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8 Best Hikes Near Waikiki: A Complete Guide


by Roseline Janke


If you’re visiting Waikiki in Hawaii and looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, you’re in luck! The beautiful island of Oahu offers some incredible hiking opportunities just a short distance away from Waikiki. From stunning mountain vistas to breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforests, there’s something for every nature lover to explore.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the 8 best hikes near Waikiki, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Hawaii. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, these trails offer a mix of challenge and reward, ensuring an unforgettable adventure.

So grab your hiking boots, water bottle, and camera, and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Oahu’s hiking trails. Let’s dive in and explore the wonders that await!

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

One of the most popular hikes near Waikiki is the Lanikai Pillbox Hike. This moderate trail offers breathtaking views of the Mokulua Islands and the turquoise waters of Lanikai Beach. The hike takes you to the old military bunkers, known as pillboxes, which were used during World War II. Make sure to bring your camera as you’ll want to capture the stunning panoramic views from the top. The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is a must-do for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Waikiki.

Manoa Falls Trail

The Manoa Falls Trail is another top hike near Waikiki. This lush trail takes you through a tropical rainforest, leading you to a beautiful 150-foot waterfall. The trail is moderate in difficulty and is suitable for hikers of all ages. Along the way, you’ll encounter magnificent bamboo groves and vibrant plant life. The Manoa Falls Trail offers a refreshing escape from the city and provides a serene and tranquil experience.

Koko Crater Railway Trail

If you’re up for a challenge, the Koko Crater Railway Trail is the hike for you. This steep trail takes you up 1,048 steps to the top of Koko Crater. Originally a railway track used during World War II, the trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Koko Crater Railway Trail is not recommended for beginners, as the steep incline can be quite strenuous. However, the rewarding views at the top make it all worthwhile.

Diamond Head Summit Trail

No visit to Waikiki is complete without hiking the Diamond Head Summit Trail. This iconic trail takes you to the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic cone that offers sweeping views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. The trail is moderately difficult, with some steep sections and a series of stairs. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views that are perfect for capturing memorable photos.

Maunawili Falls Trail

The Maunawili Falls Trail is a beautiful hike that takes you through lush rainforest and along a scenic stream. The trail leads to a stunning waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in the cool water. Be prepared for some muddy sections along the trail, so wearing appropriate footwear is recommended. The Maunawili Falls Trail is a great choice for nature lovers looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s flora and fauna.

Waimea Falls Trail

The Waimea Falls Trail is a picturesque hike that takes you through a botanical garden to a cascading waterfall. Along the way, you’ll encounter a variety of tropical plants and flowers, providing a feast for the senses. The trail is relatively easy and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Once you reach the waterfall, you have the option to take a refreshing swim in the pool below. The Waimea Falls Trail is a hidden gem near Waikiki that offers a tranquil escape into nature.

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is a scenic hike with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The trail takes you up to a historic lighthouse perched on top of a cliff. Along the way, you’ll be able to spot native seabirds and enjoy panoramic vistas of the coastline. The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all fitness levels. Don’t forget your sunscreen and camera, as you’ll want to capture the stunning coastal scenery.

Aiea Loop Trail

For a longer and more challenging hike near Waikiki, the Aiea Loop Trail is a great option. This 4.8-mile loop trail takes you through lush forests and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Along the way, you’ll also come across remnants of old military bunkers and enjoy a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The Aiea Loop Trail is perfect for those looking for a longer adventure and an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature.


In conclusion, Waikiki may be famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, but it also offers some incredible hiking opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll amidst nature, there are plenty of options near Waikiki that cater to all skill levels.From the iconic Diamond Head to the lush Manoa Falls, these hikes provide breathtaking views, diverse landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. Remember to come prepared with proper hiking gear, plenty of water, and respect for the environment.Exploring the hiking trails near Waikiki is a fantastic way to escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Oahu. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on an adventure to discover the hidden gems that await you just a short distance from Waikiki.


Q: Are these hikes suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, many of the hikes near Waikiki are suitable for beginners. However, it’s essential to research the trail difficulty, distance, and elevation gain before embarking on any hike. Start with easier trails like Diamond Head or Makapuu Lighthouse Trail if you’re a beginner.

Q: Are the hiking trails well-marked?

A: Most of the popular hiking trails near Waikiki have clear signage and markers along the way. However, it’s always a good idea to bring a map or use a hiking app for guidance, especially if you’re exploring lesser-known trails.

Q: What should I bring for these hikes?

A: It’s recommended to bring essentials such as proper hiking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, plenty of water, snacks, and a fully charged phone. Additionally, wear lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for outdoor activity.

Q: Can I hike during the rainy season?

A: While it’s generally safe to hike during the rainy season, be aware that trails might be muddy and slippery. Check weather forecasts and trail conditions before heading out, and exercise caution when hiking in wet conditions.

Q: Are there any entrance fees for these hiking trails?

A: Some hiking trails near Waikiki, such as Diamond Head, may require an entrance fee. The fees usually range from a few dollars to around ten dollars per person. Check the specific trail’s website or inquire at the trailhead for up-to-date information.

Q: Can I bring my dog on these hikes?

A: It depends on the trail and park regulations. Some trails allow dogs on-leash, while others may restrict pets. Always check the rules and regulations of the specific trail beforehand to ensure you’re in compliance.