Oahu Hikes: 9 Amazing Oahu Hikes for you Today (Photos)
Oahu has some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world. Most people immediately think about the beauty of it’s beaches, but some of the most scenic areas are found in the mountains. In this post we will explore the Oahu hikes that you must take when making your way through Hawaii’s most visited island.
Stairway to Heaven - A Globally recognized Oahu Hike
Getting right into it! Stairway to Heaven might be one of the most famous hikes in the world and is deserving of that title! The hike takes you high into Oahu’s central interior overlooking some of the most astonishing scenery.
The only issue with Stairway to Heaven, (if you haven’t heard) is the legality. There is a “legal” way and an “illegal” way but either way, you will be blown away.
Koko Head - Stunning 360 Views
Koko head is a demanding kick in the but. One of the most accessible hikes on this list, Koko head offers some of the best views of Hawaii but the climb up the railway is steep (no pun intended).
Highly, highly recommend not doing this hike midday as the sun will beat you down. Aim for early or late and you will no doubt enjoy your 360 views atop this volcanic crater.
Crouching Lion - The Sleeping Gem
As the name suggests, you will find crouching lions on this hike. JK. Crouching lion is one of the best hikes on the island with scenic views looking over Kamehameha Highway.
The hike takes about 30-45 minutes to get up and around 20-25 down. If you do the Kahekili-Manamana Loop that connects to Crouching Lion, that will take your around 4-5 Hours. Both options are worthwhile.
Address: Crouching Lion Hike, 52-204 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Diamond Head - The Overrated tourist hike
This is one the most iconic and trafficked hikes on Oahu. As amazing as the views are, I prefer the other hikes on this list much more.
Diamond head is great for families and anyone who isn’t going to leave the Waikiki area. It’s also great for people who want to hike on a paved path to a scenic viewpoint. Definitely not my favorite, but still scenic and worthwhile!
Makapu'u lighthouse - Overlooked but worth it
This is the most underrated and easiest hike on the list. The paved path runs up for about a mile and leads you to an unbelievable views of the Oahus Eastern shores heading to the north shore.
Stunning scenery and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some migrating whales! If you can handle a rocky path, take the adjacent path down to the Makapuu tide pools for a whole new world ocean side.
Lanikai Pillboxes - Always a Treat
Lanikai Pillboxes are an absolute must for any visitor to Hawaii. The hike takes you along a ridge to multiple “pillboxes” that overlook some of Oahu’s most arguably gorgeous beach, Lanikai.
The views also stretch back into some of Oahu’s mountain range and other south eastern shore beauty. Don’t SKIP THIS ONE!
Northshore pillboxes - Short but sweet
The north shore pillboxes aka Ehukai Pillboxes are another gem that you shouldn’t miss, especially in the North Shore. The north shore really doesn’t offer that much hiking but if you need a solid one, this is it!
The beauty of this one? The hike is short and sweet and gives you an amazing look over Sunset beach and Pipeline!
Ka'au Crater - Hard but Magnificent Oahu Hike
The Ka’au Crater Hike is a beauty but you have to work hard for that beauty. It’s an absolute stellar, adrenaline inviting hike and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The hike takes you up steep and often muddy ridge lines where without rope (provided on trail) would be a nightmare. The hike is unbelievably scenic and cant be skipped if you seek a challenging and unforgettable hike. 3 Waterfalls!
Hawaii Hiking Tips
There is so much too do in Hawaii but it’s important to remember where you are. Here are some tips to follow when hiking in Hawaii:
BRING and DRINK plenty of water – Hawaii is HOT! Do not attempt these hikes, especially the long ones without water. Hydrate!
Plan your Hikes – Because it’s so hot, plan your hikes accordingly. Koko Head for example, is not ideal midday as there is almost zero sun protection on the whole hike. The heat will beat you down.
Avoid Traffic – Yes, Hawaii has TERRIBLE traffic. Don’t want to sit in traffic all day? Plan your hikes according to off hour driving. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Slick Surfaces are Very Real – Hawaii’s interior hikes get wet causing easy mishaps while navigating the terrain. Be cognizant and have sturdy shoes with good grip
Embrace the Aloha Spirit – Enjoy your hikes but don’t leave a trace. One of the worst situations any visitor can do is leave behind trash, etc.
Try to have a hiking buddy – Just because Hawaii is all about Aloha, doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Hawaiians are fiercely protective of their land and having a friend if anything happens is always encourage.
OAHU HIKES AND MORE
Hiking in Oahu will bring you great joy and memories. These hikes are some of the best but there are also so many other amazing ones. Just remember that Hawaii doesn’t just have beautiful beaches, but hiking too. If you need anymore advice on where to go or what to do while exploring Oahu, check out some more of my guides below:
Trying to figure out a plan for your trip? I can help by being your Hawaii trip Planner. As always, thanks for reading and hopefully you will make it too all these hikes while on the island! Hope to see you out there in Hawaii or somewhere else in this world! Aloha