Oahu Hikes - Best Trails

Oahu hikes offer treks from easy to difficult and from less than a mile to multi-mile treks. Oahu has plenty of exciting hiking trails that will lead you to places of supreme tropical landscapes that scream with solitude. There is a wide variety of hiking trails for people of all skill and fitness levels. You can experience the Diamond Head Crater as you walk the ridgeline of this famous dormant volcano or the Eukai Pillbox hike which will give you stunning views of the North Shore and the Banzai Pipeline. No matter which Oahu hiking trail you choose, you will find interesting tropical plants and you can be guaranteed of spectacular views from some of the best vantage points on the island of Oahu.

  • Top Oahu Activities

    Diamond Head hiking trail at Diamond Head State Monument

    Diamon Head Hiking train in Oahu

    Small group adventure - hike to Diamond Heat

    Diamond Head Running tour

    Hike Length: 1.5 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1-2

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Diamond Head hiking trail is a favorite trek for travelers that are looking for a little history and a great view of Waikiki area. This popular Oahu hike is located within the Diamond Head State Monument, where you will find parking inside the crater. You hike follows a route that was constructed starting in 1908 for Oahu’s coastal defence system. You will start by hiking several switchbacks which will lead up the side of the crater wall. From here you will encounter a series of stairs and you will then hike through a lighted tunnel. Once on the summit you will find a series of bunkers from World War II as well as a lighthouse that was completed in 1917. You will experience big vistas that include panoramic views of Waikiki, Honolulu and the surrounding tropical landscape. There is a small fee to park once inside the crater.

    Photo by MjZ Photography

    Na Ala Hele Manoa Falls Hiking Trail

    Manoa Falls hike in Oahu

    Manoa Waterfal Small group hiking

    Rainforest Adventure With Manoa waterfall hiking

    Length: 1.6 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1-1,5

    Difficulty: Easy

    The Na Ala Hele Manoa Falls Hiking Trail is a wonderful Oahu hike for people of all ages and skill levels. You will start your Na Ala Hele Manoa Falls hike near the top of Manoa Road at the old Paradise Park building. From here you will travel on a well-defined trail that takes you through lush tropical landscape which will remind you of being in the movie Jurassic Park, which was filmed in this area. Your hike is gradual and after a short distance you will find yourself looking up at one of the finest waterfalls on O’ahu, Manoa Falls. The waterfall is famous for being used as a backdrop during the television show Lost. The Manoa Falls only drop 150 feet but as you stare, your mind will think the drop-off is a thousand feet or more. Please refrain from entering the protected pool below the Manoa Falls.

    Photo by Daniel Ramirez

    Koko Crater Trail

    Koko Crater hiking train in Oahu

    Oahu Koko Head Hike With Hawaii Kai Lookout

    Oahu Koko Head trail challenge

    Length: 1.5 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Koko Crater Trail is a perfect Oahu hike for anyone that wants a big view and does not mind walking up steps to the ridge. Located within Koko Head State Park, the Koko Crater hike is also known as the Koko Head Stairs. Your hike will follow a trail that is composed of 1,106 wooden stairs made from railroad ties that have been placed over an old World War II tram line used by the military. The start of your hike travels through a landscaped area near Goeas Baseball Field. From here the hike is steep and you follow the stairs until you cross a bridge. The final 400 plus stairs will take you to the top of Koko Crater. The superb views from the top include Sandy Beach, Diamond Head, Koko Head and Hanauma Bay. This trail can be busy and you should expect to see people of ages from young to old.

    Photo by Kanaka Menehune

    Waimea Valley Trail At Waimea Falls Park

    Waimea Valley Trail in Oahu

    Kauai Waimea Canyon Hike

    Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill

    Waimea Canyon Kauai tour With Wailua River

    Length: 1.5 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1

    Difficulty: Easy

    Waimea Valley trail is ideal Oahu hike for families with children of all ages and is perfect for an easy educational experience. Located within Waimea Valley on the North Shore, the Waimea Valley has a historic and cultural significance in Hawaii. Your hike will follow a paved trail that is filled with plenty of educational material with many of the native plants and trees labeled along the path. There are numerous exhibits for you to read that explains the historical significance of the area as well as the native animals on Oahu. Your hike will end when you reach the Waimea Waterfall which is great for photographs. There is a fee to enter and this hike will be similar to walking through a botanic garden.

    Photo by Daniel Ramirez

    Makapuu Point Lighthouse Hike

    Makapuu Point Lighthouse Hike in Oahu

    Free With Go Oahu Card

    More About Makapuu Lighthouse

    Length: 2 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1

    Difficulty: Easy

    The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse hike is an ideal trek for families and hikers of all skill levels. Located within Ka’iwi State Scenic Shoreline, you start your hike at Makapu’u Head. The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Oahu hike follows a paved trail and is steep at points with numerous switchbacks. Halfway through the hike you will reach the top of the ridge. Along this portion of the trail there are several lookouts that have guardrails for safety and big vistas. Once at the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1909, you will experience huge views of the southeastern coastline from Koko Head to Koko Crater. On clear days you might even be able to view Lanai and Molokai in the far off distance. During the winter you will be able to see the migrating humpback whales swimming in the ocean.

