Oahu is dwelling to a number of the greatest 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 greatest hikes on Oahu soar up their ridgelines.
Hikes on Oahu vary in issue from informal paved strolls via 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 course and the summit views will probably be value each leg-burning mile.
Top Hikes On Oahu
Deciding what mountaineering trails you must add to your Oahu itinerary could be tough, so learn on and study all concerning the 15 greatest hikes on Oahu. After finishing one in every of 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 proper city escape and is likely one of the hottest Oahu hikes for locals and vacationers alike.
From the moment you hit the path, your world will remodel right into a jungle paradise and you will notice why that is our favourite Oahu hike. Flanked by the luxurious Manoa Valley on both facet, you’ll rise previous the valley in the direction of an attractive 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and whenever you do, shade prisms and rainbows will float via the air. The path is well-maintained and there are a number of benches alongside the way in which the place you possibly can relaxation.
The spotlight of the hike is certainly the waterfall on the finish of the path. The waterfall is about 150 toes tall and it’s an excellent 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 in search of 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 generally known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, this trek is likely one of the most rewarding but easy mountaineering trails on Oahu.
The regular, steep grade will get the legs transferring 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 had 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 motive 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 a bit 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 this can be a hike I’d solely counsel trying if you’re actually in form and have mountaineering expertise.
Although you possibly can climb the third peak, we suggest turning round after peak two due to security issues. Once you’re again on degree 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 means via the great botanical backyard of Waimea Valley. The valley is value exploring additional after the hike because it comes with a big cultural and archaeological website.
This is likely one of the extra common Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it incorporates a principally paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and beautiful gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you could have reached the tip, it is possible for you to to take a seat, 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
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 concerning the mass of volcanic rock that’s seen from so many components of the island, the Diamond Head State Monument. This iconic pure function can be dwelling to top-of-the-line hikes on Oahu. The Diamond Head Trail takes you thru some unbelievable landscapes which are a world away from the earlier treks via 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 way in which, the path leads you thru an thrilling 225ft tunnel, which is nearly as memorable because the views. But bear in mind that is a particularly common hike and it may well 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 stunning. Magnum PI followers may also love this helicopter tour in a reproduction 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 likely one of the greatest Oahu hikes however bear in mind 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 details 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 move up on the Seven Falls path. Featuring waterfalls, loads of wading via 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 via a deep and slender gorge. Along the way in which, you’ll move a number of waterfalls, with the path requiring using ropes so you possibly can hike beside them.
It is feasible to finish the whole trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nonetheless, your technical potential will must be sound because it shortly turns into a path for skilled 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 all over the place you look. The foliage is so dense that the solar solely makes its means via the cover at uncommon intervals. From gaps alongside the ridge, you will notice so far as Waikiki Beach and Oahu’s southeastern shoreline.
At numerous phases, you possibly can glimpse stunning waterfalls. Some you could pause and take a dip in, offering the proper 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 is no such thing as 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 way in which. It is probably going you will want it because the path could be slippery and the roots can carry you unstuck.
But the perfect view is, in fact, from the height the place you will notice the colourful coral reef beneath. At the suitable time of day, the encompassing mountains will gentle up beneath 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 via the huge Oahu forests, it’s time to take the problem 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 possibly can 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 typical aim for lots of adventurous residents. At over 2400ft tall, Mt Olympus is repeatedly hidden by cloud protection. Despite having a number of choices, the preferred summit path begins in the Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area.
This Oahu mountaineering path takes you deep into one of many island’s most important 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 may well take so long as two hours to achieve the cascading waterfalls.
Along the way in which, you’ll attain a plateau the place you possibly can have a break and take in the views all the way down to the valley together with the encompassing jungle.
Afterward, the path descends into the timber the place, after many huge steps, you’ll 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 troublesome path that comes with comparatively dry mountaineering in comparison with most of the mountaineering trails on this listing. For this motive, the trek is a typical operating path for locals.
Along the way in which, 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 japanese facet of Oahu earlier than traversing via an attractive archway of banyan branches.
From the height, all of your toil will probably be value 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 stunning ocean views and the possibility to see a historic lighthouse, the Makapuu Point and Lighthouse Trail present loads of bang to your buck.
At the tip of the 1-mile journey to the japanese 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 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 a watch 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 through 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 technique to attain the spectacular viewpoint alongside the Haiku Stairs is to take a troublesome, but authorized route.
The hike begins on the Moanalua Valley facet and takes you to the summit through a collection 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 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 every of Oahu’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Located on the japanese 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’ll get unbelievable views of all of Oahu.
It just isn’t too troublesome of a hike if you’re 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 really useful for newbie hikers as you’ll have to the place you’ll scramble up a bunch of steep stairs, manufactured from wooden and normally lined in the Oahu clay, which might make issues fairly slippery so bear in mind.
To entry this hike you’ll have to get a parking allow firstly 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 to snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll surprise why this hike isn’t extra common. It appears like you’re looking out on Jurassic Park!
Trailhead: Waialae Iki Gated Community Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation achieve: 1,617 toes Difficulty: Moderate
17. Makiki Valley Loop Trail
The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is the proper hike for individuals who are in search of a brief forest path on Oahu that’s near Waikiki and simple to entry. This path is fairly simple with solely 1000ft of elevation achieve, however it may well get muddy, so if you’re pondering of doing it with the household or pets maintain 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 a bit tougher because the elevation adjustments however so long as you might be paying consideration try to be. alright.
If you need to escape town then that is the proper 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 number of simple 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 possibly can full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to an attractive 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 could 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 recommendations on mountaineering throughout Hawaii, try our article on the perfect hikes in Hawaii.
Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes
Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for folks of all ability ranges. The easy, easy-access hikes carry you near the island’s stunning 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 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 infinite trails, you’ll discover what you’re in search of on this listing of the last 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.