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Take Spectacular Photos with These 11 Best Hiking Trails on Oahu

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Oahu is a hiker’s paradise, with an abundance of trails to explore. From the easy and scenic Manoa Falls Trail to the challenging and breathtaking Kalalau Trail, see Hawaii in the most beautiful scenic ways with the 11 best hiking trails on Oahu.

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11 Best Hiking Trails on Oahu

There is no shortage of hiking trails to explore on the island of Oahu. From easy coastal walks to more challenging inland hikes there is something for everyone. Here are our top 11 Oahu hiking trails:

  1. Diamond Head Summit Trail – This short but steep hike offers stunning views of the coastline and Diamond Head crater. The difficulty is rated moderate with the beginning portion being paved but then turning into a natural terrain and steep stairs.
  2. Lanikai Pillboxes – These WWII-era pillboxes make for a fun and challenging hike, that takes about an hour. The incredible ocean views are worth it. It is also known as Kaiwa Ridge.
  3. Koko Head – This popular trail takes you to the top of the Koko Head crater for panoramic views of the island. It’s a grueling volcano hike, with no shade, that will give you a workout.
  4. Manoa Falls – A short but steep hike leads you to a beautiful waterfall in the lush Manoa Valley. It is considered a kid-friendly trail but make sure to wear proper hiking shoes or boots.
  5. Ka’ena Point Trail – This remote hike takes you to the westernmost point on the island, along the old railroad bed. You’ll see incredible views of ocean cliffs and it ends at the Ka’ena Point Natural Area. It is moderately difficult to hike.
  6. Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail – This moderately challenging hike takes you to the top of Kuli’ou’ou Ridge for panoramic views of the Windward Coast. Prepare for mud and slippery surfaces.

Easier Best Hiking Trails on Oahu

  1. Waimanalo Beach Park – This hike takes you along the shoreline of Waimanalo Beach with sweeping ocean views. It is an easy beach walk, but some consider it hard due to the distance. However, you can always turn around if you want a shorter hike.
  2. Nuuanu Pali Lookout – Old Pali Road – This scenic lookout provides sweeping views of the Windward Coast and the Nuuanu Pali. It is easy enough for beginner hikers to enjoy.
  3. Makapuu Lighthouse Trail – This easy-to-moderate coastal hike offers beautiful views of the southeastern shoreline. The lighthouse is closed to the public but offers stunning photos.
  4. Kapaʻeleʻele Trail – This easy-to-moderate hike takes you through the lush rainforest and offers views of the Kahana Bay and the Ko’olau Mountains. A unique feature of this hike is the cultural sites. You’ll see the Kapa’ele’ele Ko’a fishing shrine and the Keaniani Kilo lookout.
  5. Kawainui Marsh – The Marsh is home to a variety of birds, plants, and animals and is a popular spot for hiking and bird watching. The trail is relatively easy to hike and is a great way to experience the beauty of the Marsh and views of the Ko’olau Mountains.

Want the Best Scenic Hiking Trails in Oahu?

For more amazing hikes add a few waterfall hikes to your list. They are an exhilarating experience that lends opportunities for incredible photographs and memories of Oahu. And after your hike, try other things to do in Oahu to round out your trip! Check out the unique beaches and some of the best places to golf!

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