Oahu is dwelling to a number of the finest hikes in all of Hawaii. The island is dwelling to 2 huge mountain ranges, the Koolau and Waianae. Running alongside one another they assist to create dramatic and memorable landscapes and a lot of the finest hikes on Oahu soar up their ridgelines.
Hikes on Oahu vary in problem from informal paved strolls by means of botanic gardens to epic muddy treks deep into the jungle in search of waterfalls. Whatever takes your fancy, distinctive surroundings will encompass you in each path and the summit views might be value each leg-burning mile.
Top Hikes On Oahu
Deciding what mountaineering trails you must add to your Oahu itinerary may be difficult, so learn on and study all in regards to the 15 finest hikes on Oahu. After finishing one among these excellent treks, learn our article on the most effective issues to do in Oahu to maintain the enjoyable occasions rolling.
1. Manoa Falls Trail
Only fifteen minutes from downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, the Manoa Falls Trail presents the right city escape and is among the hottest Oahu hikes for locals and vacationers alike.
From the moment you hit the path, your world will rework right into a jungle paradise and you will note why that is our favourite Oahu hike. Flanked by the luxurious Manoa Valley on both facet, you’ll rise previous the valley in direction of a stupendous 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and while you do, shade prisms and rainbows will float by means of the air. The path is well-maintained and there are a number of benches alongside the best way the place you’ll be able to relaxation.
The spotlight of the hike is unquestionably the waterfall on the finish of the path. The waterfall is about 150 toes tall and it’s an amazing place to chill off on a scorching day. The Manoa Falls mountaineering path is a comparatively easy hike that may be a nice starter trek for newcomers to Oahu and likewise for households searching for an outside journey.
Trailhead: Manoa Falls Trailhead Distance: 1.6 miles Difficulty: Easy hike Elevation Gain: 633ft
2. Lanikai Pillbox Hike (Kaiwa Ridge Hike)
In one of the vital picturesque corners of Oahu, a brief ridge hike ends in iconic and colourful pillboxes. Also often called the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, this trek is among the most rewarding but easy mountaineering trails on Oahu.
The regular, steep grade will get the legs shifting however fortunately the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is barely roughly a mile one-way. Views are wonderful all alongside the path, providing you with a glimpse into what’s to return. Once you’re on the high, you’ll not solely see the pillboxes, that are two concrete bunkers that have been constructed throughout World War II, however additionally, you will take pleasure in epic views of Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach, and the Mokulua Islands.
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike faces due east, so all of the extra cause to stand up early, full the hike, and take in an unbeatable Hawaiian dawn.
Trailhead: 265 Kaelepulu Dr, Kailua, HI Distance: 1.8 miles Difficulty: Easy Hike Elevation Gain: 656ft
3. Olomana Trail
Now that you’ve stretched your legs and damaged in your mountaineering boots, it’s time to problem your self just a little extra. This is the place the Olomana 3 Peaks Hike comes in.
As one of many more difficult hikes on Oahu, the Olomana Trail takes you up a steep incline to the primary of three peaks. After gaining 2000ft of elevation, take a break and soak in the views of the Ko’olau Mountain Range and the rugged Oahu coast, earlier than making your approach throughout to the second peak.
The path is steep and rocky, and there are some sections that require scrambling and twine help. So it is a hike I might solely recommend trying in case you are actually in form and have mountaineering expertise.
Although you’ll be able to climb the third peak, we suggest turning round after peak two due to security considerations. Once you’re again on stage floor, head to the native pub and toast to an unbelievable day in the mountains.
Trailhead: Loop Drive close to Royal Hawaiian Golf Club Distance: 4.4 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 2761ft
4. Waimea Falls Trail
Similar to the Manoa Falls Trail, Waimea Falls is a really accessible hike close to Oahu’s north shore. The path makes its approach by means of the great botanical backyard of Waimea Valley. The valley is value exploring additional after the hike because it comes with a major cultural and archaeological website.
