Oahu is residence to among the greatest hikes in all of Hawaii. The island is residence to 2 huge mountain ranges, the Koolau and Waianae. Running alongside one another they assist to create dramatic and memorable landscapes and many of the greatest hikes on Oahu soar up their ridgelines.
Hikes on Oahu vary in problem from informal paved strolls by way 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 route and the summit views will probably be price each leg-burning mile.
Top Hikes On Oahu
Deciding what mountaineering trails it is best to add to your Oahu itinerary might be tough, so learn on and be taught all in regards to the 15 greatest hikes on Oahu. After finishing one in all these excellent treks, learn our article on the perfect 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 notice why that is our favourite Oahu hike. Flanked by the plush Manoa Valley on both aspect, you’ll rise previous the valley in the direction of a fantastic 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and once you do, coloration prisms and rainbows will float by way of the air. The path is well-maintained and there are a number of benches alongside the best way the place you may relaxation.
The spotlight of the hike is certainly the waterfall on the finish of the path. The waterfall is about 150 ft tall and it’s a fantastic place to chill off on a sizzling day. The Manoa Falls mountaineering path is a comparatively easy hike that could be a nice starter trek for newcomers to Oahu and likewise for households on the lookout 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 picturesque corners of Oahu, a brief ridge hike ends in iconic and colourful pillboxes. Also referred to as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, this trek is among the most rewarding but simple mountaineering trails on Oahu.
The regular, steep grade will get the legs shifting however fortunately the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is simply roughly a mile one-way. Views are wonderful all alongside the path, supplying you with a glimpse into what’s to come back. Once you might be on the prime, 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 got stretched your legs and damaged in your mountaineering boots, it’s time to problem your self slightly extra. This is the place the Olomana 3 Peaks Hike comes in.
As one of many tougher 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 means throughout to the second peak.
The path is steep and rocky, and there are some sections that require scrambling and cord help. So it is a hike I might solely counsel trying in case you are actually in form and have mountaineering expertise.
Although you may climb the third peak, we advocate turning round after peak two due to security considerations. Once you’re again on degree floor, head to the native pub and toast to an unimaginable 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 means by way of the great botanical backyard of Waimea Valley. The valley is price exploring additional after the hike because it comes with a big cultural and archaeological web site.
This is among the extra common Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it encompasses a principally paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and lovely gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you’ve reached the tip, it is possible for you to to sit down, calm down and take in the 45ft waterfall because it tumbles into the Kamanui Stream. To assist make the hike much more accessible, there are non-compulsory shuttles for younger households and aged hikers.
Trailhead: Waimea Valley Visitor Center Distance: 3.5 miles Difficulty: Easy Elevation Gain: 272ft
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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 components of the island, the Diamond Head State Monument. This iconic pure characteristic can also be residence to probably the greatest hikes on Oahu. The Diamond Head Trail takes you thru some unimaginable landscapes which can be a world away from the earlier treks by way of rainforests.
The enjoyable, however difficult volcano hike encompasses a steep hike as much as the point of view 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 might probably 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 reproduction of the sequence 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 greatest 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 beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean from 1200ft above sea degree.
For those that are up for the journey, put together to have some jelly legs on the descent.
If you might be hooked on Oahu’s distinctive panorama, go a step additional and discover out probably the most wonderful information about Hawaii.
Trailhead: Koko Crater Railway Trailhead Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 990ft
7. Seven Falls Hike
All the perfect Oahu hikes have one thing distinctive to take pleasure in. But for an all-around journey, it’s exhausting to cross up on the Seven Falls path. Featuring waterfalls, loads of wading by way 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 way of a deep and slim gorge. Along the best way, you’ll cross a number of waterfalls, with the path requiring the usage of ropes so you may hike beside them.
It is feasible to finish the complete trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nevertheless, your technical potential will must 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 historic volcanic crater, waterfall after waterfall, and panoramic views at a number of levels.
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 means by way of the cover at uncommon intervals. From gaps alongside the ridge, you will notice so far as Waikiki Beach and Oahu’s southeastern shoreline.
