If you’re looking for a place to hike while on vacation in Hawaii, you’ve come to the right place. The island’s most famous landmark is the Diamond Head State Monument, and hiking this popular trail is a great way to see this spectacular landmark in all seasons. Once you’ve finished your hike, take a look at the beautiful coastline and look for whales and monk seals. If you’re feeling energetic, you can even tackle the Diamond Head Summit Trail.
The trail starts from the mauka side of the visitor center, and climbs alongside the Oheo stream bed. After a short climb, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the island, including the Ko’olau Mountains and the surrounding area. You’ll need about two hours to complete the entire trail, but it’s worth the effort for breathtaking views of this volcanic island. While the distances are not long, the terrain is steep, and heavy winds are common at any time of year.
You can also take the infamous Sliding Sands Trail. Although it’s rated as difficult, the trail is a popular hiking destination for fit runners and hikers. You can hike this trail in the early morning to avoid the heat. You’ll descend nearly two thousand feet to the crater floor, but be aware of the difficulty level before you set off. The Sliding Sands Trail is also rated as difficult, so make sure you’re prepared for a workout.
If you’re into hiking, there are many places in the island that you can visit on foot. One of them is the Makauwahi Cave Reserve, which is a prehistoric cave situated south of Kawelikoa Bay and Gillin’s Beach. Depending on your pace, this hike can take up to 45 minutes, depending on your fitness level. It offers breathtaking views of the Hamakua Coast and is accessible for hikers to complete on their own.
Another great hiking trail in Hawaii is the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. This two-mile trek will offer you amazing views of the island’s south-eastern coastline. A highlight of this hike is the historic Makapuu Lighthouse. It was built over a century ago and was a major landmark during the Hawaiian Civil War. Hikers should plan to take plenty of water and healthy snacks, as the trail is not flat.
If you’re a history buff, the Pearl Harbor walk in Koke’e State Park is highly recommended. This scenic trail winds through the forest of ohia trees and a mile-wide lava lake. The trail ends with an emotional stroll through the Pacific Aviation Museum and Pacific National Monument. Those who have been to Hawaii may never forget the momentous events that took place here. There’s no better way to learn about the history of the island than to walk it.
Alternatively, you can hike up the crater on Oahu’s south side. The Koko Crater Rim Trail starts at the base of the crater rim and leads to the popular Koko Head Summit. From here, you can get panoramic views of the south shore and Hanauma Bay. The Koko Crater Trail then loops back and out to the entrance gate of Koko Crater Botanical Gardens.