It used to be that hiking was for the adventurous loner outdoorsmen, but it has recently taken off as a mainstream past time. Hiking on Oahu has gotten quite popular, maybe with the invention of the GoPro camera or with the bragging rights of social media? Locals and tourist alike now flock to the ridges on the weekends to get their exercise and that perfect picture in. If you and your family are looking for a popular, kid friendly, and safety in numbers hike or simply want to avoid them here are the top 3 busiest hikes on Oahu.
Diamond Head Crater Trail
Diamond Head is considered Hawaii’s most recognized landmark and a must see do for hiker enthusiasts. Located off of Diamond Head Road, the trail is 1 ¾ miles to the rim and takes about 1 ½ hours roundtrip. The trail is very simple and paved the entire way except for climbing the two sets of stairs one with 99 steps and the other, 76 steps. The slightly challenging stairs are worth the it because once at the top of the rim you will come across breathtaking views of the entire west side of the island, from Waikiki to Koko Head.
At the top, it can get quite crowded with people and picture takers. Be patience, wait your turn, and even make a friend or two, so they can take your picture and you can take theirs! It is no longer free to hike Diamond Head Crater, it will cost you either $5 for parking or $1 for walking in.
Makapu’u Light House Hike
One of the prettiest and easiest hikes on the island located off of Kalanianaole Highway between Hawaii Kai and Waimanalo. The two mile roundtrip hike is entirely paved and offers breathtaking views of the coastline, ocean, and other islands on clear days. The Makapu’u Lighthouse hike is also a great way to see whales swimming and spouting off the coast during season.
Since this hike is paved, it’s great for all ages, strollers, and even dogs. It’s best to go on this hike in the early morning or evenings when the sun isn’t as bright because this hike has no shade and can be hot mid-day. On the weekends this hike can get extremely busy with hoards of people, but fellow hikers are usually very polite and make room for everyone.
Pillbox in Lanikai
The Pillbox hike in Lanikai, Kailua is a short hike on Ka’iwa Ridge. The hike up takes you to two World War II bunkers with amazing views of Kailua Bay, the Mokulua Islands, and even Chinaman’s Hat. The first couple 100 yards of the hike are a little uphill and can be strenuous, but eventually gets easier and is only about 15 minutes to the first pill box and another 5 minutes to the second box. Some of the areas of this hike are narrow, so during heavy traffic times, please exercise patience to avoid any mishaps or falls around the steeper areas.
The trail head is located opposite of the Mid-Pacific Country Club on Kaelepulu Drive (off of Mokulua Drive in Lanikai) and is in a residential area, so be mindful of the residents when parking. If you want
If you want Oahu hikes that have plenty of people on them, then these are the 3 busiest hikes on Oahu. Enjoy!