Hiking Hawaii: Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail

(This is a continuation of TBB’s “Hiking Hawaii” series, where I hike around Oahu
and share my experiences/tips with you. Last time, I hiked up Lanikai Pillboxes)

Today’s hike: Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail.


The Makapuʻu Lighthouse trail is located at the Southeast point of Oahu. This two-mile, round trip trail gives you a sweeping view of the ocean, Koko Head Crater and some neighboring islands! I consider it one of the easiest hikes on Oahu.

Getting There:


The Makapuʻu Lighthouse trail is located off of Kalanianaʻole Highway. If you’re in town, take the H-1 Eastbound and continue onto Kalanianaʻole. That will lead you all the way to The Lighthouse trail (a right hand turn off the highway). There’s a parking lot (with limited parking) available. People are always going in and out of that hike so if you’re patient, you’ll get a spot easily.

Hiking Up:


The whole hike is clearly marked, paved and wide enough to handle two-way traffic. The incline is not steep, and there are many places for you to pull over and take a break. If you want to visit the Makapuʻu Tidepools, the entrance is located by the whale plaque on the main trail. The hike is dog friendly, but I did see a couple of tinier dogs get carried down the hill. It took my friends and I about 30-45 minutes to get to the top.

The view:




Spotted: locks at the viewing point! Just like the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris.


Climbing Down:


No issues or new paths climbing down. Just hike down the same trail you came up!

Tips for this hike:

-Prepare for sun! There’s little to no shade on this hike. You can feel the heat on the way up, so pack a hat, a water bottle and some sunscreen.

-If you want an easier parking experience, hike early. The sun won’t hit you as hard if you get there in the morning too.

-This hike is kid-friendly! I did a lot of field trips here in elementary school.

What hike am I missing out on? Have you tried the Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail? Let me know!



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