Hawaii is a paradise on earth, known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush green landscapes. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Hawaii, enjoyed by both visitors and locals. Beautiful scenery, beautiful vistas, and a wide range of route difficulties make Hawaii a hiker’s paradise. Hiking in Hawaii is a must for any traveler that comes to the islands, as the terrain ranges from coastal routes to lush rainforests and volcanic craters. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best hiking trails in Hawaii.
Best Hiking Trails in Hawaii
Located on Kauai’s Napali Coast, the Kalalau Trail is a difficult but exciting trail. There are breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean, verdant valleys, and rocky cliffs throughout this 11-mile walk. The hike offers breathtaking views of the coastline and takes you through lush valleys, waterfalls, and remote beaches. Beginning at Ke’e Beach, the walk continues down the coast via a number of valleys before arriving at Kalalau Beach. Preparation for a challenging walk that includes steep inclines, limited routes, and exposure to heights is essential. Hikers must get permits to use the trail, and camping is permitted only in approved areas.
Diamond Head Trail
Diamond Head Trail is one of the most iconic hikes in Hawaii. Located on the island of Oahu, the hike takes you to the top of a volcanic crater, offering stunning views of Waikiki and the surrounding areas. The hike is about 1.6 miles long and takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
The Diamond Head Trail in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is a well-known and straightforward hiking route. Hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the ocean after ascending the 0.8-mile trek to the summit of Diamond Head crater. There are a number of switchbacks, some rather steep stairs, and a short tunnel to navigate on this path. Hikers, beware: the trail is likely to be crowded, and there is likely to be little shade. The trail is easily accessible by vehicle or bus all year long.
Kailua, on the island of Oahu, is home to a moderately difficult hiking trail known as the Maunawili Trail. The track is a total of 10 kilometers, with hikers passing through verdant forests and fording streams. The trek leads to breathtaking vistas of the Windward Coast and the Ko’olau Mountains. Muddy and slippery conditions are to be expected, and insect repellant is highly suggested for hikers. The path is open all year and is highly regarded by the community.
Waihee Ridge Trail
On Maui, you can find the moderately difficult Waihee Ridge Trail. The ridge at the end of the trail provides spectacular panoramas of the West Maui Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and the entire trail is 4.5 miles round trip. Hikers need to be prepared for rocky, uphill terrain. The trail can be hiked at any time of year, although hikers should be prepared for muddy and slippery terrain during the wetter months.
Koko Crater Railway Trail
The Koko Crater Railway Trail on Oahu is a one-of-a-kind and rigorous hiking route. The path uses the same rails that carried supplies to a WWII observation post. The total distance of the 1.8-mile round-trip trail is 1,048 steps constructed from recycled railway ties. Expect steep inclines and potentially dangerous heights on your walk. The track may be hiked at any time of the year and provides breathtaking panoramas of the landscape.
Haleakala National Park
Located on the island of Maui, Haleakala National Park features a network of paths fit for hikers of all experience levels. The Halemau’u Trail is a modest walk through the park’s volcanic scenery that culminates in breathtaking views of the crater. Hikers also flock to the Pipiwai Trail, which winds through a bamboo grove and ends at the scenic Waimoku Falls. Hikers in the park need to be prepared for the extreme altitude and temperature changes.
Kaena Point Trail
The Kaena Point Trail is a relatively easy hike that takes you to the westernmost point of Oahu. The trail is about 3.5 miles long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. The hike offers stunning views of the ocean and the chance to spot some of Hawaii’s native wildlife, including monk seals and albatrosses.
The Kaena Point Trail on Oahu’s western coast is a beautiful place to go hiking. The 3.5 mile out-and-back route passes via sand dunes, tide pools, and the coast’s natural beauty. The scenery along the walk and of the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking. Be prepared for the heat by bringing lots of water and sunscreen if you’re going hiking. The trail is open all year, and it’s a fantastic area to see humpback whales in the winter.
