View from the top of a mountain on Oahu.

12 Easy Hikes in Oahu

Are you looking for an easy hike to explore Oahu?

Oahu is the third largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and it has some of the most beautiful hikes you can find anywhere.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite easy hikes on Oahu so you can get out there and start exploring today!:

  • Diamond Head Summit Trail
  • Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike
  • Ka’ena Point Trail
  • Manoa Falls Trail
  • Waimea Valley Trail
  • Hau’ula Loop Trail
  • Kuliouou Ridge Trail
  • Ehukai Pillbox Hike
  • Judd Trail to Jackass Ginger Pond
  • Friendship Garden Trail
  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

These trails are perfect for beginners, couples on a babymoon, or families with kids who want to experience nature but don’t have much hiking experience under their belt.

These hikes will leave you breathless at every turn (from the views, that is), so be sure to bring your camera along too!

In no particular order, here are the best easy hikes in Oahu:

Diamond Head Summit Trail

Length: 1.6 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 2 hours
Elevation: 560ft
Entrance Fee: $5.00 per vehicle (credit card only); free for Hawaiian Residents. Parking Fee: $10 per vehicle: Free for Hawaiian Residents.

Diamond Head is a historic Hawaiian volcano that has been dormant for about 150,000 years. The beginning of the hike is paved, but then it gets rocky and uneven after a few minutes in.

The paved section of Diamond Head Trail hike. This is at the beginning of the trail.

Diamond Head is one of the most popular hikes on Oahu, and for a good reason. It’s a short and easy hike to one of the best views you can find anywhere. You can even see as far as Waikiki, the south shore, and Honolulu from the top!

Diamond Head Crater views in Oahu. One of the easy hikes to do in Oahu.

Please remember to hydrate and bring lots of water with you. Be sure to start early in the morning or later in the afternoon if you want to beat the crowds.

Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Length: 2 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 2 hours
Elevation: 500ft
Entrance Fee/Parking Fee: None! Yay!

This is another one of the most popular hikes on Oahu, and it has some incredible views! You will see Koko Head and Koko Crater, the majestic Makapu’u Point Lighthouse, and stunning panoramic views of the windward coast and offshore islets.

The lighthouse is ran by the US Coast Guard and was completed in 1909. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Molokai and Lanai from the point overlooking the lighthouse!

The lighthouse view at Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail in Oahu

It’s an excellent trail for hiking and walking, and it makes for a fantastic sunset hike.

Why you should do it: This is one of the best hikes on Oahu because you can get some breathtaking views without having to work too hard!

The trail has a steady incline, which makes it an easy hike for beginner hikers and kids. Almost everyone can handle this one. It’s well maintained, so the surfaces are very smooth and even.

Try getting there early in the morning or late afternoon to beat the crowds and the heat of the day. You might even catch some amazing views of an epic Hawaii sunset if you go towards the end of the day.

Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail

Length: 1.8 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy-Moderate
Time: About 1 hour, or 1.5 hours if you go all the way to the second bunker
Elevation Gain: 649ft
Best time to hike? Sunrise to avoid the big crowds
Parking/Entrance Fee: No parking fee. Parking is tough to find here, especially if you come around or after 10:00 AM. You park in a neighborhood on the side of the road.

The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is an easy-moderate hike with gorgeous views of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands! Lanikai is also one of the best places to do a sunrise hike in Oahu.

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The hike starts off steep, but then levels off onto an old dirt road that travels up the spine of the ridge. Some sections have ropes to help you get up and down.

If you want a challenge that doesn’t require a lot of elevation change, then this hike is for you!

Sitting on the pillbox and looking towards the ocean at the top of the Lanikai Pillbox Hike.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Oahu! The surrounding views are just spectacular, and you’ll get to see one of Oahu’s pristine beaches. The pillbox itself is pretty cool too!

What I love about this hike: The views are amazing because you get to see the Mokulua Islands up close, and also because of how close this hike is to Lanikai Beach! You can see amazing sunrises from here as well, if you time it right.

The dirt road that we hiked up to the Lanikai Pillbox.

