with cables! Luckily I'm not afraid of heights, so I thought the whole experience was pretty amazing... talk about taking your life into your own hands! While I was stopping to take pictures and generally just reveling in the whole experience, Jared pressed onward very efficiently while concentrating on not looking down... Even still, his face was still white when I reached the summit a couple minutes after him!

We were slightly disappointed that we had essentially zero visibility at this point due to a heavy fog that was surrounding us, but that was mostly overshadowed by the adrenaline and sense of accomplishment of having finally reached the top! We ate quickly while I calculated how quickly we would have to travel to make it off the ridge before dark. We were about to start our descent when the fog suddenly cleared up, so we were able to get a couple photos after all! :]

The hike back was as fast and efficient as possible (I even put my camera away for the whole thing! :o), and we just baaarely made it off the ridge before dark. After concentrating so hard on not falling off the ridge for the last several hours, it felt good to be back on the nice wide dirt road, where I managed to trip and fall several times. :]

It wasn't until I got home and looked this hike up online that I realized it's described as "one of the most dangerous Oahu trails you can hike," and that there's a saying that goes "the Bowman Trail doesn't build character, Bowman reveals it". I can certainly understand why!

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