Oahu is house to a number 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 many of the greatest hikes on Oahu soar up their ridgelines.
Hikes on Oahu vary in problem 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 might be price each leg-burning mile.
Top Hikes On Oahu
Deciding what mountaineering trails you need to add to your Oahu itinerary could 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 the perfect issues to do in Oahu to maintain the enjoyable instances 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 without doubt one of 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 luxurious Manoa Valley on both facet, you’ll rise previous the valley in direction of a stupendous 150ft waterfall. You will hear the tumble of the water lengthy earlier than you arrive, and while 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 may relaxation.
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 excellent 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)
In one of the crucial picturesque corners of Oahu, a brief ridge hike ends in iconic and colourful pillboxes. Also often called the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, this trek is without doubt one of 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 superb all alongside the path, providing 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 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 stretched your legs and damaged in your mountaineering boots, it’s time to problem your self a little bit extra. This is the place the Olomana 3 Peaks Hike comes in.
As one of many more difficult 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 method 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 counsel making an attempt if you’re 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 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
Similar to the Manoa Falls Trail, Waimea Falls is a really accessible hike close to Oahu’s north shore. The path makes its method via the great botanical backyard of Waimea Valley. The valley is price exploring additional after the hike because it comes with a major cultural and archaeological website.
This is without doubt one of the extra widespread Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it incorporates a largely paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and lovely gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you have got reached the tip, 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 non-obligatory 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 elements 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 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 remember that is an especially widespread hike and it may 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 can even love this helicopter tour in a reproduction of the collection helicopter to see filming places 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 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 without doubt 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 stage.
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 probably the most superb 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 arduous 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 slim gorge. Along the way in which, you’ll move a number of waterfalls, with the path requiring using ropes so you may hike beside them.
It is feasible to finish all the trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nonetheless, your technical capability 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
From one epic journey to a different, Oahu positive 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 all over the place you look. The foliage is so dense that the solar solely makes its method 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 varied levels, you may glimpse lovely waterfalls. Some you can 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 brief hike is an effective 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 have it because the path could be slippery and the roots can carry you unstuck.
But the perfect view is, after all, from the height the place you will notice the colourful coral reef under. At the proper time of day, the encircling mountains will mild 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 issue down a notch. The Aiea Loop Trail is ideal for individuals who need 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 full of eucalyptus groves, Norfolk pine, and native Koa.
Being on the west facet of the Halawa Valley, the path additionally gives 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 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 mountaineering path takes you deep into one of many island’s important mountain ranges with a number of vantage factors to view all the 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 take so long as two hours to achieve the cascading waterfalls.
Along the way in which, you’ll attain a plateau the place you may have a break and take in the views all the way down to the valley together with the encircling jungle.
Afterward, the path descends into the timber the place, after many monumental 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
The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a reasonable to tough path that comes with comparatively dry mountaineering in comparison with most of the mountaineering trails on this listing. For this cause, the trek is a standard operating path for locals.
Along the way in which, 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 jap facet of Oahu earlier than traversing via a stupendous archway of banyan branches.
From the height, all of your toil might 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 possibility to see a historic lighthouse, the Makapuu Point and Lighthouse Trail present loads of bang on 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’re mountaineering the path from December to May, Makapuu Point is a superb 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 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 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 tough, 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 a 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
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 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 beneficial 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 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 marvel why this hike isn’t extra widespread. It looks like you’re looking out on Jurassic Park!
Trailhead: Waialae Iki Gated Community Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation acquire: 1,617 toes 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 brief, easy hikes that also present walkers with views and memorable highlights.
What are the mountaineering trails like in Oahu?
Hiking on Oahu brings superb selection, the place you may full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to a stupendous 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 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, take a look at 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 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 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, you will discover what you’re on the lookout for 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 the perfect issues to do on Big Island.