If you decide to go for sunrise, be sure to bring a headlamp with you to avoid hiking in the dark. We always watch the sunrise first at the pillbox and then head to Lanikai Beach to beat the crowds and secure a parking spot. Parking here is nearly impossible once the big crowds start rolling in.

Great view of Lanikai Beach in Oahu. We went to the beach after doing the Lanikai pillbox hike.
Lanikai Beach

Note: Be sure to follow all parking protocols before parking your car. We got a parking ticket here the first time we came due to parking facing the wrong direction (oops!).

Ka’ena Point Trail

Length: 7 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 442ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: You can park for free at the Ka’ena Point State Park.

The Ka’ena Point Trail is an easy but long hike that gives hikers a chance to see wildlife such as sea lions, and lots of opportunities for bird watching.

As of March 2021, the road leading to this trailhead is closed indefinitely, but the trail is still open. This adds 1 mile to your hike since you will need to park outside the gate.

There is no shade on this hike, so bring some sunscreen and lots of water as it can get very hot.

What I love about this hike: The views of the ocean and the wildlife make it worthwhile. The hike takes you along a ridge that offers some fantastic panoramic views, especially at sunset! If you decide to stay for sunset, try to be close to your car as it can get dark very quickly. Also, don’t forget your headlamp.

Manoa Falls Trail

Length: 1.7 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 633
Best time to hike? Anytime, but the waterfall is gorgeous after rainfall.
Parking/Entrance Fee: $10.00 parking fee

This is the hiking trail that leads to Manoa Falls

The Manoa Falls Trail hike has some fantastic views of Manoa Falls and is a quick and easy hike. This is one of the best waterfall hikes in Oahu, so be sure to get there early or go towards the end of the day to beat the crowds.

You will hike through a pretty tropical rainforest that has bamboo on one side. The trail can get a little muddy after rain so make sure you wear the right shoes for hiking in Hawaii.

Manoa falls hike has a beautiful waterfal and is one of the easy hikes to do in Oahu

Be sure to bring some bug spray with you as this trail is very humid and has a lot of mosquitoes.

Why you should do it: The waterfall at the end is pretty impressive! It’s a good workout too, so you get your exercise in while having fun. Also, there are some fantastic nature views along the way!

Waimea Valley Trail

Length: 1.9 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 50 minutes
Elevation Gain: 272ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: $20 per person

The Waimea Valley Trail hike is the easiest hike on this list, and it leads you to a waterfall that you can swim in. Please note that life vests are provided and required to swim in the waterfall.

The hike is paved and takes you through a great series of trails that lead to the waterfall.

Waimea falls has amazing views and is one of the easy waterfall hikes in Oahu

This is a very popular hike, but you can avoid some of the crowds if you go early in the morning or towards closing time.

Why you should do it: The waterfall is gorgeous, and it’s one of the few waterfalls in Oahu that allows swimming. Also, the hike offers some incredible nature views along the way.

Hau’ula Loop Trail

Length: 2.7 miles (round trip)
Difficulty Level: Easy-Moderate
Time: About 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 879 ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: Free

The Hau’ula Loop Trail is an easy hike with some moderate inclines and great vegetation views. You will be rewarded with gorgeous mountain views and lesser crowds. The hike is shaded, so it makes for a great hike on sunny days.

Why you should do it: This is a great hike if you want to have a fun day outside and get some amazing views. It’s not too long, so you can get in a good workout in little time. Also, this is a less crowded trail, which I love.

Kuliouou Ridge Trail

Length: 4.5 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Time: About 3 hours 30 minutes round trip
Elevation Gain: 1650
Parking/Entrance Fee: There is no parking at the entrance. You can use the street parking at Kalaau Pl/neighborhood. Be sure to follow all parking protocols and park only in permitted parking areas.
Best time to go: Try to go on a clear day when you can see everything from the top.

The Kuliouou Ridge Trail has some amazing mountain views. This is one of our favorite easy hikes on the island.

The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is a moderate hike, but it is worth it and offers so many nature views. The trail has some fantastic mountain views as well.

The hike follows a ridgeline where you will enjoy beautiful coastal views of Oahu’s southern and eastern shores.

Georgeous views of mountains at Kuliouou Ridge Trail in Oahu.

