Get active on your next trip to Oahu, expand your hiking horizons and hike your way to some of the best viewpoints Oahu has to offer. These are the 6 best hikes in Oahu, as told by our local friends Lara & Mike!
The island of Oahu, Hawaii consists of two mountain ranges that run from north to south which is a good way to orientate yourself. The Waianae Range is located in West Oahu and the Koolau Mountains can be found on East Oahu. These mountain ranges offer visitors a variety of hikes from the salty shoreline to the lush tropical rainforest.
Please note these distances are in miles.
1. Kaena Point (Distance: 5-6 miles)
This flat and captivating oceanfront trail is fun for the entire family! The trail to Kaena Point follows an old railroad bed along the westernmost point of Oahu. The only way to reach Kaena Point is by hiking from either Waianae (west side) or Haleiwa (north shore). This portion of the island cannot be accessed by cars. The bird sanctuary is a fantastic location to see Albatrosses, Hawaiian monk seals, humpback whales (in the winter) and local vegetation.
2. Koko Head (Distance: 1.8 miles)
Oh, the climb! This 1000 plus step-like workout is made up of railroad tracks from the base to the summit. It’s a spectacular climb which offers panoramic views of the shoreline. The military created lookout pillbox bunkers during World War 2 and a railway was created on the Koko Crater trail to haul cargo and supplies up to the top. An outdoor stair master you may say. Feel the burn!
3. Maunawili Falls Trail (Distance: 2.5 miles)
Wear your swimsuit, pack your picnic, and bring bug spray! This hike is a botanist’s dream because it’s filled with mountain apples, giant ferns, koa trees and so much more. The Maunawili Falls Trail includes a trek through a tropical rainforest, across multiple streams and ends at a beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole.
4. Olomana Trail (Distance: 4.5 miles)
Mount Olomana is a spectacular three-peaked climb on the Koolau Ridge. Technically, Olomana is the name of the highest and first peak along the Olomana Trail which connects all three. This hike begins along a paved path within the Luana Hills Country Club and becomes a more adventurous trek after a left turn onto a winding path. This stunning hike is exhilarating and filled with many narrow ridgelines, steep cliffs, and has 15-foot rope climbs.
5. Puu O Hulu (Distance: 1.9 miles)
Puu O Hulu consists of five bunkers on the west side of Oahu. This winding trail is a gorgeous workout for the whole family. At the summit, there are multiple bunkers, mostly covered in all sorts of graffiti and vistas of the east and west sides of the island.
Photo Credit: The Wandering Five
6. Diamond Head (1.5 miles)
Hiking Diamond Head is definitely a must do when visiting Oahu. We will warn you, it’s the most touristic of the hikes but it’s one for the whole family. In the early 1900’s, the military claimed Diamond Head as a site for code defence, creating the paths, tunnels and stairs that still today are part of the terrain. The 1.5-mile hike which takes anywhere from 1.5-2 hours can be tackled by almost anyone with any fitness level and gives you a great view of Waikiki below. Parking is available at the base for $5 or it’s $1 per person without a vehicle.
Do you have any other hikes you’d like to share with us in Oahu? Have you done any of these before? Here are a few more hikes in Oahu.
Thank you to our local Hawaiian friends Lara & Mike for sharing these awesome hikes with us. I guess it’s time we booked another flight over to the sunshine state! Ready for some visitors again?