HONOLULU(KHON2) — Should there be more warning signs at Hawaii’s hiking trails? It’s a question many are asking after another fatality at the popular Olomana hiking trail Wednesday. The city and state are discussing ways to ensure tragedies like this don’t happen again.
The views at the top of many of Hawaii’s hiking trails are breathtaking, but getting there can be extremely dangerous.
Rescue crews are called far too often for lost or injured hikers and in extreme cases, like the one Wednesday at Olomana’s three peaks, one slip can be fatal.
The trail is unsanctioned, but that doesn’t stop people and there is very little to warn them about just how dangerous it is to the top.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said, “the city agrees something more needs to be done to prevent another fatality or injury at Olomana Trail and is looking at options including warning signs.”
Hiker Sarah Eubanks said, “I think at the beginning of each hike there should be a warning sign that says you know the difficulty level of the hike and how long it should take and how far it is so that people can hopefully make a good decision depending on their ability and their capabilities.”
Another busy trail that rescue crews are often called to is Koko Crater trail. It does have warning signs.
Hiker Will Jodar said he thinks signs are helpful for people who haven’t done a hike before and “that would be good to warn them at first, so I think it would probably be a good idea.”
The state will be putting up 35 signs at select state trailheads, similar to the sign at Makiki Arboretum Trail. The signs are meant to let hikers know what they’re getting into.
The project is sponsored by the Na Ala Hele, under the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The signs already posted at trails like Manoa Falls Trail and various Tantalus trails include a host of information–including a map of the area, the length of the trail and roughly how long it takes to hike it. They also incude a QR code with interactive maps.
Independent trail consultant Tony Barnhill created the maps.
He said the new maps are part of the Universal Trail Access Project and that they will include more useful information.
“How many ropes there are how many steps right now they’re going to find that out when they get up there right and its getting hotter and summers coming and that’s going to be a rescue situation for some people,” said Barnhill.
The goal is to prevent hikers from getting hurt, lost or stranded.
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Barnhill said the new maps should be up at select state trails this summer.