Note: the last mile of the hike is steep. Wear proper hiking shoes suitable for Hawaii and avoid going here after heavy rainfall, as it can get very slippery.

Ehukai Pillbox Hike

Length: 2.3 miles round trip
Difficulty Level: Easy-Moderate
Time: About 1 to 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 734ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: There is no parking at the trailhead. Park at one of the designated street-side parks nearby and make sure you follow all protocols.

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is located across the street from Ehukai Beach Park and adjacent to Sunset Beach.

The Ehukai trail is an easy to moderate hike in Oahu. It can get muddy so be sure to check the weather before you go.

This is an easy hike with gorgeous views of the North Shore beaches. It’s known for its panoramic view.

The hike has two pillboxes (a concrete structure built during WWII). The first one is way bigger than the other, and it features some fantastic views of the coastline.

Why you should do it: This is one of my favorite easy hikes in Oahu because it offers stunning views of Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline, and gorgeous sunsets.

Judd Trail to Jackass Ginger Pond

Length: 2 miles round trip
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Time: About 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 170ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: Free side street parking

The Judd Trail is a fun hike with only 170 feet of elevation gain, but beware that it can get very muddy and slippery after heavy rainfall. Be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and check the weather before going.

The ponds are gorgeous and the view from the top of Mokulua Island is impressive.

Why You should do it: This is a great hike with incredible views. Also, this is a less crowded trail, which I love.

Friendship Garden Trail

Length: 0.5 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 40 minutes
Elevation Gain: 196ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: There is no parking at the trailhead. Park for free at one of the designated street-side parks nearby and make sure you follow all protocols.

The Friendship Garden Trail offers some gorgeous views of Kaneohe Bay once you get to the top.
Be sure to bring some bug spray as you will be hiking through a rainforest.

Why you should do it: This one is a great hike for anyone who wants to get out in nature, but doesn’t want to exert too much energy. Also, the trail is suitable for all levels of hikers.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden

Length: 2.0 miles round trip
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: About 1 hour 15 minutes
Elevation Gain: 534ft
Parking/Entrance Fee: Free parking on site

The Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden covers more than 200 acres and preserves plants that are native to the Hawaiian Islands.

The trail is easy and filled with gorgeous views. You will be rewarded with amazing views of Kaneohe Bay and the Kualoa mountain range.

The Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden has some amazing views of Kualoa mountain range. Definitely one of the best easy hikes in Oahu.

Why you should do it: This one is great for anyone who loves nature and wants to get some amazing views of Kaneohe Bay. It’s very scenic and the hike is short and easy.

Enjoying the mountain views at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden in Oahu.

Oahu Easy Hike FAQs

What is the easiest hike in Oahu?

The easiest hike in Oahu is the Waimea Valley Trail.

What is a good paved hike in Oahu?

Waimea Valley and Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail are some excellent easy paved hikes.

What is the most challenging hike in Oahu?

Wa’ahila Ridge Trail, Hawai’iloa Ridge Trail, and Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail are some challenging hikes in Oahu.

What shoes should I wear on a hike?

The type of hiking shoes to wear in Hawaii will depend on the kind of hike. You can check out the following article to learn more about the best hiking shoes for Hawaii.

What are some excellent waterfall hikes in Oahu?

Manoa Falls, Waimea Falls, Likeke Falls, Waimano Falls, Kahekili Trail, Kapena Falls, Maunawili Falls, and La’ie Falls are good waterfall hikes in Oahu.

What are some jungle hikes in Oahu?

Manoa Falls, Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail, Judd trail, and Kuliouou Ridge Trail are some excellent jungle hikes in Oahu.

The Wrap up: Easy Hikes in Oahu

Hiking is a great and fun way to get some exercise and fresh air. There is nothing more enjoyable than exploring the beautiful outdoors.

The 12 easy hikes in Oahu are Diamond Head Summit Trail, Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Ka’ena Point Trail, Manoa Falls Trail, Waimea Valley Trail, Hau’ula Loop Trail, Kuliouou Ridge Trail, Judd Trail to Jackass Ginger Pond, Ehukai Pillbox Hike, Friendship Garden Trail, and the Ho’maluhia Botanical Garden.

Mahalo for reading our post. Until next time, aloha, and happy hiking in Hawaii!

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