I have hiked SEVERAL of the trails on Oahu, HI and I must say, this one has some of the best views I have ever seen! You get an AMAZING view of Sea Life Park, Makapu’u Lighthouse, Sea Life Park, Kokohead Crater and she shoreline below. If you want a hike to show you some incredible views with not too much effort, this is the one for you!
Now, before you grab your hiking shoes and hit the trail…there are a few things I want to share…
First of all, this trail is NOT one of the state sanctioned trails. This simply means-hike at your own risk. If you get caught you can get ticketed for trespassing. For some reason, we did not “see” these multiple signs…
Second, this trail gets super hot. Come prepared with LOTS of water and go early in the morning if you can. We started around 9:30 and it was already pretty toasty. I drank almost a full Camelback today!
Third of all, only YOU know your hiking ability and experience. So, when I say it’s not THAT difficult, it may be completely different for YOU. So be prepared for a tough but not difficult hike!
With that said…let’s get to the fun part!
You will park across from the trailhead at the Makapu’u Lighthouse LOOKOUT-not the hiking trail, but the actual lookout. From there, you will see 3 signs like the one I posted above. You will also see a fence line. This is where you will begin! You can choose to go on either side of the fence because there are a few openings you can go through. If you go on the ocean side, you will have a better view (because the fence won’t be blocking your view)…that’s the way we went today.
As soon as I stepped foot on this trail, I was amazed by the view! I mean, check this out! Buckle up friends, because this view is JUST THE BEGINNING!
From here on, you will have so many photo ops! So, don’t forget your camera!
The ribbons on this trail are bright orange. They were placed pretty far apart. However, they were bright enough you could see them from quite a distance away. The ribbons were very helpful about halfway. At this point, the ribbons seamed to disappear and you’re on your own. We had heard to follow the ridge line so we did. We could see a few other trails but we just kept to the ones closest to the ridge line.
Most of this hike is scrambling over huge boulders. Get ready to climb a bit and then keep climbing. This is where your personal strength gets tested! Watch your steps because some of the rocks are loose and you could easily get hurt if you aren’t careful. I actually twisted my ankle dropping off of one boulder and fell onto my booty twice!
At one point, my friends were laughing at me because I insisted I could see someone hiking over at the Makapu’u Pillbox…they are convinced it was just the Makapu’u Lighthouse I was seeing…I’m still not so sure! LOL. They even made this crazy picture and sent it to me…very funny guys!
Eventually, you will find yourself directly behind Sea Life Park. We could see the dolphin show going on down below and could even hear the dolphin chatter which we thought was pretty neat!
Side note: if you haven’t visited Sea Life Park, you should! It is from here that I first saw the puka that is on this trail. I remember pointing waaaaay up to the top of the ridge line and seeing a puka (Hawaiian for hole) and telling my family, “I WILL go up there some day!” I’m so excited that today was that day!
This is the type of terrain you will be faced with.
This is the ridge line you want to follow.
You will reach a point where you can see both sides of the mountain range. If you look one direction, you will continue to see the ocean view. However, if you turn the other direction, you will be able to see the back side of the Kokohead Crater which was pretty sweet to see!
Once you see this cluster of boulders, you have reached the puka! The trail can continue on to a few other trails. We actually ran into some skilled hikers who had been hiking for 5 hours and started at the Kuliouou Ridge Trail (another great trail). However, we just had our eyes on the puka so this is as far as we wanted to go today. And, we had to get back to pick up kids before school got out!
We stopped here and took a little break (as well as a million fun pictures!) This is a great place to have a snack, fuel up and enjoy the incredible view!
Once you are rested and ready to head back, follow the same trail you followed to the puka. Be very careful to follow the right trail. We made the mistake of following the wrong one and ended up way down in the trees and had climb a bunch of boulders in some very unpleasant scratchy brush to get back to the top of the ridge. If this happens, just keep your eye on the phone line that is at the top of the summit. That got us back on the path.
Once back on the trail, it was smooth sailing. We were able to step out on the ledges for a bit of a nice breeze to cool us off. Don’t forget to keep drinking that water and staying hydrated…you’ll be appreciating that water by now for sure! It was so refreshing!
This hike was about 3-4 miles out and back and took us (with our detour of the scratchy brush) about 4 hours to complete. We took a lot of pictures along the way and weren’t going the fastest. But, I think 4 hours is a good time to plan for. My FitBit tracked me at about 12,000 steps! Woo Hoo!
I hope you enjoyed this post about a new hiking trail I visited here in Oahu, HI. If you would like to see more, comment below!
Is there a trail you want to know about? Ask! It’s very likely that I have done it and could blog about it for you!