Planning a trip to Honolulu and want to stay in shape, but difficult hiking trails aren’t for you? We’ve got you covered, as this guide will provide a selection of favorite easy hikes in Oahu suitable for all fitness levels. With its diverse landscapes ranging from stunning coastlines to lush rainforests, Oahu offers an array of hikes suitable for all fitness levels.
These include the paved Judd Trail, with its gradual ascent through a lush setting, and the Lanikai Pillbox Hike offering panoramic vistas despite its steep incline.
We will also delve into family-friendly trails like the Waimea Valley trail and Makapuu Lighthouse trail, which offer gentle gradients suited better toward kids.
Lastly, we’ll touch upon long-distance trails, including Moanalua Valley and Maunawili Falls, that lead hikers through verdant greenery toward luscious waterfalls. So get your hiking shoes ready as we explore these amazing trails together!
Easy Hike Oahu - The Best Hiking Trails
If you’re planning a trip to the gorgeous Oahu, make sure to check out some of its easy Oahu hikes for an enjoyable adventure that’s not too demanding but still offers stunning sights.
For those seeking an outdoor experience that’s not too challenging yet still provides incredible scenery and memories, these simple treks below are ideal. We'll cover these easy Oahu hikes in more depth in this article.
Easy Oahu Hike #1: Judd Trail
The Judd Trail is a tranquil 1-mile loop trail located in Nu'uanu Valley, Oahu. Perfect for beginners, the trail offers a gentle hike through a lush rainforest filled with native Hawaiian plants and trees.
The highlight of this trail is the enchanting waterfall that provides a cooling respite. Despite some muddy patches and roots along the path, it’s generally an easy trek that is suitable for all ages. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery!
Easy Oahu Hike #2: Lanikai Pillbox
The Kaiwa Ridge Trail, also known as the Lanikai Pillbox Hike, is a 1.8-mile round trip trail that promises panoramic views of Oahu’s windward side. This easy hike takes you along a ridge to two old WWII pillboxes. The trail can be a little steep at times, but the stunning views of Lanikai, Kailua, and the Mokulua Islands are worth every step. Ideal for beginners, it’s best to start early to beat the heat and enjoy the sunrise.
Easy Oahu Hike #3: Diamond Head Crater
The Diamond Head Crater trail is a 1.6-mile round trip that’s perfect for casual hikers. This well-paved trail gently ascends the inside of one of the world’s most famous volcanic craters. The climb might get a bit challenging towards the end due to some stairs, but it’s manageable for most.
Once at the summit of the Diamond Head hike, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. A must-visit for anyone seeking a memorable Hawaiian adventure.
Easy Oahu Hike #4: Ka'ena Point Trail
Experience the breathtakingly wild beauty of Oahu on the Ka'ena Point Trail. This flat, easy 5-mile round trip hike takes you along the island's westernmost point. The entire trail offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and the vast Pacific Ocean.
As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including Hawaiian monk seals and various seabird species. Despite its length, the trail is relatively flat, making it suitable for beginners.
Remember to bring sun protection and plenty of water as there's little shade along the route. A rewarding trek for nature enthusiasts!
Easy Oahu Hike #5: Manoa Falls Trail
Experience the breathtakingly wild beauty of Oahu on the Ka’ena Point Trail. This flat, easy 5-mile round trip hike takes you along the island’s westernmost point. The entire trail offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and the vast Pacific Ocean.
As you walk, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including Hawaiian monk seals and various seabird species. Despite its length, the trail is relatively flat, making it suitable for beginners. Remember to bring sun protection and plenty of water as there’s little shade along the route. A rewarding trek for nature enthusiasts!
Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Oahu
Of course, we understand that you may want to take an easy hike Oahu with your family. And fear not – there are plenty of kid friendly hikes on Oahu that provide stunning scenic beauty and require less physical exertion – perfect for the little ones or even stroller-bound toddlers! Check-out the Waimea Valley and Makapu'u Lighthouse trails. We cover these following family-friendly Oahu hikes below!
Waimea Valley Hiking Trail
The Waimea Valley Trail is an excellent choice for families with young children. This paved path winds through captivating scenery, offering glimpses of native Hawaiian plants and wildlife along the way.
The highlight of this 1.5-mile round-trip hike is undoubtedly the majestic Waimea Falls, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip in its pool at the base.
Makapu'u Lighthouse hiking Trail
Another great option is the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail, known for its gentle gradients making it well-suited towards kids and beginners alike.
