The Best Hikes on Oahu

Unreal Hawaii is a website for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts on Oahu. On this page you’ll find stories and photos describing some of the best hikes on Oahu. If you’re new to hiking on Oahu, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Hiking Oahu.

Looking for hikes on Kauai, Maui or Big Island?
Go to the Hawaii Neighbor Island Hikes page.

DISCLAIMER: If you attempt these hikes you are doing so at your own risk. Trail conditions and accessibility can change daily. Also, hiking can be dangerous and has many potential hazards. It is up to each individual to know their limits, abilities and level of expertise before attempting any outdoor activity (full disclaimer).

Other Oahu Hiking Resources

Na Ala Hele - Oahu Trail Systems
Official hiking trail system for Oahu.

Oahu's State Parks Hiking
Official website for Hawaii State Parks.

Hawaii Trail & Mountain Club
A popular Oahu hiking club.

Hiking Safety in Hawaii [PDF]
The Hawaii DLNR brochure on hiking safety.

Easy Hikes on Oahu

Rainforest Waterfalls and Ruins

Rainforest Waterfalls and Ruins

  • Type: Waterfall
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

Follow a group of Hawaii photographers on a photowalk through the lush rainforest. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Eastside Bunker Hike - Oahu

Eastside Bunker Hike

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 1-2 hrs

A short easy hike in Kaneohe that leads to a lookout with a panoramic view of the windward coast. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Koko Crater Arch

Koko Crater Arch

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 1-2 mi
  • Time: 0-1 hr

A short hike that takes you to a natural arch on the side of Koko Crater. The arch makes for great photos. The hike is relatively easy but parts are very steep. Hiking shoes are required. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Oahu Rock Bridge and Sea Cliffs

  • Type: Coastal
  • Length: 3-4 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

Incredible rock textures and a natural rock bridge by the ocean. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Kuliouou Ridge Trail

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 3-4 hrs

A beautiful hike located just 20 minutes east of Town. There’s a lot of variety on this trail from forest to open ridgeline. Great for families and dogs. Oahu, Hawaii

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Kawai’iki Trail

  • Type: Valley
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 5-6 hrs

A hike with the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club through a remote valley in north Oahu. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Lanikai Pillboxes Hike

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 1-2 hrs

An extremely popular hike in Kailua. This short, kid-friendly, hike takes you up the hill that overlooks Lanikai Beach and the Mokes. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Waimano Falls and Pools

  • Type: Waterfall
  • Length: 1-2 mi
  • Time: 1-2 hrs

This waterfall hike on Oahu is best attempted after some rain. It’s a relatively easy hike to a waterfall and pool deep enough for jumping. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Kaena Point

  • Type: Coastal
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: Variable

A hike to the most western point on Oahu. You start along the north shore and hike on a flat trail to the point. The views are incredible along the coastlines and if lucky, you’ll see some seals.

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Intermediate Hikes on Oahu

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Crouching Lion Mini Hike

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

A quick hike to see wonderful views of Kaaawa, Kahana Bay and the wide open Pacific Ocean. Oahu, Hawaii.

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The Koolau Summit Above Waimanalo

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: Variable

Views of the Pacific from a southeast section of the Koolau summit. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Upper Makua Cave

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 1-2 mi
  • Time: 1-2 hrs

This cave up on a hill on the Westside. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Poamoho Trail

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 6-7 mi
  • Time: 5-6 hrs

One of the most scenic trails on the island of Oahu. You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle and a permit to access the trailhead. On a clear day, the views are unmatched. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Makaua Falls at the back of Makaua Valley, Kaawa, Oahu, Hawaii

Eastside Waterfall Hike

  • Type: Waterfall
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

A not-so-safe hike we did on a rainy day. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pu'u Hapapa

Pu’u Hapapa

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

Like many of the best hikes in Hawaii, access to this trail is not easy, but those that get to hike it are rewarded with stunning views from west Oahu. This trail offers some thrilling ridge hiking as well. Oahu, Hawaii. *NOTE: Access to this trail is very limited.*

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Pali Puka

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 1-2 mi
  • Time: 1-2 hrs

A short and sweet hike to a hole in the mountain. This trail starts at the Pali Lookout. There are steep drop offs and narrow ridges to cross so it’s not so good for beginners. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Kealia Trail & Access Road

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

A great hike on the North Shore of Oahu. This trail is a series of switch backs that lead up to a network of dirt access roads that can lead all over the place. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Makapu’u-TomTom Trail

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

This is one of the best hikes for folks who love ocean views. It takes you from Makapu’u ridge to Waimanalo where you’ll hike down via the Tom-Tom Trail. You’ll need to stage cars as this is a one-way hike. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Ka’au Crater Hike