Located on Kauai, the Awaawapuhi Trail provides breathtaking panoramas of the Napali Coast. The trail has a round-trip distance of 6.2 miles and leads to a cliff edge from which you may take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding coastline. Wear sturdy shoes and carry lots of water, as the trail is difficult, with steep inclines and rough ground.
Manoa Falls Trail
The Manoa Falls Trail on the island of Oahu is a great place for novice hikers and families. There is a beautiful 150-foot waterfall at the end of a 1.6-mile round-trip route. You’ll travel through a tropical rainforest full of exotic plants and animals.
Mauna Kea Summit Trail
The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the amazing hiking destination that is the Mauna Kea Summit Trail. The hike to Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawaii, is a round-trip of 6.5 miles. Beautiful island vistas and volcanic rock formations await you along the route. During the peak, the temperature drops substantially, so dress in layers.
Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) Trail
Short but beautiful, the Puu Pehe Trail may be found on Lanai. Hikers can reach Puu Pehe, also called Sweetheart Rock, a spectacular natural landmark that rises from the water at the end of the trek.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The island of Hawaii is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a volcanic paradise. Trails in the park range from short strolls through lava tunnels to strenuous climbs to the top of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Some Other Amazing Hiking Trails in Hawaii
The Haiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, is one of the most challenging hikes in Hawaii. The hike consists of over 3,000 stairs, taking you to the top of a mountain on Oahu. The hike is not for the faint of heart and is currently closed to the public, but it is still possible to hike the trail with a permit.
Lanikai Pillbox Trail
The Lanikai Pillbox Trail is a relatively easy hike that takes you to the top of a hill, offering stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding areas. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The hike gets its name from the old military pillboxes that can be found along the trail.
Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is a popular hike located on the east side of Oahu. The trail is about 2 miles long and takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The hike offers stunning views of the ocean and the chance to spot some of Hawaii’s native wildlife, including whales and dolphins.
Hawaii is a hiker’s paradise, with a variety of trails suitable for all levels of experience. From challenging coastal hikes to moderate rainforest trails, Hawaii has something for everyone. The above seven trails are some of the best hiking trails in Hawaii, each offering unique landscapes and breathtaking views. It’s essential to be prepared for each hike by bringing plenty of water, sunscreen, and proper footwear. Always check the weather conditions and trail conditions before embarking on a hike. With its stunning scenery and unique landscapes, Hawaii’s hiking trails are not to be missed.
Frequently Asked Questions- Hiking Trails in Hawaii
Are There Any Permits Required to Hike in Hawaii?
Permits are not necessary for the vast majority of Hawaii’s trails. However, permits are needed to continue hiking past Hanakapi’ai Valley on the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. Before setting out on a hike, it’s smart to get the OK from the proper authorities.
What Should I Wear When Hiking in Hawaii?
Hiking boots or durable athletic shoes are ideal footwear, and loose, comfortable clothes is a must. In addition to sunscreen and insect repellent, you should bring a hat and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun.
When is the best time to hike in Hawaii?
Hiking in Hawaii is ideal from May through September, when temperatures are milder and rainfall is less likely. Yet, while some trails can be hiked year-round, others may be impassable during wetter months.
Are there any dangerous animals or plants to watch out for when hiking in Hawaii?
When trekking in Hawaii, you should be aware of several potentially deadly creatures and flora. The stinging nettle plant, centipedes, and poisonous spiders all fall into this category. Keep to the designated paths and be mindful of your surroundings at all times.
Can I hike alone in Hawaii?
While it is feasible to hike alone in Hawaii, it is strongly advised that you do so only under extreme circumstances. You should also tell someone where you plan to walk and when you expect to return.
Are there any age restrictions for hiking in Hawaii?
Hiking in Hawaii is enjoyable for people of all ages. But, pick hikes that match your fitness and experience level, and stop whenever you feel the need to.
Can I bring my dog on a hike in Hawaii?
The answer is that it is trail-specific. On some paths canines are welcome, while others are leash-free zones. Before taking your dog for a walk, make sure to get permission from the proper authorities.