Search

My Favorite Hikes on Oahu

I lived on Oahu for five years and was able to hike many of the popular trails on Oahu. Below is a list of my favorite hikes.


Waikiki/Honolulu

Diamond Head

Diamond Head is a crater that was formed over 300,000 years ago during a volcanic explosion. The hike is only 0.8 miles one way, but you'll gain 500 feet in elevation. The views from Diamond Head are very beautiful. Diamond Head is open 6 days a week (closed on Wednesdays) from 6am-6pm, although you can't arrive after 4pm. The hike is really popular trail as it's very close to Waikiki. You can Uber there or drive a rental vehicle. It's $10 to park if you drive and $5 per person to hike. Kids under 3 are free.

Aiea Loop Trail

Aiea Loop Trail is a beautiful hike. It's one of the few hikes that does have shade. The views from the hike are amazing. You'll get to experience walking in the trees, but you'll also have great views of the mountain ranges. The hike is 5 miles long and is a loop. The elevation gain is 1309ft but it doesn't feel that bad as you have a longer time to reach that elevation unlike some of the shorter hikes. There is parking available and the hike is free.

East Side of Oahu

Koko Head Crater

Koko Head is a trail for more advanced hikers due to the trail having no shade and the need to hike uphill over 1000 stair steps. The steps are actually old railroad ties. They are not easy to climb. The trail is around 1.6 miles but remember half of that is uphill. The elevation gain is around 885ft. The views from the top are beautiful! I'd suggest going early in the morning as there's no shade and it can get very hot. There is parking available and the hike is free.

Makapu'u Lighthouse

Makapu'u Lighthouse is an easier paved trail. Like most hikes in Hawaii there isn't shade. The hike is 2.5 miles long with an elevation gain of 505 ft. The view from the hike is very beautiful. During the winter months, you can often see whales from the hike. There is parking available and the hike is free.


Lanikai Pillbox

Lanikai Pillbox is a short hike. It's not too difficult but also isn't easy as you need to climb the ridge which can be slippery, muddy and difficult. Bring shoes with good grip. The hike is only 0.9 miles but the elevation gain is 406ft. When you get to the top you'll see the old pillbox which is a WWII bunker. You'll also be able to see Lanikai beach and the mokulua islands. Lot's of people like doing this hike early in the morning to experience the sunrise. We like to hike it and then eat breakfast at Cinnamon's afterwards. There is parking available although it can be difficult to find and the hike is free.

West Side of Oahu


Ma'ili Pillbox

The Ma'ili Pillbox hike is an intermediate hike as there is no shade, and you'll have to hike uphill. The hike is only 1.6 miles with half of that being uphill, but the elevation gain is 679 feet. The views from the top are beautiful. During the winter months, this hike is a great place to spot whales. You'll also get to see the old WWII bunkers at the top. There is parking available and the hike is free.

Kaena Point

Kaena point can be accessed from the West side/Waianae or from the North Shore/Wailua. The hike is around 5 miles and is pretty flat. There is no shade and it sometimes rain due to the mountain range being right there. In the winter the hike is great for spotting whales. At the end of the hike there are tidepools where 99.9% of the time I've seen an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. There are only 1000+ left in Hawaii. Bring lots of water for this hike. There is parking available and the hike is free.

North Shore


Kaena Point

Kaena point can be accessed from the West side/Waianae or from the North Shore/Wailua. The hike is around 5 miles and is pretty flat. There is no shade and it sometimes rain due to the mountain range being right there. In the winter the hike is great for spotting whales. At the end of the hike there are tidepools where 99.9% of the time I've seen an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. There are only 1000+ left in Hawaii. Bring lots of water for this hike. There is parking available and the hike is free.

Safety Tips

-remember to bring lots of water

-start your hike early due to many hikes not having shade

-rain may occur and the trails can become slippery so bring good shoes

-never leave anything valuable in your vehicle. Break-ins occur regularly at hiking trailheads. If you must leave things in your vehicle, put them in your trunk and do this before you get to your final destinations as people will watch you and see you put stuff in your trunk at the trailhead. I lived there and never had my vehicle broken into, but I also never left a thing in my car. We also left our car unlocked to avoid a broken window.

If you've been wanting to plan a vacation to Hawaii, the Gypsea Traveller can help! Libbi lived there for 5 years, explored many of the Hawaiian Islands and travels back at least once a year. She can create a vacation package for you that includes your flights, resort, car rental, insurance and can help with excursions! You can schedule your free consultation below to speak with Libbi about your Hawaiian vacation plans!




50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All