This is among the extra common Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it incorporates a largely paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and lovely gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you will have reached the top, it is possible for you to to sit down, chill out and take in the 45ft waterfall because it tumbles into the Kamanui Stream. To assist make the hike much more accessible, there are elective shuttles for younger households and aged hikers.
Trailhead: Waimea Valley Visitor Center Distance: 3.5 miles Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 272ft
Don’t have time to do all these hikes on Oahu? This best-selling full-day Oahu island tour covers all of the highlights together with Hanauma Bay to the North Shore, the Kualoa Ranch, Halona Blowhole Nu`uanu Pali Lookout, the seashores of the North Shore, and extra.
5. Diamond Head Trail
Anyone who has visited Oahu will know in regards to the mass of volcanic rock that’s seen from so many elements of the island, the Diamond Head State Monument. This iconic pure characteristic can also be dwelling to top-of-the-line hikes on Oahu. The Diamond Head Trail takes you thru some unbelievable landscapes which might be a world away from the earlier treks by means of rainforests.
The enjoyable, however difficult volcano hike incorporates a steep hike as much as the perspective at Diamond Head Crater that rewards you with panoramic views of turquoise waters and the Honolulu skyline. Along the best way, the path leads you thru an thrilling 225ft tunnel, which is nearly as memorable because the views. But remember that is a particularly common hike and it will possibly get actually crowded at dawn, so be ready.
Trailhead: Diamond Head Crater Trailhead Distance: 1.6 miles Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 560ft
Don’t simply see Oahu from the bottom, stand up in the air with this helicopter tour that we did. It goes from Waikiki Beach to the North Shore and it was lovely. Magnum PI followers will even love this helicopter tour in a duplicate of the collection helicopter to see filming areas plus Pearl Harbor, Sacred Falls, and Le‘ahi (Diamond Head).
6. Koko Crater Hike
Nearby to Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach is one of the most exciting hiking trails on the island of Oahu. The infamous Koko Crater stairs aren’t simply there to make your legs heavy, they’re the stays of a railroad constructed in the Second World War. Now as an alternative of transporting provides, hikers take to this path for the bodily problem.
The Koko Crater path takes you over 1,000 steps as much as the summit in lower than a mile. This is among the finest Oahu hikes however remember that it’s a very steep climb and never for the unfit. From the highest of the Koko Head District Park, you’ll have gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean from 1200ft above sea stage.
For those that are up for the journey, put together to have some jelly legs on the descent.
If you’re hooked on Oahu’s distinctive panorama, go a step additional and discover out probably the most wonderful info about Hawaii.
Trailhead: Koko Crater Railway Trailhead Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 990ft
7. Seven Falls Hike
All the most effective Oahu hikes have one thing distinctive to take pleasure in. But for an all-around journey, it’s onerous to move up on the Seven Falls path. Featuring waterfalls, loads of wading by means of streams, and boulder hopping alongside the difficult route, Seven Falls has all of it.
The mountaineering path is subsequent to a rocky stream that cuts by means of a deep and slender gorge. Along the best way, you’ll move a number of waterfalls, with the path requiring using ropes so you’ll be able to hike beside them.
It is feasible to finish the whole trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nonetheless, your technical potential will should be sound because it rapidly turns into a path for knowledgeable hikers.
Trailhead: Yellow Gate on Maakua Road Distance: 5 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 1805ft
8. Ka’au Crater Hike
From one epic journey to a different, Oahu certain doesn’t take its foot off the pedal. This hike comes full with an historical volcanic crater, waterfall after waterfall, and panoramic views at a number of phases.
From your first step, you enter the jungle with magnificent hovering timber in every single place you look. The foliage is so dense that the solar solely makes its approach by means of the cover at uncommon intervals. From gaps alongside the ridge, you will note so far as Waikiki Beach and Oahu’s southeastern shoreline.
At varied phases, you’ll be able to glimpse lovely waterfalls. Some which you can pause and take a dip in, offering the right break to what’s a difficult however exhilarating hike, ending with views into the crater from the summit.
