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February 4, 2022

Easy Must Hikes in Oahu

Ready Set Let’s Take A Hike!

Hiking the lush green mountains with ocean views in Hawaii is picturesque. I am dedicating this blog post to sharing some easy must hikes in Oahu that are sure to take your breath away—without taking up too much time or energy. We all know there is a lot of adventure to be had in Oahu, Hawaii.

Having lived in Colorado and spending time climbing massive mountains for decades, it is always interesting hiking in other regions. When deciding which hikes to include in this blog post, I wanted to include ones with the ocean, mountain views, and waterfalls. Being the first mountain climb I’ve done since being out of the hospital from Covid & respiratory failure, being at sea level and climbing 500 feet in elevation was pretty easy compared to living at 6500 feet. However, the hike has steep climbs, but once you get to the top it is totally worth it! I hope that this guide will help you explore many easy must hikes in Oahu so you can experience the beauty for yourself!

Easy Must Hikes in Oahu

Lanikai Pillbox Hike Trailhead

Lanikai Pillbox Hike is fairly short. The entire hike is around 1.35 miles including the walk from our parking spot. In only 0.5 of a mile, you will gain over 500 feet in elevation and you will be doing it in the dark if you’re hoping to catch the sunrise. We definitely recommend a good headlamp so you have free hands to help you navigate up the steep hills. There are some ropes to help you get up the really steep parts, but they are hard to find in the dark. Unfortunately, it was so dark during the hike up that we didn’t get too many great photos in the beginning of the climb. But once you get to the top and the sun comes up, the views will blow your mind.

Where: 

265 Kaelepulu Dr, Kailua, HI 96734

Parking: 

You will be parking on the residential street so please be respectful of the neighbors. Read the signs and make sure your park is in an area that allows parking. I got a $115 ticket after such a lovely hike so this was a big bummer.

Distance: 

1.35 miles R.T.

Elevation Gain: 

540 ft

Level: 

Intermediate 

Estimated Completion Time: 

2-3 hours

Ideal Weather: 

Dry days. The steep sections can be difficult when muddy.

Ideal Time: 

Definitely hike the Lanikai Pillbox Hike at sunrise, make sure you start your hike at least an hour before the sunrise to leave yourself plenty of time to make it to the top and get good seats. Getting up was a bit challenging, but it was well worth it.

Dog-friendly: 

Yes. We’ve seen a lot of people bringing their dogs with them. 

Easy Must Hikes in Oahu

Manoa Falls

Less than fifteen minutes from Waikiki, you will find the Manoa Falls Trail. This is a short hike at the filming locations of Jurassic Park and the television show LOST, which is highlighted by a massive waterfall.

Manoa Falls Trail is one of my most suggested hikes to visitors looking for a short adventure. The trail is defined for the entire route, which gives you plenty of freedom to take in the wondrous scenery. In this blog post, I will share with you information about the location of the hike, what to expect.

Where: 

Manoa Falls trailhead is up in the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve

Parking: 

There is a parking lot at the base of Manoa Falls

Distance: 

A short hike of 1.6-miles R.T.

Elevation Gain: 

786 feet

Level: 

Easy

Estimated Completion Time: 

1-2 hours

Ideal Time: 

Summer months

Dog-friendly: 

Yes

Easy Must Hikes in Oahu

Waimea Valley

Imagine a botanical garden journey in the pristine Waimea Valley, ending at a 45-foot waterfall where you can swim. Enjoy a botanical trail leading to a picturesque waterfall.

Where: 

Manoa Falls trailhead is up in the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve

Parking: 

There is a parking lot at the base of Manoa Falls

Distance: 

A short hike of 1.6-miles R.T.

Elevation Gain: 

786 feet

Level: 

Easy

Estimated Completion Time: 

1-2 hours

Ideal Time: 

Summer months

Dog-friendly: 

Yes

There are so many other hikes to conquer on Oahu. One on our bucket list is Moanalua Valley Middle Ridge. This challenging hike climbs over 2000 feet up to the peak that overlooks the famous Haiku Stairs, also known as Stairway to Heaven. Stay tuned for features on this hike coming soon!

Read more: Adventures in Oahu, Hawaii

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