Getting great views doesn’t have to come after a perilous journey. There’s plenty of easy hikes in Oahu that are perfect for beginners that offer some incredible views.
Easy Hikes in Oahu, Hawaii
*This post contains affiliate links. Which means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Easy Hikes in Oahu Map
Trail Info:Difficulty: Moderate according to the Hawaii Parks website, Easy in my opinion
Distance: 1.6 miles (2.5 km)
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation Gain: 452 ft
Trail Type: Out & Back
Terrain: Paved surface with some uneven rock
Cost: $10 for parking, $5 per person. Must make reservations ahead of time.
Hiking Diamond Head
Diamond Head is one of the most popular hikes in Oahu, and it’s also relatively easy. There’s a section where the incline does get you a little winded, but outside of that, there’s nothing to worry about. As of 2022, if you are not a Hawaii state resident, you need to make a reservation ahead of time to access the trail.
If you’re interested in learning more about hiking Diamond Head, check out my Complete Guide to Diamond Head.
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Trail Info:Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.5 miles (4.02 km)
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 505 ft
Trail Type: Out & Back
Hiking Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is the easiest hike we did during our one week in Oahu. There’s a parking lot for the trail and plenty of parking along side the road. Getting a spot isn’t too difficult as there’s a good rotation of people coming and going.
When you arrive at the trail head, you’ll see a sign that says Kaiwi shoreline trail, that’s the dirt path to the right. For the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, you’ll want to stay on the paved road. As you make your way to the lighthouse, you’ll find plenty of places to take a break and take in the views. Some will give you a look at the coast, and others will give you a side and above view of the lighthouse.
We went around 11 AM and got a little hot at certain parts. The trail is really nice when you get the breeze, but there are sections where the mountain blocks it. I think getting there around 8:00/9:00 AM would be the perfect time to go before the sun really has a chance to start beating down.
More Easy Hikes in Oahu
Trail Info:Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Distance: .9 miles (1.45 km)
Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 406 ft
Trail Type: Out & Back
Terrain: Dirt with loose gravel
Hiking the Lanikai Pillbox Trail
Lanikai Pillbox hike is an easy-moderate hike on the east coast of Oahu. Coming from Waikiki it takes roughly 40 minutes to get to the trailhead. Also, it’s worth noting that there are two trails to get to the pillbox. The specs above are for the shorter and less difficult of the two. If you’re looking for something more challenging you’ll want to do the Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pillbox) Trail.
While parking is free, it can be hard to come by. Make sure to keep an eye out for signs letting you know where you can and can’t park. The trailhead is located in a residential area, so make sure you don’t block anyone’s driveway. If you don’t pay attention, you run the risk of getting a ticket or even towed.
I highly recommend getting to this trail early. We got there around 10:00 AM on a Sunday and couldn’t find any parking! You may also have better luck going on a weekday vs the weekend.
Here’s a couple more hikes that are considered easy on the island:
- Manoa Falls Trail
- Waimea Falls Trail
- Friendship Garden Trail
What to Wear Hiking in Oahu
I personally hiked in denim shorts and tanks tops with my Tevas. However, there were also people hiking in biker shorts, leggings, and sports bras. If you don’t like getting wet, a lightweight rain jacket would also be good. I visited in July and there were 3-5 minutes of rain multiple times a day on all sides of the island ranging from a slight drizzle to heavy pours. Lastly, some sort of bag to carry your personal belongings. Below I’ve rounded up some options for you.
Lightweight Rain Jackets
Cute Matching Sets
Bags for Hiking
What Should I Bring Hiking in Hawaii?
Make sure to bring lots of water, even on the easy hikes. You’re usually in direct sunlight for most of them and the sun can be intense when not covered by clouds. I would also recommend a baseball cap or visor, and a pair of shoes with some decent grip like the hurricane XLT 2 Tevas.