From Oahu's southeastern tip, the Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail stretches two miles out-and-back, offering sweeping views of Makapu'u Beach Park and Waimanalo Bay as well as Koko Crater and Koko Head in the distance.
This relatively easy walk culminates at one of Oahu's most iconic landmarks - the historic Makapu'u Point Lighthouse. Built in 1909, it's still operational today, guiding ships safely around the island's rugged coastline during night hours while standing tall against the Pacific Ocean backdrop during the day, creating a picturesque sight.
Beyond the lighthouse itself, though, lies another exciting attraction, especially if your visit coincides between the November-April period when humpback whales migrate from Alaska down south towards warmer waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, providing spectacular whale-watching opportunities right off the coast here.
Tips For Hiking With Kids In Hawaii
Before starting the hike with kids, here are essential tips you'll want to note down:
Pack Plenty Of Water And Snacks: Ensure everyone stays hydrated throughout the journey by carrying enough water bottles along with snacks like granola bars and fruits, which will keep energy levels up without weighing too much down backpacks.
Sun Protection Is Essential: Apply sunscreen generously before setting off and reapply every couple of hours, depending upon sun intensity since UV rays tend to be stronger closer to the equator region where Hawaii is located within. Plus, don't forget hats and sunglasses either, protecting eyes and skin further and more effectively.
In conclusion, exploring these family-friendly hikes together provides a unique opportunity to create lasting memories amidst breathtaking natural surroundings found nowhere else except here, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
Long Distance Hiking Trails on Oahu
If you want to dive deep into Hawaii's lush landscapes, try these longer trails. They may require more time and energy, but the journey is worth it. Get ready to be amazed by the Pacific Ocean's greenery and stunning waterfalls with the Moanalua Valley and Manawili Falls longer hikes covered below!
Moanalua Valley Hike Oahu
The Moanalua Valley trail is a 10-mile round trip hike that takes you into the heart of Oahu's lush landscapes. Start with a peaceful walk through Moanalua Gardens and then ascend to higher elevations for breathtaking views.
Experience the diverse wildlife and vegetation exclusive to this area as you make your way along the Moanalua Valley trail. Don't worry, the gradual incline makes it doable for most hikers.
Maunawili Falls Hike Oahu
A bit shorter but equally rewarding is the Maunawili Falls trail. This picturesque route leads to a captivating waterfall surrounded by dense forest. It's a sight that will make every step worthwhile.
Be prepared for muddy conditions and wear appropriate footwear. Once you reach Maunawili Falls, take a refreshing dip or simply enjoy the tranquility of the area.
These were the best easy hikes on Oahu that you should consider for some active time while on vacation.
Whether you're looking for paved paths through lush settings like the Judd Trail or panoramic vistas despite steep inclines like the Kaiwa Ridge Trail/Lanikai Pillbox Hike, there's something for everyone.
Don't miss out on the fantastic views atop Diamond Head Crater or the wildlife viewing opportunities along Ka'ena Point Trail.
And if you're traveling with family, consider checking out family-friendly trails such as Waimea Valley trail or Makapuu Lighthouse trail.
We hope that this guide was helpful, and do not forget your camera, the views from above are always stunning in Oahu!
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest waterfall hike in Oahu is arguably the Manoa Falls Trail. This 1.6-mile round trip hike is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The well-maintained trail leads you through a lush, tropical rainforest filled with unique Hawaiian plants and trees, all the way to the base of the impressive 150-foot Manoa Falls. The terrain is relatively flat, and the hike is short, making it accessible for beginners or those looking for a leisurely stroll.
The Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail is often considered the easiest hike on Oahu. This 2-mile round trip trail features a smooth, paved path with a gentle incline, making it accessible for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. The trail offers beautiful views of Oahu's southeastern coastline and the historic Makapu'u Lighthouse. On clear days, you might even spot neighboring islands and humpback whales in the distance.
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike, also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is considered one of the easiest ridge trails on Oahu. This 1.8-mile round trip trail offers some of the best panoramic views on the island.
Despite a few steep sections, the trail is relatively easy to navigate and is suitable for most fitness levels. As you ascend, you'll pass by two WWII-era pillboxes, adding a historical touch to your hike.
Yes, Manoa Falls is an accessible hike for all skill levels, with a path winding through lush greenery and leading to stunning waterfalls.
Oahu boasts an abundance of hiking trails, with over 252 official hikes and many more unofficial ones. These trails vary widely in difficulty, length, and scenery, offering hikers a diverse array of experiences