7 Best Hikes on Oahu
Hawaii has the most beautiful and diverse collection of hikes in the world. Whether you want to walk along the ridge of a mountain or hike deep into the rainforest in search of a waterfall, there’s plenty to see. Here are some of the best hikes you must do while your here on Oahu.
(Click on the links to get more detailed info and routes for the hikes.)
Length: ~1.8 mi / 1 – 2 hr
Location: In Honolulu, minutes outside of Waikiki
Diamond Head Crater Hike is one of the most well known and heavily trafficked on Oahu. It’s relatively easy and won’t make you feel like you’re going off the beaten path, but it has a convenient location right outside of the tourist Mecca of Waikiki and does have some great views of the Honolulu the South Shore at the end.
Length: ~1.7 mi / 0.5 – 2 hr
Location: In the Manoa Valley neighborhood of Honolulu
Manoa Falls Trail is a well trafficked rainforest hike leading to a waterfall at the end. It’s one of the most well maintained trails on the island so is relatively easy and good for the whole family. Best to go in the rainy season and after a big rainfall to see the waterfall at it’s most impressive. But definitely expect to get muddy, especially in wet weather.
Length: ~2.5 mi / 1 – 1.5 hr
Location: On the Southern Windward coast
Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail is an easy fully paved trail up to Makapuu Point on the Southeast corner of the island. Being fully paved it’s great for the whole family but also has spectacular views of Oahu’s Windward and South Shore coasts. You’ll also be able to spot the historic Makapuu Lighthouse as you approach the top.
Length: ~1.2 mi / 0.5 – 1 hr
Location: In Kailua, on the Windward coast
Lanikai Pillbox Trail is the perfect early morning hike for beautiful sunsets. It’s an easy trek up to the old military pillbox that many use and a perfect vantage point to watch the sun rise past The Mokes islets over the Pacific Horizon. Great to get your Hawaii sunset photo op.
Length: ~1.6 mi / 1 – 2 hr
Location: In Hawaii Kai, on the Southeast side of Oahu
Koko Crater Trail is a very well known hike in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of Southeast Oahu. This hike is pretty straightforward. Just a straight hike up the side of Koko Crater along an old military railroad. Although not technical it can be quite exhausting if you’re not used to hiking or in the middle of a hot day with the sun beating down on you.
Length: ~7.3 mi / 3 – 6 hr
Location: In the Palolo Valley neighborhood of Honolulu
Kaau Crater Trail is where things get a bit more difficult on this list. This hike is not for the unexperienced or unprepared hiker, but will reward you with varied environments along you multi-hour trek. This trail will take you through rainforests, by waterfalls, up to the mountain ridges, and back down. It’s a great way to experience the diversity of Hawaii’s environments on one hike.
Length: ~7.1 mi / 4 - 8 hr
Location: In Waianae on the Leeward coast
Mount Kaala Trail is not for the faint of heart or the unexperienced hiker. One of the most difficult trails on the island spanning over 7 miles and ascending over 5,000 ft to the highest peak on the island, this trail will test you. If you’re up for it, though, you’ll be privy to truly amazing views of the Leeward coast and the surrounding valleys and even up to the North Shore of Oahu.