  • Type: Waterfall
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 5-6 hrs

One of the best hikes in Honolulu. This hike takes you to three waterfalls and then up to the top of this hidden crater. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Lanipo Trail

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 7-8 mi
  • Time: 5-6 hrs

This is a nice long hike so do it when you’re in the mood for something challenging. Hike on a clear day so to get the reward of seeing the incredible view at the end. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Wide view of the tide pools

Makapu’u Tide Pools

  • Type: Coastal
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: Variable

This hike shoots off the Makapuu Lighthouse trail. You’ll hike down the steep rock cliff to a set of tide pools deep enough for swimming. This area is dangerous though so keep an eye on the waves. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Mount Olympus

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 3-4 mi
  • Time: 3-4 hrs

Check the weather before attempting this one. On a clear day, the view at the summit is incredible. This is a fun trail starts at the stop of St. Louis Heights. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Koko Crater Tramway

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 1-2 mi
  • Time: Variable

A hike in Hawaii Kai up a series of wooden planks that form 1048 “steps.” The trail makes for a great workout. Many people hike it once a week or more. The views at the top are gorgeous. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Olomana Trail – First Peak

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 3-4 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

One of the best Oahu hikes for new hikers looking to take on a more challenging trail. Hiking the the first peak is challenging but relatively short. Windward Oahu, Hawaii.

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Advanced Hikes on Oahu

Windward Ridge Loop Hike

Windward Ridge Loop Hike

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

A rock scramble up a steep windward ridge on the Koolaus. The trail then follows the crest of the Koolaus and back down the windward side to form a loop. Impeccable views are everywhere. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pu'u O Kona Hike on Oahu, Hawaii

Pu’u O Kona Loop Hike

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 4-5 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

An advanced loop hike featuring a variety of terrain, expansive views and incredible ridge hiking. Located between Honolulu and Hawaii Kai. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Waiau Ridge to Waimalu Middle Ridge

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 10-11 mi
  • Time: 11-12 hrs

An incredible 12 mile hike that connects two ridges on the Koolaus. Stunning views. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Keaau Ridge

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: Variable

One of the most stunning hikes on the westside. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pali Notches

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 2-3 mi
  • Time: 2-3 hrs

A steep hike up to the two man-made notches cut out of the mountain above the Pali Lookout. Best to go on a day when winds are calm. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Waiakeakua Falls

  • Type: Waterfall
  • Length: 3-4 mi
  • Time: 3-4 hrs

Above
Cory climbs the falls.
Last weekend we hiked into the Manoa Valley rainforest and climbed up a 50 foot waterfall. A…

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Kahekili-Manamana Loop

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 5-6 mi
  • Time: 5-6 hrs

It’s Thursday and I’m still stoked on last weekend’s hike. The hike had exposed knife-edge ridges…

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Pu’u Ohulehule

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 7-8 mi
  • Time: 6-7 hrs

A very difficult hike up the pyramid shaped mountain in Kahana Valley. On clear day, views are superb from the top. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pu’u Manamana

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 3-4 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

This is another notoriously dangerous hike. For those willing to take the risk, this trail offers some of the best ridge hiking on the island. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Haiku Stairs

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: Variable

One of the best hikes in Hawaii with incredible views of Windward Oahu. This story shows you what you can expect to see on this amazing hike. Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii.

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Olomana Trail – Three Peaks

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 5-6 mi
  • Time: 4-5 hrs

This notoriously dangerous hike takes you up the three peaks of Mt. Olomana. It’s best to start early to beat the heat. The trail is very challenging and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Extreme Hikes on Oahu

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Pu’u Piei Mauka

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: 10-11 hrs

Extreme hike. Totally overgrown and steep. So worth it though. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pali Notches to Konahuanui to Manoa Middle

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: Variable

A hike to the tallest peak along the Koolau summit. There are many ways to access the tallest peak. This is just one approach. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Hidden Haiku Stairs

Moanalua Saddle to Haiku Stairs

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: 10-11 mi
  • Time: 7-8 hrs

One of the best hikes that leads to the famous Haiku Stairs. This trail can be treacherous and tiring. Glorious views can be had at the top. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Pu’u Kawiwi, No Name, Tiki Ridge

  • Type: Ridge
  • Length: Variable
  • Time: 7-8 hrs

This hike connects three peaks along the Waianae Range. It’s a dangerous hike will sheer drop offs. The hiking is rugged and involves some climbing and rock scrambling. Oahu, Hawaii.

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Hawaii Hiking Info