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Four fantastic hikes on O‘ahu

Enjoy your summer with incredible views.

  • 2 min to read

Going on a hike is one of the most anticipated outdoor activities people can do in Hawai‘i. They are fun, often times challenging and a great way for getting in some exercise.

With breathtaking views of mountain ranges and ocean waters, the island of O‘ahu offers many choice hiking spots for tourists and locals alike. 

However, hiking some of these trails can be dangerous. So stay on the trail, respect the environment and have fun!

Mānoa Falls

Mānoa Falls

At 1.6 miles round trip, Mānoa Falls is one of the island’s most popular tropical trails in the Mānoa Valley mountains, with a small stream that leads to a beautiful cascading 150-foot waterfall. 

Due to Mānoa Valley’s reputation of receiving the most rainfall on the island, the trail offers hikers an expansive view of the flora and fauna in the area, including banyan trees, guava and hundreds of bamboo.

In recent years, several sites within the location were used for both television and Hollywood blockbusters, such as ABC’s popular show "Lost" and Universal Picture’s "Jurassic Park."

While considered one of the easiest hikes on O‘ahu, the trail can be  muddy and slippery. People are advised to wear sturdy hiking shoes before attempting it.

“Do this hike,” a female reviewer from Norwalk, CA wrote on Yelp.com. “Don’t question it. You won’t regret it!”

Koko Head Crater

Koko Head Crater

The Koko Head Trail of Hawai‘i Kai is considered a very intense hike which involves an incline of about 1,048 steps on an old wooden railway to the top of the summit. 

At more than 1,200 feet, this hike offers an incredible view of the southeastern side of the island, featuring sites such as Diamond Head, Makapu‘u Point and Hanauma Bay.

“Hot and sweaty with fantastic views!” an anonymous reviewer wrote on alltrails.com. “Great workout… the calves and knees will feel it!”

Hiking this trail can be physically strenuous and may not be suitable for young children and elderly people.

Ka’au Crater

Ka’au Crater

The Ka’au Crater trail is probably one of the most exhausting hikes on the island, and is extremely challenging.

At five miles round trip, this hike involves a slippery rocky trail up through the valley of a dormant volcano. With an overabundance of tropical plants and trees, as well as several waterfalls and rope-climbing segments along the way.

The view from the top of the crater is one of the most extraordinary sights one could ever imagine as hikers will get an eyeful of the island from all sides. 

Anyone who plans to attempt this trail must be in good physical condition, wear shoes and carry food and water with them.

Pali Puka

Pali Puka

For those who are looking to do a short hike, then the Pali Puka Trail is the perfect place to start. 

Beginning from the base of the Pali Lookout, this exhilarating trail leads along a narrow ridgeline along the Ko’olau Mountains, with a 5-foot size hole (puka) near the top of the base. The rewarding view of Windward side from the hole is incredible. 

However, this trail can be dangerous due to its steep climb along the mountain edge and strong wind currents. Take special care when interacting around the hole at the top of the climb.