postheadericon Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail ~ Oahu



Hiking Makapu’u Lighthouse

This trail is the second most popular of all hiking trails on Oahu following Diamond Head.  It is an easy to moderate hike up a paved trail and when you reach the top be prepared to be blown away!  The views are some of the most stunning and memorable you’ll probably see on the island.  The views overlook the Makapu’u Lighthouse, Koko Head, the windward coast, and the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai.  Below you’ll see the giant tide pools and if you’re lucky (like we were) a pod of majestic whales!  If I could only hike once while in Oahu, this would be the one I’d pick!

















Know Before You Go

  • It tends to be dryer and warmer on this point of the island and there is virtually no shade.
  • Arrive early to avoid crowds and a full parking lot.
  • Bring water.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Gates open at 7am.
  • If you wish to start your hike earlier, you can park your car on the side of the road  and walk in.
  • The hike climbs approximately 500 feet up to a viewing platform.
  • It takes about 30 minutes to reach the top.  There are amazing views the whole way up and plenty of places to stop and take it all in!
  • It’s free to park and free to hike!


Makapu’u Tidepools

There are some giant tide pools at the bottom of these sea cliffs and brave souls climb down and swim in them.  While this may look fun and attractive, it is NOT recommended.  It’s dangerous not only to make the climb down, but the ocean is unpredictable and strong waves tend to smash over the barrier reef onto the shelf area.











The Makapu’u Lighthouse is on the very southeastern most point of Oahu and sits 600 feet on top of a sea cliff.  You can see three different sections of ocean from one point making a beautiful panoramic photo!









From Waikiki, it’s about a 45 minute drive.  You hop on the H-1 South.  It will turn into Hwy 72, but still part of the Kalanianaoli Hwy which follows the coast.  You will follow H-1 past Koko Head, Sandy Beach, and up towards Makapu’u Point.  Turn into the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline area.  In the area you’ll also find Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay, and the Halona Blowhole.

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