Some people go on vacation to get away from it all; Tim and I found Oahu to be one place on earth where we could get lost and see some really cool sights along the way. We planned 4 walks during our first week on island. Our “difficulty level” was never more than moderate but we found out that rainfall can easily turn an easy walk into something quite treacherous when you factor in washed out trails and 6 inches of mud. Following are the highlights of our hikes:
Makapuu Point Lighthouse
On the eastern side of the island, about 15 minutes from Hanauma Bay is a wonderful walk up the side of the cliffs to Makapuu Lookout. The trail is mostly in the sun but has a constant ocean breeze to cool you off. It is a steady 20 minutes uphill to the lookout but because it’s paved, plenty of people walking with dogs and small children in strollers make the journey easily. From the lookout, you can see Rabbit Island as well as imagine what it would be like to cliff-dive into the dangerous pools below. The lighthouse is a nice touch for photo opportunities…just watch how close you get to the edge.
Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside
I can’t think of anything more delightful than expecting a hike to see a great view and then find out that you simply drive up and get out of the car. This pull-out on the side of the Pali Highway offers a dramatic view of of windward Oahu from the edge of the ‘pali.’ (cliffs) It’s free and one of the most impressive views of the island.
Diamond Head Trail
One of those “you gotta do it once” hikes, Diamond Head doesn’t disappoint. Entrance fee is $5 per vehicle and a constant stream of hikers (and some brave runners) keep the lot full through the day. We recommend going early in the morning; hiking on the edge of a crater is HOT; we easily went through our water supply and couldn’t wait to snack on shave ice once back at the bottom. Like other hikes, it’s pretty much switch backs all the way up and for those daring adverturists, a total of 175 steps in two sets, that lead top the view. We discovered on our way down that there is an alternate path up that gently guides the hiker to the lookout point. Drats.
To read about our 2 waterfall hikes, visit this post!