Top 10 Breathtaking Trails on Oahu

Oahu

Breathtaking Trails on Oahu You Should Try

Trails and Hikes with Breathtaking Views

Oahu is the 3rd largest island of Hawaii and it is home to around 2-thirds of the US population in the state of Hawaii. The island is large and covered in nature and this makes it one of the biggest attractions for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. It is also what caught my eye as I was looking for a new place to hike.

Hawaii is easy to reach for most people in the US and with such amazing trails, it has become somewhat of a hotspot for the avid hikers. During my time in Hawaii, I was fortunate enough to try out a couple of these hiking trails and thought that you should know where to start if you plan on visiting the island for your own trip.

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1. Stairway to Heaven

The Stairway to Heaven is one of the most renowned hiking trails in the world and the biggest draw to the island for many avid hikers. With a military history, the trail is interesting with great views, but with damages to the stairs, they are rather tough to climb. The stairs are not open for public use and are heavily guarded with fines of $1000 being handed out. The government has also contemplated pulling down the stairs.

2. KAAU Crater Hike

With a multitude of waterfalls and great scenery, the KAAU crater Hike is another beloved tourist attraction. The humidity is rather unbearable in the jungle and you will immediately feel like you are fighting for your survival, but once the body does adapt, the trail becomes much better to endure and offers a great challenge to advanced hikers.

3. Seven Falls Hiking Trail

The Seven Falls Hiking Trail is an adventure junky’s dream. The trail offers a great combination of narrow gorges and water that keeps you cool. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but I found it to be adventurous and keeps the adrenaline pumping as well.

4. Pali Notches

If you love danger and putting your own life at risk, the Pali Notches is certainly one of the trails you should check out. With a great view over the Pali Highway, I found this trail to be rather daunting and it keeps the adrenaline quite high. If you have a fear of heights, this might not be the best trail to look for if you ever visit Hawaii. The sights are quite amazing for taking pictures with your hiking camera.

5. Olomana Trail

With 3 different peaks that you could find yourself staring down from, this trail is rather daunting and considered one of the most dangerous on the island. The trail is fine in dry conditions, as we have found, but in wet conditions, the danger becomes a little more apparent. People with a fear of heights should rather steer clear of this trail.

6. Tom Tom Trail

The Tom Tom Trail is considered an underrated trail in Hawaii and not many people pay much attention to it. The trail is rather long, but you will have the opportunity to turn back whenever you feel, as we did after seeing what we wanted to. The trail gives a great panoramic view of the island.

7. Wiliwilinui Ridge

With a magnificent view over the town of Waikiki, this moderate trails puts you at the center of the entire island and will make you feel as if you are the crown jewel of the island. The trail takes you to the top of the mountain and you can see everything just as clearly as you need to. This trail is the perfect trail for those looking for something simple and moderate.

8. Koko Head Stairs

Koko head is one of the shorter hiking trails and will do quite a number on you when you are not the fittest of the lot. The trail tests your fitness and while the view still seems rather extraordinary, reaching the top is what I found to be rather hard. The constant uphill battle will take some getting used to, but some of the locals are used to doing this on a daily basis.

9. Pink Pillbox Hike

This is another fun hike that many people never even try to do or know about. The hike is rather short up the ridge from the highway up to a small pink house. The house features an amazing view over the ocean and the island itself. This hiking trail is rather short and is a great option to do for the day instead of taking on the longer trails.

10. Crouching Lion Hike

Finally, the Crouching Lion Hike is another short but extremely steep ridge for you to endure. It does not take as much effort as some of the other hikes on the list, but you will be rather tired if you do not take a break. The best part of this trail is the view and once you reach the top, you will have an amazing view over Kahana Bay. This is an easy to moderate hike.

Which Route Will You Start With?

Oahu is one of the most beautiful islands of the State of Hawaii. With soaring mountains and special ravines, one could easily get lost in the beauty and even consider moving to the island for life. These trails are rather dangerous from time to time and with the problem at the Stairway to Heaven, most people have forsaken the island.

Hopefully, these top hiking trails have proven helpful to you for your next hiking trail and they should allow you to experience all the beauty of the country. It is worth mentioning that backpacking gear like a sleeping bag might not even be necessary due to the shortness of these trails.

Luna Anderson
About the Author

Luna Anderson

Luna Anderson is an avid camper from Phoenix, Arizona. She loves the outdoors and wants to show people the endless possibilities of this world. You can find practical tips about hiking, camping and survival skills on her blog, hikertrack.com.

2023 Oahu Visitor Guides

If you're visiting Oahu soon, be sure to download your copy of one of our updated 2023 Oahu Visitor Guides. We've updated both travel guides with a lot of new great information for potential visitors (and those who've been a time or two as well).

Select a 2023 Travel Guide
- 20 Pages -

Highlights

- 40+ Pages -

Essential

~ Trusted by Millions of Hawaii Visitors Annually ~

Recommended Oahu Tours
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