Hiking Oahu

Oahu is blessed with dozens of scenic trails, ranging from easy paved paths to “experts only.” Be sure to familiarize yourself on the intricacies and difficulty factors of each hike before you start. (There are many Oahu hiking trail guidebooks available). Most trails have no facilities, so proper preparation is a must. Bring hats and sunscreen as well as protection from rain, which can occur suddenly. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended, as are a cell phone and plenty of water. Observe and obey warning signs, and remember, “pack it in, pack it out.” Here are some favorites:

Diamond Head The trail to the summit features many switchbacks that traverse the steep interior slope of the crater wall. The 560-foot ascent continues up steep stairs and through a lighted tunnel. At the top, views of Waikiki, East Oahu and the Pacific are endless.

Lanikai Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, the Lanikai pillbox (a concrete guard post) hike leads to sweeping views of the windward coast. It’s an easy slope for novices looking for a little exercise.

Makapuu The Makapuu Point Trail offers a mostly-paved path until the very top. This child-friendly hike offers views of the Makapuu Lighthouse and the windward side at the top. The lighthouse itself is off limits.

Koko Head Once used to deliver supplies to the military bunkers atop the crater during WWII, the trail is now frequented by avid hikers who must scale more than 1,000 railroad ties—or ‘steps’—to reach the pinnacle of this landmark.

Aiea Trail Loop
Inhale the citrus fragrance from lemon eucalyptus trees along this 4.8-mile path, which cuts through strands of Norfolk pine, native koa and ohia trees.

Kaena Point The trail leads to Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, a remote protected area harboring some of the last vestiges of coastal sand dune habitat.