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.
9 Oahu Hikes Not to Skip
- Stairway to Heaven
- Koko Head
- Crouching Lion
- Diamond Head
- Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
- Lanikai Pillboxes
- North Shore Pillboxes
- Ka’au Crater
Stairway to Heaven
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 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.
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
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!
This hike is an underrated one and very easy. The paved path runs up for about a mile and leads you to an unbelievable viewing platform of the eastern shoreline 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 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!
North Shore Pillboxes
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 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 ridgelines 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!
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? Contact me directly and I can help plan out your ideal stay for your tropical getaway. 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