4 Best Hikes in Oahu

best hikes in oahu

Oahu is a paradise for people who love islands and people who love hikes, and you can find the best hikes in Oahu. It is the third-largest island of all the Hawaiian Islands. The Oahu island is known for the natural beauty, and the stunning island has another name called “The Gathering Place.”

This Hawaiian Island is the house of almost a million people and has two-thirds of the state of Hawaii. The Hawaiian Island is in Honolulu County, US. A fun fact about Honolulu is that it is the largest city in the world. The island has a significant rich history; it has the famous Pearl Harbor and the Iolani Palace, which was the house of the royal residence of the rulers of Hawaii.

Oahu Island is loaded with activities for tourists, and it has stunning beaches and delicious local food to enjoy. There are also miles long best hikes in Oahu to soak in and explore the island at its best. There are almost 50 hiking trails to choose from when one visits Oahu. There are two mountain ranges called the Waianae range that are parallel to each other, and that is where all the hikes happen.


Best Hikes In Oahu


Here are the best hikes in Oahu that everyone who visits the Hawaiian Islands should check out.

  1. Stairway To Heaven

    best hikes in oahu


This hike is literally said to be the island’s biggest attraction and the best hike in Oahu. As the island has a rich history, the stairway to heaven was actually built by the US Government during world war 2 in the 1940s. The 3,922 stairs were said to lead to a secret radio station used for communication purposes with the American Naval ships in the Pacific Ocean.

Sadly, in 1987 the said best hike of the island was off-limits and illegal, to be precise. The stairs are the private property of the Federal Government. So, accessing or trespassing could lead to the breaking of the law. The hike is too steep and dangerous for a normal hiking experience.

The hike almost takes 4 to 6 hours to complete and is also once a lifetime experience. There are obviously many factors to consider, especially health factors, as many years ago, a celebrity died during the hike because of a heart attack. Despite the many huge risks this hike has, many still attempt to go there; there are alternatives to choose from to reach the top. Several fellow hikers will be there to accompany you as it is still very popular.


  1. Waimea Falls

Our next spot on our best hikes in Oahu is Waimea falls. It is not exhausting like the others but more of a leisurely walk. The walk might be 3.5 miles long, but it is all flat, and the ground is also paved. The walk takes you through stunning gardens, lakes, and historical sites. The great end to the hike when you reach the waterfalls.

The Waimea falls is an amazing hub of learning about the great Hawaiian culture and history. If you schedule your hike beforehand, you could schedule many fun activities, workshops and classes offered there. When all done, jump in! The Waimea falls is one of the falls in Oahu where you can swim up.


  1. Diamond Head

    best hikes in oahu


Diamond head is originally a volcanic tuff. The vents of the volcanic tuff are now extinct and said to be monogenetic, which means that the eruption of the volcano only happens once. The geologists believe that it will never erupt again.

Diamond Hike is one of the most popular, and the most trafficked hikes. Built-in 1908, the whole trek is 1.6 miles long (round trip) and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. It is short, the trek is not easy. The trail is very uneven, windy, and rocky. In just a quick walk, you are at a 560ft altitude.

The best time to go on this trek is during sunrise. Not just for the view but also because the weather is relatively cool at the time. It is also one of the busiest times of the trek during the entire day.


  1. Koko Stairs

Also known as the “Koko Crater Trail.” This trek is for the adventurous ones out there and also one of the best hikes in Oahu. The trek is merely 1.5 miles long (round trip), and you might assume it is easy. But you really want to go on this hike slowly because it involves climbing around 1000 stairs.

The stairs are really actual stairs and an old railroad railing or a line attached to a hillside. The climb is easy at first, but as you climb, it becomes moderately different. You might have to cross a very questionable bridge at a certain point of the hike, so there are alternatives routes open for hikers if they want to skip this one. The trail is filled with wildflowers on the side, and there is also a botanical garden to visit at the top.

The final view includes Hanauma Bay, and you get to have a small glimpse of the trail you left behind and also of the Diamond Head. As the hike is very tough in the legs, hikers can choose to go back by the pillboxes from the old military provided or slowly descend on their own once recovered.


Hiking Tips For Best Hikes In Oahu


  1. The Hawaiian sun is very harsh on the skin. Pack high SPF sunscreens, and it is best recommended to hike either early in the day or during the evening part.
  2. Carry water for the hike as much as you can. It is very easy for a person to get dehydrated while doing physical activity, plus the climb doesn’t help.
  3. There are many hiking essentials to pack, like hiking shoes, a first aid kit, or a swiss knife.


Other best hikes in Oahu you can consider climbing while you are in there is Crouching Lion Hike, Tom Tom Trail, Three Peaks Trail, Pali Notches, or Seven Falls Hike. These hikes in Oahu have stunning views to die for, and the waterfalls, in the end, are also a plus. These treks are a rigorous workout in itself, so make sure you double-check the difficulty levels if you are a beginner or have any medical issues.

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