Sign describing recent deaths installed on notoriously dangerous Hawaii hiking trail
City officials say visitors tend to ignore conventional warning signs, so something more stark was necessary
Officials have installed a sign at the entrance to an infamously dangerous Hawaiian hiking trail that doesn't just warn of treacherous conditions ahead, but also lists the names of people who have died there in recent years, plus their cause of death.
The sign was posted on the Olomana (Three Peaks) Trail in Honolulu, where six people have fallen to their deaths in the last 10 years, including two in 2022. Although popular with adventurers, the trail isn't officially marked and maintained.
It's recommended that only experienced hikers with local knowledge attempt to tackle the route, but a spate of YouTube videos (like the one below) has piqued interest from much further afield, and thousands of people have visited to tackle the challenge.
The route is particularly risky past the first peak, when it turns into a tough technical scramble, with climbers holding onto rope hand lines to avoid falling. The trail is slippery after rain, and exposed and windy in places.
“Lifeguards will educate someone even before they get in the water," Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Director Dr Jim Ireland told local news site Honolulu Beat. "They will stop people in the parking lot and tell them right on the spot about that surf break or the tides and sometimes tell them flat out that this is not a good place for you to be today. I’ve learned this preventive action mind set from our lifeguards.”
Olomana Trail, on the island of Oahu. Don't be stupid. pic.twitter.com/rnEsIyW10iDecember 2, 2022
Ireland had the sign installed to let visitors know how dangerous conditions are after the first peak, and let them decide whether to continue based on their own skills and acceptance of risk.
It gives the dates when each of the six recent fatalities happened, plus the area where they fell. “People hiking up Olomana often don’t realize the danger they are walking into, especially in the area between the second and third peaks on the mountain,” said Dr Ireland.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).