Attractions of the Islands: Best Hikes in Hawaii

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September 21st 2017
Published: September 21st 2017
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Travelers and adventurers beware! The views recommended below will awe and shock you, and while each trail and hike is highly recommended, you may fall in love and never want to leave!

Top Hawai’i trails, ranked from the easiest to moderate levels of difficulty, are listed below to expand your travel experience to some of the most beautiful scenes in the world. Each of these hikes begins at a popular bus route through the island of Oahu, so be sure to download Da Bus app to get real-time updates on your transportation (consider a VPN for faster and safer connections).

1. “Lighthouse Hike” * Suitable for All Ages *

Makapu’u Lighthouse trail, affectionately dubbed ‘The Lighthouse Hike,” is a smooth incline around one of the oldest lighthouses on the island. The paved ground and abundance of seated rest stops makes this hike the most suitable for small children and elderly alike. And if you feel the burn of challenge in your heart after reaching the Lighthouse view, Makapu’u Point is just a few kilometers farther and famous for the whale watching view!

2. “Manoa Falls” * Suitable for children +7 *

Located deep in the rainforests of Manoa Valley, the Manoa Falls loop trail will carry you under sweeping taro plants and across rivers on the walk up to a large and picturesque waterfall. However, this trail is known for having the most temperamental of weather, and it would never be unwise to bring a raincoat and umbrella. If your little one is fond of dirt and mud or you have a love of ripe bananas that can be picked right off the trees, this would be the hike for you. But make sure to bring a change of clothes!

3. “Diamond Head” * Suitable for +10, not for elderly *

Probably the most famous of these four hikes, Diamond Head hike is a trek up the most recognizable scenery of Hawai’i. The former volcano, now dormant for centuries, offers a terrain filled with old lava rocks under the brush and a well-worn path from the base all the way to the tip. Despite the intense underbrush, there is very little full-grown shade on the hike and it is paramount to bring water! Thus, this trail may not be the best for small children and those who are easily dehydrated.

4. “KoKo Head Crater” * Suitable for +12 *

a. The least easily accessible by bus, the KoKo Head Crater is a trail beloved by locals searching for a challenge. Climbing the large basic provides some of the most amazing views of the Hawai’i Kai Peninsula, the exact opposite side of the island from most hotels in Waikiki. While this hike is certainly more difficult than the others on this list, travelers looking for a challenge should absolutely plan this on their bucket list.

Check out hiking trails on the other islands here, and for advice on the safest way to prepare for these hikes, check out this brochure.


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