17 Best Hikes in Oahu Hawaii in 2023

17 Best Hikes in Oahu Hawaii in 2023


Oahu is house to a few of the greatest hikes in all of Hawaii. The island is house 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 by 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 value each leg-burning mile.

Top Hikes On Oahu

Top Hikes in Oahu

Deciding what climbing trails you must add to your Oahu itinerary may be tough, so learn on and be taught all concerning the 15 greatest hikes on Oahu. After finishing considered one of these excellent treks, learn our article on one of the best issues to do in Oahu to maintain the enjoyable instances rolling.

1. Manoa Falls Trail

Best Hikes in Oahu Manoa Falls Trail Hawaii

Only fifteen minutes from downtown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, the Manoa Falls Trail presents the right 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 note why that is our favourite Oahu hike. Flanked by the luxurious Manoa Valley on both aspect, you’ll rise previous the valley in direction of a wonderful 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and if you do, colour prisms and rainbows will float by 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.

Best Hikes in Oahu Manoa Falls Trail

The spotlight of the hike is unquestionably the waterfall on the finish of the path. The waterfall is about 150 ft tall and it’s an awesome place to chill off on a scorching day. The Manoa Falls climbing path is a comparatively easy hike that could be a nice starter trek for newcomers to Oahu and likewise for households in search of an out of doors journey.

Trailhead: Manoa Falls Trailhead Distance: 1.6 miles Difficulty: Easy hike Elevation Gain: 633ft

2. Lanikai Pillbox Hike (Kaiwa Ridge Hike)

Best Hikes in Oahu Lanikai Pillbox Hike

In probably the most 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 likely one of the most rewarding but easy climbing trails on Oahu.

The regular, steep grade will get the legs transferring however fortunately the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is barely roughly a mile one-way. Views are superb all alongside the path, providing you with a glimpse into what’s to come back. Once you’re on the high, you’ll not solely see the pillboxes, that are two concrete bunkers that had been constructed throughout World War II, however additionally, you will get pleasure from 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 rise 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Olomana 3 Peaks Hike

Now that you’ve got stretched your legs and damaged in your climbing 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 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’d solely counsel making an attempt if you’re actually in form and have climbing expertise.

Although you’ll be able to climb the third peak, we advocate 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 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 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 well-liked Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it contains a principally paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and lovely gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you could have reached the tip, it is possible for you to to sit down, loosen up 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

Best Hikes in Oahu 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 characteristic can be house to probably the greatest hikes on Oahu. The Diamond Head Trail takes you thru some unimaginable landscapes which are a world away from the earlier treks by rainforests.

The enjoyable, however difficult volcano hike contains 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 sort of as memorable because the views. But remember that is an especially well-liked hike and it will 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, rise 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 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Koko Head Stairs 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 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.

Best Hikes in Oahu Koko Head Stairs Hike

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 essentially the most superb info about Hawaii.

Trailhead: Koko Crater Railway Trailhead Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 990ft

7. Seven Falls Hike

All one of the best Oahu hikes have one thing distinctive to get pleasure from. But for an all-around journey, it’s laborious to go up on the Seven Falls path. Featuring waterfalls, loads of wading by streams, and boulder hopping alongside the difficult route, Seven Falls has all of it.

The climbing path is subsequent to a rocky stream that cuts by a deep and slender gorge. Along the best way, you’ll go a number of waterfalls, with the path requiring the usage of ropes so you’ll be able to hike beside them.

It is feasible to finish the complete trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nonetheless, your technical capacity will should 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Kaau Crater Hike

From one epic journey to a different, Oahu positive 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 bushes in all places you look. The foliage is so dense that the solar solely makes its means by 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 stunning waterfalls. Some that 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Crouching Lion Trail

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 climbing 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 convey you unstuck.

But one of the best view is, after all, from the height the place you will note the colourful coral reef under. At the appropriate 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Aiea Loop Hike

After some difficult, adventurous hikes by the huge Oahu forests, it’s time to take the problem down a notch. The Aiea Loop Trail is ideal for many who need to get pleasure from a few of Oahu’s greatest 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 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

Best Hikes in Oahu  Mount Olympus

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 frequently 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 climbing path takes you deep into one of many island’s important 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, convey alongside sturdy boots and climbing 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 will probably 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 encircling jungle.

Afterward, the path descends into the bushes the place, after many monumental steps, you may 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Kuliouou Hike

The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a reasonable to tough path that comes with comparatively dry climbing in comparison with lots of the climbing trails on this listing. For this motive, the trek is a typical working path for locals.

Along the best way, you’ll have sections of stairs taking you up and over rocky terrain, at different instances you’ll have to do it your self. The ridge comes with a number of plateaus offering wonderful views of the japanese aspect of Oahu earlier than traversing by a wonderful 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Makapuu Point 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 have the ability to see the century-old lighthouse.

If you’re climbing 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 essentially the most well-known hike not simply in Oahu however Hawaii as a complete 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 solution 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 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

Best Hikes in Oahu  Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

The Wiliwilinui Ridge path is considered one of Oahu’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Located on the japanese aspect 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 unimaginable views of all of Oahu.

It is just not too tough 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 is just not really helpful 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 may make issues fairly slippery so remember.

To entry this hike you’ll have to get a parking allow at first of the path in a gated group. There are only some parking spots, however this path is comparatively unknown so you must have the ability to snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll surprise why this hike isn’t extra well-liked. It seems like you’re looking out on Jurassic Park!

Trailhead: Waialae Iki Gated Community Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation acquire: 1,617 ft Difficulty: Moderate

17. Makiki Valley Loop Trail

Best Hikes in Oahu Makiki Valley Loop Trail

The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is the right hike for many who are in search of 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 probably get muddy, so if you’re considering 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, bushes draped with vines, and even a small waterfall about midway alongside the path. The footing will get just a little tougher because the elevation adjustments however so long as you’re paying consideration you need to be. alright.

If you wish 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

Cool Hikes in Oahu

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 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 climbing trails like in Oahu?

Hiking on Oahu brings superb selection, the place you’ll be able to full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to a wonderful sundown viewpoint.

Two distinct defend 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 climbing 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 arrange for these hikes with sturdy footwear and settle for that you just’ll usually get soiled. For tips about climbing throughout Hawaii, try our article on one of the best hikes in Hawaii.

Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes

Best Oahu Hiking Trails

Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for individuals of all ability ranges. The easy, easy-access hikes convey 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 need to go that further 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 countless trails, one can find what you’re in search of on this listing of the final word 15 hikes in Oahu.

Once your time in Oahu is up, why not journey to Big Island? Explore one of the best issues to do on Big Island.

Plan your Next Trip to Hawaii With These Resources


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