The vulcano landscape on the Hawaiian islands leads to the most beautiful hikes. You’ll walk through rainforests, bamboo forests, mountain tops and hidden waterfalls. It’s tropical, exotic and spectacular.
There are a few things to always have in mind when hiking in Hawaii: Chech whether the hike is illigal or not, if you do one of the illegal ones it’s on your own risk. Most of the hikes are really muddy and slippery, make sure you have good shoes. Preferably water shoes. Hawaii is hot, and you’ll sweat a lot even on short hikes, remember therefore to always bring water.
It is so hard to choose my favorite hikes from Oahu, because there are so many incredible ones. But I had to restrain myself, and decided to write about six of my favorites, that offers a little bit of everything. So you don’t have to do the same type of hike over again if you have to choose.
Before I continue, let me just tell you this: Of all the hikes I did on Oahu (and there were many), I never felt dissapointed. Every one of them offered something new and beautiful. So you can’t really go wrong. But anyway, here are my top six hikes that offers a little bit of everything!
Stairway to Heaven (Haikuu Stairs)
This hike is illigal, and you may get a really big fine, but totally worth it in my opinion. You have to walk up over 4000 steps, and it is really steep all the way. Before you reach the top there are two lookout places where you can rest, drink water and fill up with some energy – oh, and of course take photos of the amazing view. Make sure you have snacks and/or food with you, for example bars, chocolate or nuts. And A LOT of water. You have the opportunites to take the coolest photos on this hike, even though it often is cloudy at the top.
Lanikai Pillbox (for sunrise)
Lanikai Pillbox is not a tough hike. It only takes about 20 minutes to the top, which is perfect for an early morning hike. From the pillboxes you’ll have the perfect view for when the sun rise from the sea. This hike is beautiful whenever you choose to do it, but I would strongly recommend it for sunrise. You get a beautiful view over Lanikai beach and Kailua beach, with the white sand and clear, turqoise water. This hike is on the east side of the island.
Kalihi Ice Ponds
After only a 10-15 minute walk, you’ll arrive at the Kahili Ice Ponds. It’s a beautiful waterfall in really nice surroundings. You can jump from the waterfall or from the cliffs on the side. The water is quite cold, but it’s nice for everyone who’s used to it, like us Norwegians. Kahili Ice Ponds is located in a picturous scene, and you have the opportunity to get some really nice photos here.
Pink Pillbox (for sunset)
To get the most beautiful view of the sunset, you need to go to the west side of Oahu. Here you will find the Pink Pillbox hike, a twenty minute hike up to two pillboxes that has front row seats for watching the sun set in the ocean.
This is a long hike. Me and my friends did it in about six hours, with a lunch pause. This hike leads you through rainforest, bamboo forest, over rivers and past three waterfalls. You need to climb up the last waterfall. When you reach the top, there’s a stunning view over Honolulu on one side, and over a big crater on the other. You can walk all around the crater if you want to, but that will take a long time. This can be a difficult and dangerous hike, so make sure you have good shoes, enough food and water and don’t walk it alone.
If you’re up to playing Tarzan this hike is perfect. What really sets this hike apart from others is that you walk downwards on the way to the waterfall, and up on the way back. Waimano Falls has two pools, a rope to hang in, and two waterfalls – one bigger than the other. This is a place you can bring a picnic basket and just enjoy a day with swimming and goofing around.
I actually can’t end this article without dropping the names of a few more hikes: Koko Head (for sunrise), Three Peaks, Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail/Pillboxes/Tide Pools, Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail, Lulumahu Falls, Hamama Falls.