At varied levels, you may glimpse lovely waterfalls. Some which you could 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 a good 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 a 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 have to it because the path might be slippery and the roots can deliver you unstuck.
But the perfect view is, after all, from the height the place you will notice the colourful coral reef under. At the suitable time of day, the encircling 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 way of the huge Oahu forests, it’s time to take the issue down a notch. The Aiea Loop Trail is ideal for individuals who wish to take pleasure in a few of Oahu’s greatest surroundings with out venturing deep into the mountains.
With loads of shade and flat sections, you may stroll across the loop at a leisurely tempo viewing forests filled with eucalyptus groves, Norfolk pine, and native Koa.
Being on the west aspect 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 repeatedly 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 predominant mountain ranges with a number of vantage factors to view the complete island. The full hike takes round a 4 to 5-hour round-trip. With many muddy sections, deliver 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 aspect of Oahu, the Maunawili Falls path is a three-mile trek. However, it might probably take so long as two hours to achieve the cascading waterfalls.
Along the best way, you’ll attain a plateau the place you may have a break and take in the views right down to the valley together with the encircling 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 will probably 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 wonderful views of the jap aspect of Oahu earlier than traversing by way of a fantastic archway of banyan branches.
From the height, all of your toil will probably be price it with beautiful 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 tip 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 have the ability to see the century-old lighthouse.
If you might be mountaineering the path from December to May, Makapuu Point is a good place to have a picnic, and maintain 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 Eighties, the path has been closed to the general public, but its fame continues to rise. One method to attain the spectacular viewpoint alongside the Haiku Stairs is to take a tough, but authorized route.
The hike begins on the Moanalua Valley aspect and takes you to the summit by way of a sequence of rope climbs and steep ascents. It will take round half a day to achieve the summit shared with the closed route. Keep in thoughts that when you be a part of the Stairway to Heaven viewpoint, you might be 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 in all Oahu’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Located on the jap aspect of Oahu alongside the backbone of the Ko?olau Mountain vary this hike takes you thru the plush forest as much as the highest of the mountain ridge to the summit the place you’ll get unimaginable views of all of Oahu.
It will not be 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 will not be beneficial for newbie hikers as you’ll have to the place you’ll scramble up a bunch of steep stairs, product of wooden and normally coated in the Oahu clay, which may 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 group. There are just a few parking spots, however this path is comparatively unknown so it is best to have the ability to snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll marvel why this hike isn’t extra common. It seems like you’re looking out on Jurassic Park!
Trailhead: Waialae Iki Gated Community Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation achieve: 1,617 ft Difficulty: Moderate
17. Makiki Valley Loop Trail
The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is the right hike for individuals who are on the lookout 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 achieve, however it might probably get muddy, so in case you are considering of doing it with the household or pets maintain this in thoughts.
The hike itself takes you thru the plush inexperienced forest with trails coated in inexperienced palms, timber draped with vines, and even a small waterfall about midway alongside the path. The footing will get slightly tougher because the elevation adjustments however so long as you might be paying consideration you have to be. alright.
If you need to escape the 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 best 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 couple of straightforward hikes that would be the excellent transient tour to interrupt up your trip.
The Lanikai Pillbox hike together with the Waimea and Manoa Falls are wonderful 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 may full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to a fantastic sundown viewpoint.
Two distinct protect volcanoes performed a big function in creating Oahu’s dramatic panorama. Mountains right here soar out of the valley at stark angles so many of the mountaineering on the island options steep climbs. Although the dense forest helps to maintain the bottom stable, many trails nonetheless face points of abrasion and trails might be slippery and muddy.
For these causes, it’s best to arrange for these hikes with sturdy footwear and settle for that you just’ll typically get soiled. For tips about mountaineering throughout Hawaii, take a look at our article on the perfect hikes in Hawaii.
Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes
Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for individuals of all talent ranges. The easy, easy-access hikes deliver 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 further mile for an unforgettable view.
Whether you might be coming to Hawaii to benefit from the solar, surf, and cocktails with the odd day hike or planning on doing nothing however trek the countless trails, you can see what you’re on the lookout 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 perfect issues to do on Big Island.