    Photo by Pete Markham

    Kaena Point Hike at Ka'ena Point State Park

    Kaena Point Hike  in Oahu

    Length: 3.5 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1-3

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Ka’ena Point Oahu hike is ideal for families with sweeping views of the shoreline that has abundant wildlife and whales in the winter. Located within Ka’ena Point State Park, the hike is basically flat with little elevation gain. The trail will lead you to the Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve which is highlighted by native Hawaiian flora, birds and animals. You can access this family-friendly trail from two spots. The Wai’anae side will follow an old railroad line that was established by O’ahu Railway and Land Company to transport sugar cane from the western most area of O’ahu. If you enter from Mokule’la the trail takes you over limestone reefs and sand dunes. Both entry points allow for you to follow your path back to your car after you have enjoyed the scenery at Ka’ena Point Natural Reserve Area.

    Photo by jongela19

    Kuliouou Ridge Hike

    Kuliouou Ridge Hike in Oahu

    Length: 5 Miles

    Hours to complete: 4

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Oahu hike is a trek that features a diverse forest with plenty of wild flowers and is good for experienced children hikers. Located in the cul-de-sac of Kalaau Place, the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge hike trail head is easy to spot. At first you will travel through a forested area with Norfolk Pine tree as you follow the steep trail which includes a few switchbacks that will lead you to the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge. Halfway through your hike there is a nice spot to take a break and a bench with good views of Honolulu. After another steep section you will climb three sets of stairs to reach the summit of the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge where you will be fascinated with panoramic views of Kailua, the Mokuluas Islands, Waimanalo, Rabbit Island and Koko Head Crater. After enjoying the grandeur of the surrounding area, follow the trail back down to your car.

    Photo by Debbie

    Olomana Three Peaks Trail

    Olomana Three Peaks Trail in Oahu

    Length: 4.1 miles

    Hours to complete: 2-3

    Difficulty: Hard

    The Olomana Three Peaks trail is a superb Oahu hike for individuals that don’t mind heights and want to include a stretch of moderate rock climbing. Located in Kailua, the Olomana Three Peaks trail head is situated near the Royal Hawaiian Golf Course. The climb to the first peak has a steep incline and will take some time to reach. Once at the top of the first peak, you can easily reach the second peak within a short period of time. You will experience excellent panoramic views from both peaks. The third peak is more challenging and requires a stretch of moderate rock climbing with the help of installed ropes on the trail. The Olomana Three Peaks trail has several drop-offs along the trail and caution should be used. This hike is not for the faint of heart and only experienced hikers should summit the third peak.

    Photo by Marvin Chandra

    Ka’au Crater Hike

    Ka’au Crater Hike in Oahu

    Length: 4.5 miles

    Hours to complete: 5

    Difficulty: Hard

    The trail is an excellent choice for hiking when you are looking for scenery that includes three waterfalls and an excellent view of much of Oahu. Located just fifteen-minutes outside of Waikiki, the Ka’au Crater loop will take you through the upper levels of the Palolo Valley. The Ka’au Crater Oahu hike winds through a lush forest along a stream bed and after an hour you will reach the first of three waterfalls. Continuing upstream you will encounter the second waterfall. The third waterfall is by far the hardest with a rope section that will help you to the top. Once here you will forge forward to the summit completing your 2,100 feet of elevation gain. You will gaze into the distance in amazement of the south and windward sides of Oahu. After a rest you can continue around the Ka’au Crater until you reach the main trail again for your descent.

    Photo by Leonard S Jacobs

    Aiea Loop Trail at the Aiea Heiau

    Aiea Loop Trail in Oahu

    Length: 4.5 miles

    Hours to complete: 2-3

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Aiea Loop trail is a great Oahu hike for families looking for a nice wide trail with little incline or decline throughout. Located within Kea’iwa Heiau State Recreation Area, the Aiea Loop provides for a hike which will offer views of the southern coastline of Oahu. As you drive up ‘Aiea Heights you will pass the Kea’iwa Heiau before coming to your starting point. From here you will start your hike on a well maintained trail that follows the west side ridge of Halawa Valley. During your hike you will smell a citrus fragrance from the lemon eucalyptus trees and walk among Norfolk Island pine trees, ohi’a as well as native koa trees. The half way point of your hike reveals breathtaking views of the Windward portion of the island and even a few remnants of a B-24 which crashed here in 1944. The ‘Aiea Loop trail is not that strenuous with mild inclines and switchbacks.

