Oahu Hawaii is a hiker’s paradise! From east to west, north to south, this small island is covered in amazing hiking trails. Many of Oahu’s easy hikes still offer incredible views without breaking a sweat or feeling like you might pass out.
Hiking in Hawaii is a must on any trip to Kauai, Oahu, or Maui. Whether you are a beginner or a family looking for easy hikes on Oahu or an expert hiker looking for more challenging hikes on Oahu, you will be able to find many hiking trails to complete your Oahu travel itinerary.
In this blog we stick to the easy hiking trails on Oahu. These easy Oahu hikes are short distance with little elevation gain and don’t have crazy drops or sketchy trails. But don’t let that discourage you. These easy hikes on Oahu will give you magical views and leave you in awe of the beautiful state of Hawaii.
5 Easy Hikes on Oahu
Ka’ena Point Trail
Ka’ena Point Trail is unique in that it can be completed from either the south shore or north shore of the island and is one of the best easy hikes on Oahu. From the south it’s a 5.6 mile out and back trail and from the north it’s a 5 mile out and back trail along the Farrington Highway.
This is a very easy hiking trail as it is mostly flat all the way. It’s a great trail for kids, families, and dogs, however it’s mostly uncovered so bring water and wear sunscreen. It will definitely get hot! This Oahu hike is along the shoreline and the views are fantastic every time.
At the end of the trail there are large sandy paths that you can follow to explore the entire tip of the island or jump close to the water. Also, there are several calm water pools that are great for swimming if you need to cool off (you will).
Keep an eye out for monk seals, as this is one of the best places to watch them on the entire island. They are usually basking on the rocks, which happen to be the same color as them. They can be hard to spot, but do a slow scan and look for shiny rocks. It may be a seal. Chances are you’ll see at least one here!
Upper Kaneana Cave (Makua Cave)
Next on our list of easy Oahu hikes is Upper Kaneana Cave. Upper Kaneana Cave is an easy .8 mile hike to a cave that overlooks Oahu’s west shore. It’s a quick and easy Oahu hike to complete, however the trail is pretty narrow and overgrown. Long pants may be your best option to avoid scratching yourself.
Also, the trailhead is a bit hard to find. Park in the Kaneana parking lot near the lower Kaneana cave. Walk on Highway 93 and you will see the trailhead just before the speed limit sign. There is no sign, so keep your eyes peeled.
While you’re here, take the easy hiking trail up to Lower Kaneana Cave as well. This one is located right across from the parking lot and is a much larger cave than the upper cave. If you want to fully explore it, you’ll need a flashlight or headlamp as it gets dark very quickly.
The Diamond Head Trail is an easy, heavily trafficked 1.8-mile out-and-back trail where you’ll gain 450 feet, and it deserves a spot on the list for one of Oahu’s best easy hikes. The trail is open every day except Wednesday and there is a small entrance fee for those who wish to hike who are not Hawaii residents.
This trail is probably the most popular hike on Oahu due to its proximity to Honolulu and its rewarding views. The trail begins in the middle of Diamond Head volcanic crater and climbs about 500 feet to the top of the rim, where you’re rewarded with stunning panoramic views.
Although the trail does get steep in parts, the trail is extremely well maintained and short distance. Once you reach the top, you can climb up into the bunkers for a 360-degree view of Oahu.
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden Trail
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden Trail is a 2 mile trail through the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden and is extremely scenic and beautiful. Along the trail you will come across a unique variety of vegetation, all labeled so you know what they are, and a beautiful lake with coin fish and ducks.
You’ll also get views of the Kualoa Mountain Range, which is a spectacular set of mountains that seem to appear out of nowhere.
The botanical garden is free to visit and is a great place to enjoy a picnic with a view and take a scenic drive if you have some extra time.
Makapu’u Light House Trail
The Makapu’u Light House Trail is one of the best easy hikes on Oahu. This 2-mile round-trip hike is completely paved and has only 500 feet of elevation gain. The easy hiking trail offers spectacular views of the Oahu coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater.
As you might guess, the trail ends at a historic lighthouse which makes for some awesome photos. Here you also get stunning views of the lush green coastline against the deep blue ocean, as well as offshore islets.
Give yourself about 2 hours to enjoy this hike. If it’s the right season, this is a great place to go whale watching, which is an incredible treat at your destination.
Enjoy your hike!
It’s time to go hiking! These 5 Easy Oahu Hikes are some of the best hikes on the entire island of Oahu, but they require a quarter of the effort of most. We love a low effort, high reward hike! After all, vacations are for relaxing!
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