Best Honolulu Hikes, A Guide

HONOLULU | Hawaii is well known for its many hikes. Across the Hawaiian Island’s there’s a diverse array of breath-taking hikes, with options for people of all fitness levels. It’s possible to build an entire itinerary solely focused around hiking, but what if you’re on a city break.

I love visiting Hawaii for many reasons, with a short break spent in Honolulu only always a good option. I can relax, and enjoy the city’s vibrant food, drink, and street art scene. That doesn’t mean however, that I don’t want to fit in a few hikes, despite it being a city break.

Thankfully there are several great hikes to be found within Honolulu’s city limits, all of which are a short drive or even less than an hour walk from Waikiki and other central parts of the city. Below you’ll find a list of my favourites, in alphabetical order.

Remember, bring a hat and sunscreen, and water to stay hydrated.

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State Monument is one of Hawaii’s most recognised landmarks. Formed over 300,000 years ago as part of a single volcanic eruption. Hiking to the summit along is easy to moderate, with a clearly defined path. When you reach the summit, you’re treated to some of the most spectacular views of Honolulu, across the Pacific Ocean, and surrounding mountains and valleys

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

This easy to moderate, relatively short hike is a great option for those looking for a coastal option. The Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike follows the rocky coastline, with secluded beaches, and views of Koko Head Crater and Hanauma Bay.

Koko Crater Railway Trailhead

This difficult hike will see you tackling over 1,000 stairs, which are actually old railway ties that date back to World War II. Back then, they were used to transport cargo up the hillside to military pillbox bunkers. Amazing views of the Koko Head Crater and the east Honolulu shoreline await those who reach the summit.

Makiki Valley Trail

This popular hike is an easy one with minimal changes in altitude that takes you through lush natural forest. Terrain is rocky and filled with large tree roots, and it can get muddy. If you’re looking to go further, Makiki Valley Trail links with several other medium difficulty trails, such as the Pu’u Ohia Trail and the Pauoa Flats Trail.

Mānoa Falls Trail

One of Hawaii’s earliest hiking trails, Mānoa Falls Trail is a popular and easy rainforest trail with a waterfall at the end. It’s been used as a filming location in Jurassic Park and the TV series Lost. You can continue via the more challenging ʻAihualama Trail to the Maikiki Valley Trail and more.

Moanalua Valley Trail

Hiking the Stairway to Heaven (Haiku Stairs) might be illegal these days, but there’s still a way to see the stairs, and get a similar view to what you used to get when you hiked them. That’s by hiking along the Moanalua Valley Trail.

It’s a moderate to difficult hike, with steep inclines and muddy pathways. The views across Southern Oahu, from the abandoned radio tower at the peak, are spectacular.

Wa’ahila Ridge Trail

The Wa’ahila Ridge Trail is a moderate to difficult ridge hike that originates in Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area. It offers stunning views across Manoa Valley, Palolo Valley, Honolulu and the Ko’olau Range. It’s also a great hike for those looking for native Hawaiian plants like koa and ‘ohia lehua, and native birds like amakihi and apapane.



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