    Photo by Terence Wei

    'UALAKA'A TRAIL at Puu Ualakaa State Park

    'UALAKA'A TRAIL in Oahu

    Length: 1 Mile Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: Less than an hour

    Difficulty: Easy

    The ‘Ualaka’a trail is a great short adventure for families that want a nice hike through an incredible Hawaiian jungle. Located at Pu’u’Ualaka’a State Park, the ‘Ualaka’a trail is an Oahu hike that will take you up a short distance in elevation. After you complete the uphill portion of the hike from Round Top Road, you will arrive at a trail junction of the ‘Ualaka’a, Makiki Valley, Moleka and Maunalaha trails. At this point you will follow the Makiki Valley trail and continue past the junction of Makiki Valley and Moleka trails. There are several vantage points on the hike that will allow you views of Diamond Head, Honolulu and the surrounding area. You will then reach Round Top Road once again and after crossing you will be afforded beautiful views. From here the trail continues to the left through some vegetation until you reach your car on Round Top Road.

    Photo by Daniel Ramirez

    Makiki Valley Trail

    Makiki Valley Trail in Oahu

    Length: 2.4 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1.5

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Makiki Valley Loop trail is a nice family-friendly Oahu hike through the jungle vegetation of Makiki Valley within the Makiki Valley State Recreation Area. Your loop hike consists of intertwining three trails which are the Kaneolole, Muanalaha and Makiki Valley. After reaching the trailhead you can either decide to left or right at the junction of the Maunalha-Kaneololo trails. If you choose to go left on the Maunalaha trail you will have a steeper incline through the jungle. After you reach a section of large boulders, continue forward on the trail until you will reach the four-way junction that is complete with a bench. From here you will proceed on the trail marked Makiki Valley and descend until you cross a gulch or two and a bridge. You will reach another trail junction at Makiki Valley and Kaneolole. You will complete your loop hike descending down the Kaneolole trail while enjoying the island vegetation.

    Photo by Daniel Ramirez

    Maunawili Falls Trailhead

    Maunawili Falls Trailhead in Oahu

    Length: 3 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 2.5

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Maunawili Falls trail is a wonderful family-friendly Oahu hike through fabulous jungle scenery that includes views of Kailua, Maunawili Falls and culminates at a nice swimming hole. The hike follows the base of the Koolau Mountain Range which is located on the windward side of Oahu. You will travel through the jungle which sports such vegetation as mamake, koa, rose apple, ohia, lobelia and mountain apple. During your hike you will cross the river several times and after reaching a set of stairs, you will find a clearing with spectacular views of the Koolau Mountain Range and Kailua. Just a bit further and you will arrive at Maunawili Falls. You can enjoy a dip at the swimming hole at the bottom of the falls or even take a leap from the rocks above. There are three places to enter this trail off the Pali Highway and parking is limited near the trailhead.

    Photo by Heather Harvey

    Lanikai Pillbox Hike

    Lanikai Pillbox Hike in Oahu

    Length: 1.6 Miles Roundtrip

    Hours to complete: 1.5

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Lanikai Pillbox hike is a fantastic combination of views, history and beautiful wild flowers. This Oahu hike takes place on Ka’iwa Ridge which overlooks Lanikai and Kailua Beaches. The Lanikai Pillbox hike starts at an unmarked trailhead located off of a private driveway on Kaelepulu Drive which is across the street from Mid Pacific Country Club and Golf Course. Once on the undeveloped trail, you will climb a steep portion which can be slippery. As you continue forward you will see outstanding scenery such as the Mokulua Islands as well as experiencing a panoramic view of Oahu. After the first incline you will follow the ridgeline to the first pillbox. The second pillbox is a short distance away and by this time you will gained over 550 feet in elevation. If, you allow yourself another 10 minutes on this moderate Oahu hiking trail you will reach the highpoint of Ka’iwa Ridge which has a geodic marker of 603 feet.

    Photo by bertholf

    Ehukai Pillbox Hike

    Length: 2.1 miles

    Hours to complete: 1

    Difficulty: Moderate

    The Ehukai Pillbox hike is a combination of history and scenery of one of the world’s most iconic surfing spots on the North Shore of Oahu. Located near the Sunset Elementary School, the Ehukai Pillbox hike is also known as the Sunset Pillbox hike. You will start your hike across the street from the elementary school and follow a good Oahu hiking trail through some small trees before starting your uphill climb to the Ehukai Pillbox. As you hike you will be aided in spots by carved stairs and a few installed ropes. Halfway up there is a nice viewing spot of the North Shore. As you travel upward you will reach the ridge where the first pillbox is only minutes away. Continue along the ridge, you will find the second pillbox perched on a steep cliff overlooking the famed Banzai Pipeline off the coast of Ehukai Beach.

    Map of Oahu Hiking Trails

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