Trailhead: Ka’au Crater Trailhead Distance: 5.1 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 1942ft
9. Crouching Lion Hike
A steep, but quick hike is an effective way to see the breathtaking Kahana Bay from above, together with the imposing sight of Pu’u Manamana. Like seemingly all of the Oahu mountaineering trails, there isn’t any gradual starting, with the trail instantly ascending into the heavens.
The path comes with not only one, however a number of viewpoints which create many spots to relaxation alongside the best way. It is probably going you will have it because the path may be slippery and the roots can carry you unstuck.
But the most effective view is, after all, from the height the place you will note the colourful coral reef beneath. At the appropriate time of day, the encompassing mountains will gentle up underneath the solar’s rays.
Trailhead: 51-676 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaaawa, HI Distance: 4 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 2000ft
10. Aiea Loop Trail
After some difficult, adventurous hikes by means of the huge Oahu forests, it’s time to take the problem down a notch. The Aiea Loop Trail is ideal for many who wish to take pleasure in a few of Oahu’s finest surroundings with out venturing deep into the mountains.
With loads of shade and flat sections, you’ll be able to stroll across the loop at a leisurely tempo viewing forests full of eucalyptus groves, Norfolk pine, and native Koa.
Being on the west facet of the Halawa Valley, the path additionally supplies loads of long-range views of Pearl Harbor, the Ko’olau Mountains, and the ever-present Diamond Head monument.
Trailhead: Aiea Loop Trailhead Distance: 4.8 miles Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 900ft
11. Mt Olympus Hike
As one of many tallest mountains on the island, Mt Olympus is a standard objective for lots of adventurous residents. At over 2400ft tall, Mt Olympus is often hidden by cloud protection. Despite having a number of choices, the most well-liked summit path begins in the Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area.
This Oahu mountaineering path takes you deep into one of many island’s fundamental mountain ranges with a number of vantage factors to view the whole island. The full hike takes round a 4 to 5-hour round-trip. With many muddy sections, carry alongside sturdy boots and mountaineering pants.
Trailhead: Wa’ahila Ridge Trailhead Distance: 5.9 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 2618ft
12. Maunawili Falls Trail
On the windward facet of Oahu, the Maunawili Falls path is a three-mile trek. However, it will possibly take so long as two hours to succeed in the cascading waterfalls.
Along the best way, you’ll attain a plateau the place you’ll be able to have a break and take in the views right down to the valley together with the encompassing jungle.
Afterward, the path descends into the timber the place, after many monumental steps, you can be greeted by the 20ft falls tucked into the Pali Cliffs. The journey doesn’t finish right here although, proceed throughout one other stream and your reward might be a refreshing pure pool.
Trailhead: Maunawili Falls Trailhead Distance: 2.8 miles Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 1007ft
13. Kuliouou Ridge Trail
The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a average to tough path that comes with comparatively dry mountaineering in comparison with lots of the mountaineering trails on this checklist. For this cause, the trek is a standard working path for locals.
Along the best way, you’ll have sections of stairs taking you up and over rocky terrain, at different occasions you’ll have to do it your self. The ridge comes with a number of plateaus offering glorious views of the jap facet of Oahu earlier than traversing by means of a stupendous archway of banyan branches.
From the height, all of your toil might be value it with gorgeous views of the shoreline and so far as the attention can see.
Trailhead: End of Kalalau Place Distance: 4.4 miles Difficulty: Moderate–Difficult Elevation Gain: 1800ft
14. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
For lovely ocean views and the prospect to see a historic lighthouse, the Makapuu Point and Lighthouse Trail present loads of bang in your buck.
At the top of the 1-mile journey to the jap tip of Oahu, you’ll have unbeatable views of Manana and Black Rock islands. From the highest of the 600ft volcanic cliff, additionally, you will be capable of see the century-old lighthouse.
If you’re mountaineering the path from December to May, Makapuu Point is a superb place to have a picnic, and hold an eye fixed out for whales who arrive in nice numbers throughout these months.
