Day Hikes on Oahu  by Robert Stone

Day Hikes on Oahu Guide Book

by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
Day Hikes on Oahu  by Robert Stone
This guide describes more than 50 easy day hikes around this beautiful Hawaiian island. The hikes include a variety of waterfalls, rivers, streams, panoramic views, tropical forests, and the Diamond Head Crater overlooking Waikiki.

© 2001 Robert Stone/Day Hike Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hikes on Oahu" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 56.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 56.

Keaiwa Heiau State Park is the site of an ancient healing temple. The park sits in the foothills of the Koolau Range above the town of Aiea. The Aiea Loop Trail snakes along a ridge descending from the Koolau Mountains in the state park. The trail winds through tall forests of eucalyptus, Norfolk Island, koa, ohia, ironwood and guava trees. The well-maintained path passes numerous majestic canyons and has great views of Pearl Harbor, the Koolau Range and Central Oahu.
Aiea, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
The Aihualama Trail begins at Manoa Falls, skirts the upper end of Manoa Valley, then heads steeply up to Pauoa Flats and a stunning overlook. The route passes through groves of bamboo, koa, eucalyptus and enormous banyan trees. The are great views across the valley to Waikiki and Diamond Head. From the Nuuanu Overlook at the trail ’s end are panoramic vistas overlooking the Nuuanu Valley and the rugged Koolau Mountains.
Honolulu, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.6
Ala Moana Beach Park, within walking distance from downtown Waikiki, is a large and diverse park. The 76-acre park borders the Ala Wai Harbor and includes a huge grassy picnic area dotted with trees, several golden sand beaches, a lagoon, walking paths and a manmade peninsula and rocky point called Magic Island. Follow the palm-lined boardwalk along the Ala Wai Harbor channel. At the end of the grassy park area, continue south past the sandy beach along the breakwater to the point. Bear left around Magic Island, a calm swimming area with a barrier reef. Continue around the peninsula to the white sand of Ala Moana Beach. From here are several walking options.
Waikiki, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
Ala Wai Canal, built in the 1920s, is a 1.5-mile waterway forming the inland boundary of Waikiki. A paved walkway borders the canal, stretching along the backside of Waikiki parallel to the ocean. This scenic tree-lined area is popular with walkers, joggers, kayakers, canoeists and catamaran teams. Swarming hoards of fish gather along the canal’s shoreline, begging to be fed. The canal begins at the Ala Wai Harbor and extends to within a few blocks of Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head.
Waikiki, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Alapena Pool sits in a gorgeous jungle setting a short distance off the Pali Highway in Honolulu. Alapena Falls is a 15-foot cascade on Nuuanu Stream that tumbles into the deep pool. The short, unsigned path leads directly to the pool, which is popular with locals but relatively unknown as a tourist destination. After viewing the scenic lookout and pagoda, walk a hundred yards up the Pali Highway, away from Honolulu. Watch for a trail on the left at the end of the rock wall. Take the footpath into the shade of the lush tropical forest. A short distance ahead is an overlook of Alpena Falls cascading into the large pool. The path descends to the banks of the pool across from the waterfall. The path continues downstream to a few additional smaller waterfalls and pools. Return to your vehicle along the same route.
Honolulu, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
Diamond Head, known to Hawaiians as Leahi, is recognized as Hawaii ’s most famous landmark. Once used as a military observation station, the dormant volcano is now a state monument. The trail crosses the crater floor and climbs past several scenic overlooks, reaching the 762-foot summit at Point Leahi with postcard-perfect views. From the bunker atop the summit are incredible 365-degree panoramic vistas of Waikiki, Honolulu, Punchbowl, Koko Head, Koko Crater, the Leeward Coast and the blue Pacific.
Waikiki, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5
Foster Botanical Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a living museum dating back to 1853. This 14-acre verdant garden is Hawaii ’s oldest botanical garden and is a pastoral oasis surrounded by the hectic downtown business district of Honolulu. The gardens include a wide cross section of tropical plant life, including two orchid displays; herb and spice gardens; and palm, ginger, coffee, chocolate, cannonball and banyan trees. There are rare, endangered plants from both Hawaii and all over the world. A guide is available at the gift shop and entrance kiosk.
Honolulu, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Hanauma Bay is surrounded by volcanic cliffs, palm trees and a half mile of white sand. The calm, shallow water in the bay make it a popular snorkeling area, abundant with coral reefs and fish. Along the east edge of the bay is a raised terrace. The trail runs along this ledge, passing tidepools and splashing waves to the Toilet Bowl. This natural, 30-foot round hole along the rock terrace fills and empties as the waves wash in and out, resembling a flushing toilet. Hanauma Bay was a filming location for Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii and Burt Lancaster in From Here To Eternity.
Waimanalo, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
The Hauula Loop Trail is a beautiful mountain hike in the Kaipapau Forest Reserve above Hauula. The trail crosses Waipilopilo Gulch and winds up the hillside through an ironwood, Norfolk Island pine and paperback eucalyptus forest with lush fern and moss undergrowth. Fallen needles from the trees carpet the path with a thick matting. From the ridge are panoramic views of Kaipapau Valley, the Koolau Range and the eastern coastline.
Hauula, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden is situated on 400 sloping acres of former farmland in windward Oahu above Kaneohe. The rainforest garden sits at the foot of the Koolau Mountains beneath the towering Pali Cliffs. An ocean view spreads out to the northeast. The verdant garden serves as a nature conservancy, yet looks more like a natural forest reserve. There are hundreds of flowers, fruits, bushes, vines and trees from tropical regions all over the world. The gardens include a 32-acre manmade lake, streams, footbridges, meadows, a visitor center, picnic pavilions and a network of meandering trails along the lush Koolau foothills.
