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17 Best Hikes in Oahu Hawaii in 2023

17 Best Hikes in Oahu Hawaii in 2023


Oahu is dwelling to among 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 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 path and the summit views might be value each leg-burning mile.

Top Hikes On Oahu

Deciding what mountaineering trails you need to add to your Oahu itinerary will be difficult, 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 one of the best issues to do in Oahu to maintain the enjoyable occasions rolling.

1. Manoa Falls Trail

Best Hikes in Oahu Manoa Falls Trail Hawaii
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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 remodel right into a jungle paradise and you will notice why that is our favourite Oahu hike. Flanked by the plush Manoa Valley on both facet, you’ll rise previous the valley in the direction of a lovely 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and whenever 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 possibly can relaxation.

Best Hikes in Oahu Manoa Falls Trail
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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 important 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 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
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In one of the vital picturesque corners of Oahu, a brief ridge hike ends in iconic and colourful pillboxes. Also often known 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 just roughly a mile one-way. Views are wonderful all alongside the path, supplying you with a glimpse into what’s to return. Once you’re 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 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 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Olomana 3 Peaks Hike
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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 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 manner throughout to the second peak.

The path is steep and rocky, and there are some sections that require scrambling and twine help. So this can be a hike I might solely recommend trying in case you are 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 stage 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

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Similar to the Manoa Falls Trail, Waimea Falls is a really accessible hike close to Oahu’s north shore. The path makes its manner by way 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 widespread Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it contains a largely paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and beautiful gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you might have reached the top, it is possible for you to to take a seat, 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Diamond Head Trail
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Anyone who has visited Oahu will know concerning the mass of volcanic rock that’s seen from so many elements of the island, the Diamond Head State Monument. This iconic pure function can be dwelling to the most effective 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 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 nearly as memorable because the views. But bear in mind that is an especially widespread 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 may even love this helicopter tour in a duplicate of the collection helicopter to see filming places plus Pearl Harbor, Sacred Falls, and Le‘ahi (Diamond Head).

6. Koko Crater Hike

Best Hikes in Oahu Koko Head Stairs Hike
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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 a substitute 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 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 should have beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean from 1200ft above sea stage.

Best Hikes in Oahu Koko Head Stairs Hike
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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 wonderful information about Hawaii.

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

7. Seven Falls Hike

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All one of the best Oahu hikes have one thing distinctive to get pleasure from. But for an all-around journey, it’s onerous to move 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 slender gorge. Along the best way, 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 rapidly 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
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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 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 manner 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 phases, you possibly can glimpse lovely waterfalls. Some that you would be able to 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
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A steep, but brief 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 best way. It is probably going you will want it because the path will 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 notice the colourful coral reef under. At the fitting 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Aiea Loop Hike
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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 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 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 offers 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
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As one of many tallest mountains on the island, Mt Olympus is a standard purpose for lots of adventurous residents. At over 2400ft tall, Mt Olympus is often 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 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, convey 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 achieve the cascading waterfalls.

Along the best way, 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 bushes 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 might 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
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The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a average to tough path that comes with comparatively dry mountaineering in comparison with most of the mountaineering trails on this record. For this cause, the trek is a standard operating path for locals.

Along the best way, you should 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 facet of Oahu earlier than traversing by way of a lovely archway of banyan branches.

From the height, all of your toil might 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
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For lovely ocean views and the possibility 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 should 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 mountaineering the path from December to May, Makapuu Point is a superb 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 by way of Moanalua Valley Trail

Arguably essentially 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 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 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 achieve the summit shared with the closed route. Keep in thoughts that after you be a part of the Stairway to Heaven viewpoint, you’re thought of 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
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The Wiliwilinui Ridge path is one in every of 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 plush forest as much as the highest of the mountain ridge to the summit the place you’re going to 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, made from wooden and often coated in the Oahu clay, which may 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 only some parking spots, however this path is comparatively unknown so you need to have the ability to snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll surprise why this hike isn’t extra widespread. It seems 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

Best Hikes in Oahu Makiki Valley Loop Trail
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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 simple to entry. This path is fairly simple with solely 1000ft of elevation achieve, however it will possibly get muddy, so in case you are pondering 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, 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 modifications however so long as you’re paying consideration try to be. alright.

If you need 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

Cool Hikes in Oahu
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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 good transient tour to interrupt up your trip.

The Lanikai Pillbox hike together with the Waimea and Manoa Falls are wonderful examples of brief, 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 a lovely sundown viewpoint.

Two distinct defend 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 will 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 one of the best hikes in Hawaii.

Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes

Best Oahu Hiking Trails
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Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for folks of all ability ranges. The easy, easy-access hikes convey 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 need 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 countless trails, you will see what you’re on the lookout for on this record of the last 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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