Oahu is dwelling to a few of the finest 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 finest hikes on Oahu soar up their ridgelines.
Hikes on Oahu vary in problem 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 path and the summit views might be value each leg-burning mile.
Top Hikes On Oahu
Deciding what mountain climbing trails you must add to your Oahu itinerary will be difficult, so learn on and be taught all concerning the 15 finest hikes on Oahu. After finishing one among these excellent treks, learn our article on the very best 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 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 luxurious Manoa Valley on both aspect, 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 once you do, shade 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.
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 amazing place to chill off on a sizzling day. The Manoa Falls mountain climbing path is a comparatively easy hike that could be a nice starter trek for newcomers to Oahu and in addition for households on the lookout for 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 some 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 among the most rewarding but easy mountain climbing 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, providing you with a glimpse into what’s to return. Once you’re on the high, 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 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 mountain climbing boots, it’s time to problem your self slightly 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 it is a hike I’d solely counsel making an attempt in case you are actually in form and have mountain 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 stage 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 method by the fantastic botanical backyard of Waimea Valley. The valley is value exploring additional after the hike because it comes with a major cultural and archaeological web site.
This is among the extra common Oahu hikes primarily as a result of it contains a principally paved path alongside flat floor. Along the trek, dense forests and beautiful gardens will welcome you at each flip. Once you’ve gotten 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
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 dwelling to the most effective hikes on Oahu. The Diamond Head Trail takes you thru some unbelievable landscapes which can be 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 bear in mind that is a particularly common hike and it could 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 can even love this helicopter tour in a reproduction of the sequence 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 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 among the finest 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.
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 details about Hawaii.
Trailhead: Koko Crater Railway Trailhead Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: Difficult Elevation Gain: 990ft
7. Seven Falls Hike
All the very 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 mountain 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 using ropes so you’ll be able to hike beside them.
It is feasible to finish the whole trek and attain the seventh waterfall, nonetheless, your technical skill will should be sound because it rapidly turns into a path for knowledgeable 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 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 method by 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’ll be able to glimpse stunning waterfalls. Some you can 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
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 mountain 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 have to it because the path will be slippery and the roots can carry you unstuck.
But the very best view is, after all, from the height the place you will notice the colourful coral reef under. 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 by the huge Oahu forests, it’s time to take the problem down a notch. The Aiea Loop Trail is ideal for many who wish to get pleasure from a few of Oahu’s finest 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 full of 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
As one of many tallest mountains on the island, Mt Olympus is a standard aim 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 mountain climbing 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 mountain 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 could 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 encompassing jungle.
Afterward, the path descends into the timber 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 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 average to troublesome path that comes with comparatively dry mountain climbing in comparison with lots of the mountain climbing trails on this checklist. For this motive, 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 glorious views of the jap aspect of Oahu earlier than traversing by 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
For stunning ocean views and the prospect to see a historic lighthouse, the Makapuu Point and Lighthouse Trail present loads of bang in your buck.
At the tip 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 be capable of see the century-old lighthouse.
If you’re mountain climbing the path from December to May, Makapuu Point is a good place to have a picnic, and hold 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 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 troublesome, 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 when you be 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
The Wiliwilinui Ridge path is one among Oahu’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Located on the jap 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’re going to get unbelievable views of all of Oahu.
It isn’t too troublesome 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 isn’t really useful for newbie hikers as you’ll have to the place you’ll scramble up a bunch of steep stairs, made from wooden and often 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 in the beginning of the path in a gated group. There are just a few parking spots, however this path is comparatively unknown so you must be capable of snag one. Once you get to the highest you’ll marvel why this hike isn’t extra common. 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
The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is the right hike for many 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 acquire, however it could get muddy, so in case you are 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, timber draped with vines, and even a small waterfall about midway alongside the path. The footing will get slightly more difficult because the elevation adjustments however so long as you’re paying consideration you have to be. alright.
If you need 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
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 couple 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 glorious examples of quick, easy hikes that also present walkers with views and memorable highlights.
What are the mountain climbing trails like in Oahu?
Hiking on Oahu brings wonderful selection, the place you’ll be able to full a crater hike in the morning and end with a jungle trek to a lovely 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 a lot of the mountain 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 will be slippery and muddy.
For these causes, it’s best to arrange for these hikes with sturdy footwear and settle for that you simply’ll typically get soiled. For tips about mountain climbing throughout Hawaii, try our article on the very best hikes in Hawaii.
Final Thoughts on Oahu Hikes
Hiking in Oahu is thrilling for folks of all talent 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’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 infinite trails, you’ll discover what you’re on the lookout for on this checklist of the last word 15 hikes in Oahu.
Once your time in Oahu is up, why not journey to Big Island? Explore the very best issues to do on Big Island.