Kaneohe, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
The Judd Memorial Trail is a short loop hike in the Nuuanu Valley. The path crosses the Nuuanu Stream and traverses the north-facing hillside through bamboo, eucalyptus and Norfolk Island pine groves. A side path leads down to Jackass Ginger Pool, a large circular pool with a 10-foot waterfall cascading over rocks into the pool. Descend towards Nuuanu Stream. Rock-hop across the stream to a junction at the signed Judd Trail. Begin the loop on the left fork through a giant bamboo grove. The serpentine path gains elevation, traversing the hillside above the stream through eucalyptus and Norfolk Island pines. Descend and cross a small gully to a signed trail with the Nuuanu Trail on the left (Hike 20). Stay to the right on the Judd Trail, and drop back down the hill.
Honolulu, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Kaena Point is located at the arid west end of Oahu. The Waianae Range tapers to a point where the north and south shores merge, forming the remote peninsula. At the point, the twelve-acre Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve protrudes across the windswept dunes past a beacon. Huge waves from both shores crash against the lava rocks that band the point. Kaena Point can be approached from either the north or south shore. The two paths merge at the isolated point. This hike begins on the north shore.
Waialua, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.5
Kaena Point is a narrow peninsula at the westernmost tip of Oahu. The Waianae Range tapers to the point, ending at the remote twelve-acre Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve. The exposed reserve is covered with wind-swept dunes, a string of shoreline rocks, sparse vegetation and a beacon. The trail, an old rutted railroad route, parallels the level volcanic coastline, passing tidepools, sea caves, natural arches and blowholes. Kaena Point can be approached from both the south shore and north shore. The two paths merge at the isolated point. This hike begins at the arid south (leeward) shore at the end of the road.
Waianae, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
Kahana Bay is a scenic tree-lined bay surrounded by steep fluted cliffs of the Koolau Range. The deep bay curves between Mahie Point and Kaluapuleho Point. Kahana Stream flows through the rain-soaked Kahana Valley into the bay, forming historic Huilua Fishpond, a national landmark and popular swimming hole. This hike follows the bay ’s sandy shoreline throughout the eight-acre beach park. Begin the hike at the center of Kahana Bay in a grove of ironwood trees. Bear to the left (northwest) to a lava rock wall and Kapaeleele Boat Ramp at the west end of the bay. Return to the right and walk east through the shady tree grove to a residential home. Follow the hard-packed sand along the curvature of the shoreline to Huilua Fishpond at the mouth of Kahana Stream.
Kaaawa, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
Kaiaka Bay Beach Park sits along the Kaiaka Point peninsula near the towns of Waialua and Haleiwa. The grassy beach park is backed by the chiseled Waianae Mountains. Kaiaka Point divides Kaiaka Bay and Waialua Bay. This hike follows the perimeter of the point into both bays. Cross the large grassy area to the oceanfront. Bear left towards Kaiaka Bay parallel to the jagged lava rocks bordering the shoreline. The rocks are backed by hard packed sand and low growing naupaka plants. Follow the edge of the park into the bay. The path ends at the confluence of Paukauila and Kiikii Stream where the wide streams empty into the bay. Returning to the right, follow the shoreline parallel to the sea to a grove of large ironwood trees. From the grove, the path drops into the southern reaches of Waialua Bay.
Haleiwa, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This hike is a beach stroll along Kailua Bay beginning at Kailua Beach Park near the pavilion and picnic area. Kailua Bay rests against a two-mile strip of white sand bordered by rocky points. The bay lies between Mokapu Peninsula to the north and Waimanalo Bay to the south. The bay includes Oneawa Beach, Kailua Beach and Kailua Beach Park, a 30-acre park with a large lawn area, shade trees and a wide sand beach. Kaelepulu Canal flows through the pond, dividing the beach park. Just offshore is the seabird sanctuary of Popoia “Flat” Island.
Kailua, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
The Kaiwa Ridge Trail follows the ridge in the Keolu Hills between Kailua Bay and Waimanalo Bay. The trail leads to an ocean lookout at an old military bunker above Lanikai Beach with incredible 360-degree views. The expansive views extend north to Mokapu Peninsula and inland across the Koolau Range. Offshore are the twin Mokulua Islands and Popoia “Flat” Island, all three seabird sanctuaries. The well-defined path is not a designated or maintained trail but is frequently used. The short hike requires some careful footing due to the loose rocks and steepness.
Kailua, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.3
This short loop hike leads to Kapaeleele Koa and Keaniani Kilo, two ancient Hawaiian fishing shrines on the oceanfront cliffs high above Kahana Bay. The trail, maintained by the local Boy Scouts, is at the mouth of Kahana Valley and returns along the sandy shoreline in Kahana Bay.
Kaaawa, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
The Kaunala Trail, in the Pupukea Paumalu Forest Reserve, is a favorite hike with a wide cross section of natural features. The diverse hike includes lush tropical forests, jungle stream crossings, forested valleys, ridges and sweeping ridgetop vistas of the mountains and coastline. The serpentine path winds through a forest canopy with groves of eucalyptus, ohia, kukui, ironwood, mahogany, silk and Norfolk Island pine.
Haleiwa, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
Keaau Beach Park is a gorgeous, tree-lined park and picnic ground dotted with palms at the west end of the island. The Waianae Range is the backdrop to this grassy coastal park. To the south, the hike follows the low bluffs parallel to the rocky shoreline and reef to numerous tidepools. To the north, the hike extends to Kalaeopaakai, a black lava point backed by sand dunes.
Waianae, HI - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5

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