Trailhead: Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trailhead Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 500ft
15. Stairway to Heaven by way of Moanalua Valley Trail
Arguably probably the most well-known hike not simply in Oahu however Hawaii as an entire is the Haiku Stairs path. Since the late Nineteen Eighties, the path has been closed to the general public, but its fame continues to rise. One strategy to attain the spectacular viewpoint alongside the Haiku Stairs is to take a tough, but authorized route.
The hike begins on the Moanalua Valley facet and takes you to the summit by way of a collection of rope climbs and steep ascents. It will take round half a day to succeed in the summit shared with the closed route. Keep in thoughts that after you be part of the Stairway to Heaven viewpoint, you’re thought-about to be on the unlawful path.
Trailhead: Moanalua Valley Trailhead Distance: 9.3 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 5030ft
16. Wiliwilinui Ridge path
The Wiliwilinui Ridge path is one among Oahu’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Located on the jap facet of Oahu alongside the backbone of the Ko?olau Mountain vary this hike takes you thru the luxurious forest as much as the highest of the mountain ridge to the summit the place you’re going to get unbelievable views of all of Oahu.
It just isn’t too tough of a hike in case you are in form however there it does get a bit steep in the final half mile of the hike as much as the summit. It just isn’t beneficial for newbie hikers as you’ll have to the place you’ll scramble up a bunch of steep stairs, fabricated from wooden and often lined in the Oahu clay, which might make issues fairly slippery so remember.
To entry this hike you’ll have to get a parking allow in the beginning of the path in a gated neighborhood. There are just a few parking spots, however this path is comparatively unknown so you must be capable of snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll surprise why this hike isn’t extra common. It looks like you’re looking out on Jurassic Park!
Trailhead: Waialae Iki Gated Community Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation acquire: 1,617 toes Difficulty: Moderate
17. Makiki Valley Loop Trail
The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is the right hike for many who are searching for a brief forest path on Oahu that’s near Waikiki and straightforward to entry. This path is fairly straightforward with solely 1000ft of elevation acquire, however it will possibly get muddy, so in case you are pondering of doing it with the household or pets hold this in thoughts.
The hike itself takes you thru the luxurious inexperienced forest with trails lined in inexperienced palms, timber draped with vines, and even a small waterfall about midway alongside the path. The footing will get just a little more difficult because the elevation adjustments however so long as you’re paying consideration try to be. alright.
If you want to escape town then that is the right hike to take.
Trailhead: Hawaii Nature Center in Makiki Distance: 3.2 Miles Elevation Gain: 1000 ft Difficulty: Moderate
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the simplest hike in Oahu?
There are over 200 hikes to select from in Oahu. Many attain nice heights and go deep into the dense island jungle. However, there are a number of straightforward hikes that would be the good temporary tour to interrupt up your trip.
The Lanikai Pillbox hike together with the Waimea and Manoa Falls are glorious examples of quick, easy hikes that also present walkers with views and memorable highlights.
What are the mountaineering trails like in Oahu?
Hiking on Oahu brings wonderful selection, the place you’ll be able to full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to a stupendous sundown viewpoint.
Two distinct protect volcanoes performed a big position in creating Oahu’s dramatic panorama. Mountains right here soar out of the valley at stark angles so a lot of the mountaineering on the island options steep climbs. Although the dense forest helps to maintain the bottom strong, many trails nonetheless face points of abrasion and trails may be slippery and muddy.
For these causes, it’s best to organize for these hikes with sturdy footwear and settle for that you just’ll usually get soiled. For tips about mountaineering throughout Hawaii, try our article on the most effective hikes in Hawaii.
Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes
Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for folks of all talent ranges. The easy, easy-access hikes carry you near the island’s lovely surroundings with out strenuous effort. On the opposite hand, the vary of difficult hikes will put a smile on the face of skilled hikers who wish to go that additional mile for an unforgettable view.
Whether you’re coming to Hawaii to benefit from the solar, surf, and cocktails with the odd day hike or planning on doing nothing however trek the limitless trails, one can find what you’re searching for on this checklist of the final word 15 hikes in Oahu.
Once your time in Oahu is up, why not journey to Big Island? Explore the most effective issues to do on Big Island.
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