7 Best Hikes in Oahu Hawaii & Waterfall For 2024

Hikes in Oahu
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Explore Best Hikes in Oahu is known for its lush rainforests, beaches and stunning mountain ranges, and whether you are beginner or an experienced hiker this place is suitable for everyone out there as it offers a variety of hiking trails for beginners and adventure-seekers of all levels. From easy trails along the coast to challenging treks through dense and deep forests, there’s a hike in Oahu for everyone to enjoy. 

So, here are some of the top hikes in Oahu that presents the diverse landscapes of island and beauty:

Explore Best Hikes in Oahu For 2024

1. Diamond Head Crater Hike

Hikes in Oahu

This famous hike leads to the top of Diamond Head Crater hikes in Oahu. It is actually an old volcano with great views of Honolulu and the coast. The trail is in good condition and also shows past a historic military fort, that’s why it is a beautiful blend of knowledge and fun. Along the way, you can see several parts of the rocky coastline.

The views from the top are stunning, making it one of must-do things for Oahu visitors. Once you reach the top, you can see Waikiki and all of Honolulu. You’ll also encounter some World War II pillboxes. Sometimes the trail gets crowded with tourists, but still it’s worth it for the city views. And you will get unforgettable memories in your albums for sure!

Distance: 1.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 560 feet

 

2. AIEA LOOP TRAIL

The Aiea Loop Hikes in Oahu is a challenging but rewarding hike in the Aiea hills. It offers fabulous views of Pearl Harbor, the Waianae Mountains, and the Honolulu skyline. The trail goes through different types of terrain, including steep climbs, rocky areas, and lush forests. Kindly make sure to wear good shoes and bring plenty of water for this hike.

It’s a popular choice for a quick morning adventure and workout. Most people finish it in just over two hours. It’s about 8 km long and takes you along the west side of Hālawa Valley. You’ll see some impressive views of the H3 Freeway cutting through the mountains. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy lots of beautiful native plants and scenery along the way to top.

Distance: 4.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

 

3. Maunawili Falls 

Hikes in Oahu

The Maunawili Falls Hikes in Oahu takes you to a series of beautiful waterfalls snuggled in the Koolau Mountains. This hikes in Oahu is mostly shaded and offers several swimming holes on the way to the top. The hike is moderately challenging on the scale of difficulty level, with some steep sections and stream crossings. Be prepared to get wet and muddy while having fun during this adventurous hike.

If I had to pick favourite waterfall hikes in Oahu, it would probably be Maunawili Falls. It might not be a huge waterfall, however there is a great swimming hole below, and you can climb up and jump into, from the rocks.

The hike to the waterfall doesn’t take too long, but it involves muddy patches, stream crossings and mosquitoes. Along the way, you pass through some beautiful jungle scenery with wildlives..

Distance: 3 miles

Elevation Gain: 371 feet

 

4. Manoa Falls Trail

In the lovely Manoa Valley hikes in Oahu, there’s a hike that takes you to a stunning 150-foot waterfall in a tropical setting that is  Manoa Falls. The trail is fairly easy, but there are some steep parts and places where you cross streams. People often swim at the waterfall, so bring your swimming gear if you want to take a dip after your hike.

you’ll find Just after a short drive from Waikiki, the Manoa Falls Trail. This is the same place where the shooting of Jurassic Park and LOST happened. The highlight is definitely the huge waterfall. I always recommend this hike to visitors who want to experience beautiful scenery without a long and hard trek. The trail is well-marked, so you can enjoy the nature around you at your own capacity and will. 

Distance: 1.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 600 feet

 

5. Kaena Point Trail

Hikes in Oahu

 The Kaena Point Trail located at the westernmost point of Oahu, offers a scenic coastal hike along the rugged coastline. This hikes in Oahu takes you through a variety of landscapes, including lava fields, beaches, and sea cliffs. Keep an eye out for seabirds and migrating whales during your hike. The trail is relatively easy as compared to other rides and suitable for hikers of all levels.

If you want to extend your hike at Ka’ena Point, you can climb the nearby ridge to see an old military pillbox with stunning views of the whole area. This is a great way to make it one of the best Oahu hikes even better!

The side trail to Ka’ena Point pillbox is short, but pretty difficult. The main challenge is finding the path to the top of ridge, because it’s not marked, rocky, and a bit overgrown. You’ll definitely need shoes for this one, not sandals or anything. Bring a fair headlight too if you go see the sunset. It’s basically like doing two hikes back to back: they are both fairly easy hikes in their own way, but when put together it’s a bit more tiring.

Once on the top of the pillbox, you will get to see Ka’ena Point from above, with a nice breeze air and the sound of sea birds, plus mesmerising views of the sunset and whales hopping in the distance.

It’s one of the best sunset hikes on Oahu, and to top it off, we had the place all to ourselves! Most people just hike to Ka’ena Point and then call it a day.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 150 feet

6. Koko Head Crater Hike

The Koko Head Crater Hikes in Oahu, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven,” is tough but popular in Oahu. It has more than 1,000 steps carved into the side of the crater, so it’s quite a workout. But once you make it to the top, you’ll see mesmerising views of East Oahu.

If you want an easier hike, there’s a short one to a big rock arch on the south side of Koko Head crater. It’s a great spot to watch the sunrise. The trail starts near the road at Halona Beach Lookout, and it’s only half a mile to the arch, so you can get there quickly.

For those who want a longer and tougher hike, you can climb up to the arch and then keep going along the south rim of Koko Crater to the top of Koko Head. Then you can come back down using the Koko Stairs or go back the way you came for a different experience.

Distance: 1.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,208 feet

 

7. Olympus Hike

Hikes in Oahu

The Olympus Hikes in Oahu is a challenging hike located in the Waianae Mountains. The trail offers panoramic views of the leeward coast of Oahu and the neighbouring islands. The hike involves steep climbs and rugged terrain, making it suitable for experienced hikers only. Proper preparation and plenty of water are essential for this strenuous adventure.

It is a 4-5 hour round trip with muddy terrain and a number of steep, rope-assisted inclines. Although there are a number of different ways to reach Mt Olympus, the most popular is from Wa’ahila Ridge Recreation Park. The trail leads you up the Wa’ahila Ridge with constant views of Honolulu behind your back.

Distance: 4.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet

Conclusion:

Oahu’s diverse landscape offers a wide range of hiking trails for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll along the coast or even a challenging trek through the mountains, there’s a hikes in Oahu that will satisfy your adventurous spirit. Remember to pack plenty of water, wear appropriate footwear, and respect the natural beauty of the island. Happy hiking, Explorers!

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