Crouching Lion (Kahana Bay), USA
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USA Crouching Lion (Kahana Bay)

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This is a photo of Kahana Bay taken from the top of Crouching Lion.

Photography Tips

Although the hike is short, due the steep incline and loose dirt / rock, most people will take photos during the late morning / afternoon. The best view (and the one shown) is to the northwest. The view to the southeast is not very good.

You will absolutely need a very wide angle lens and / or take multiple panorama shots to capture the entire scene. A polarizing filter can be helpful. This particular photo was taken on an exceptionally clear day in the late afternoon, and is a 3-shot panorama stitched together using the merge function in Lightroom. The specs of the center photo are shown below:

Camera: Sony Alpha A7 III
Lens: Sony 16-35 f/2.8 G-Master
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 160
Focal Length: 16mm full frame (approx. 11mm on an APS-C sensor)

Travel Information

You'll need to hike the Crouching Lion trail to reach this spot. I followed Kamehameha Hwy (83) north and parked at Swanzy Beach. Then I walked approximately a half mile north to the trailhead. Caution - some areas of Kamehameha Hwy are narrow with blind spots. Please be super careful and maintain extreme alertness regarding the surrounding traffic.

Alternatively I saw some people had parked their vehicle slightly off road near the trailhead. However, that area is more discrete and may be more prone to vehicle break-ins. Swanzy beach parking felt more safe, but you should consider to weigh the risk of vehicle break-ins with personal safety walking along the road.

Crouching Lion is fun hike - very short but very steep. The dirt and rocks are loose which adds a degree of difficulty. My hike was 100% dry. But I cannot imagine how difficult it may be after a rain! Hiking shoes / boots with good traction are highly recommended.

To reach this exact spot at the end of the trail you'll have to climb to the top of the rock formation. Then descend a bit to the northwest. Please see the "behind the scenes" photos. Be careful as the top of the rock formation is ~100m high and is sheer. A slight misstep will result in falling to your death.

The main trail is not super dangerous. Just slippery and steep. During our descent my g/f fell and slide down a bit. She cried, but basically only bruised her ego!

I consider myself to be a very confident / sure-footed / athletic individual. During the descent I decided to swing from a dead tree for some fun... My feet slipped prematurely and I fell rather harshly. I bounced off the ground and knocked myself out for a brief moment. Luckily my head bounced off my arm and no major damage occurred - some bruises and scrapes (no camera damage!).

So yea, just be careful. Even if you're a fit / athletic guy you may slip. I was lucky I didn't bounce my head off a rock :-)
Spot Type Outdoor
Crowd Factor Just a few people
Best Timing All timings are equally good
Sunrise & Sunset 05:58 - 19:16 | current local time: 18:51
Photo Themes coastline
Locations Oahu Hawaii

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Thank you Eric Helligrath for creating this photo spot in USA.
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