7 Best Easy Hikes on Oahu to Explore with Amazing Views (From A Local)

Oahu is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for an incredible hiking experience with amazing views. 

With plenty of easy and legal hikes, you can find the perfect hike for your skill level and interests. 

In this blog post, I will highlight some of the best easy hikes on Oahu that offer beautiful views and a great outdoor experience. 

So if you’re ready to explore Hawaii’s most famous island, keep reading for more information on what amazing hikes Oahu offers!

Oahu is well-known for its stunning natural beauty, and there’s no better way to experience it than hiking. 

With so many different trails, it can take time to figure out where to start. 

That’s why I’ve put together a list of some of the best easy hikes in Oahu, complete with information on distance, difficulty, and what you can expect to see along the way.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just getting started, I hope this list will help you find the perfect hike for your next adventure!

Best Easy Hikes In Oahu

1. Diamond Head State Monument

a view of on top of Diamond Head State Monument hike seeing waikiki beach

Diamond Head crater is located just outside Honolulu; Diamond Head trail is one of Oahu’s most popular hiking destinations. 

The hike to the summit of Diamond Head is about 0.75 miles long each way and takes about an hour to complete. 

You’ll be treated to incredible views of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and the Pacific Ocean. 

Important information to know: The entrance fee is  ($5 for non-residents and a $10 parking fee /vehicle), and it is open from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

(Last entry period is 4:00 pm. Must enter and be on the trail by 4:30 pm.)

As of May 12th, 2022, all out-of-state visitors must book a reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument.

The system will allow you to book reservations made 14 days in advance.

 No more walk-ins allowed.

2. Lanikai Pillbox Hike

best easy hikes oahu pillbox

This short but sweet hike is located in the town of Lanikai on the windward side of Oahu.

The hike to the top of the pillboxes (a type of fortification used in World War II) is only about 0.75 miles long, but it can be a bit challenging due to the steep incline. 

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Lanikai Beach, Mokes, Molokai, and Maui’s neighboring islands.

The best time to hike is early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. 

Lanikai Pillbox hike is located in a residential area. Please be mindful of the residents and make sure not to park where there are no parking signs; you will get towed!

Pro Tip: Bring plenty of water and sun protection. Here is the location of the entrance for the hike.

3. Koko Head Crater

view on top to Koko head trail hike

If you’re looking for a challenge, Koko Head Crater is the hike for you. 

This steep trail climbs over 1000 feet in just over a mile, so it’s not for the faint of heart. 

However, the views from the top are more than worth the effort.
From Koko Head Lookout, you can see from Honolulu to Hanauma Bay. 

The panoramic views are worth it, though!

The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and there is no entrance fee.

Are you planning a trip to Oahu? And feeling overwhelmed and lost? Do you have specific questions you’d like answered, need guidance around which activities to choose, review your itinerary, or want advice on travel logistics? Or maybe you want some simple reassurance about your trip. I’m here to help! ➡️ Click this link to schedule your call! ⬅️

4. Manoa Falls

view of the 150 foot waterfall of Moana falls in oahu

Manoa Falls trail is one of the most famous waterfalls on Oahu, and for a good reason.

The trail to the falls is short (0.75 miles) and relatively easy, making it an excellent option for families or beginner hikers.

You’ll see bamboo forests and tropical plants along the way before reaching the 150-foot-tall waterfall. 

The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and there is no entrance fee, but there is a $5 parking fee per car.

5. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is a relatively easy hike that offers incredible views of the east coast of Oahu.

The trail is about two miles long, paved all the way to the top, and takes about an hour to complete.

Along the way, you’ll see the Makapu’u Lighthouse and breathtaking views of the ocean and nearby islands.

the view of the makapu'u lighthouse

To get to the trailhead, take the Kalanianaole Highway eastbound, and park at the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline parking lot.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset and there is no fee to enter.

6. Ka’ena Point Trail

Kaena point trail

Ka’ena Point Trail is a beautiful but challenging hike that takes you to the northwesternmost point on Oahu. 

The trail is about six miles long, so it’s an excellent option for hikers looking for a longer trek. 

Along the way, you’ll see native plants and wildlife and stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands. 

To get to the trailhead, take the H-201 Freeway west until it dead-ends at Ka’ena Point State Park. The trail begins at the end of the paved road.

7. Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail

Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail is a beautiful hike that takes you through the rainforest on the windward side of Oahu. 

The trail is about four miles long and takes about two hours to complete. The trailhead is located at the end of Kalalau Place in Honolulu.

There is no fee to hike this trail. 

This is an excellent hike for those who want to experience a rainforest without traveling too far from Honolulu. 

The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. 

There are fantastic views of the city and the ocean from the top of the ridge.

Best Easy Hikes In Oahu FAQ‘s

What should I know about hiking in Oahu?

Be prepared when visiting Hawaii! When hiking in Oahu, wear appropriate shoes and clothing, and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. If you’re unsure what to pack for a trip to Hawaii, I’ve put together an excellent checklist! Be aware of your surroundings and stay on the trail at all times. Hiking safety is essential, so follow all posted signs and warnings.

What is the best time to hike in Oahu?

The best time to hike in Oahu is early morning or evening when it’s more relaxed and there’s less chance of rain. However, check the weather forecast before you go, as conditions can change quickly on the island. For example, the temperature at the summit of Diamond Head can be much more relaxed than at the base.

Are there any fees to hike in Oahu?

Some areas require a small fee (anywhere from $5-30 for non-residents) to enter, such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or the various state parks. Otherwise, most hikes on Oahu are free to access.

Best Easy Hikes on Oahu Summary

Now that you know a little more about hiking in Oahu, I hope you’ll get out and explore some of these fantastic trails for yourself! 

Remember to follow all posted signs and warnings, stay on the trail, and bring plenty of water. 

If you’re looking for more fun things to check out while in Oahu, check out my blog on more things to do and my blog for some inspo on souvenirs that you can remember your trip by! 

And most importantly, have fun! Happy hiking!

Do you have any favorite hikes on Oahu? Let me know in the comments below!


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