It’s not all about the beach on Oahu. Soaring peaks, dramatic shorelines and lush forests promise a trail for every pair of feet. Most hikes are doable in a day, and trails range from flat paved walkways to rugged terrain. The most famous hike is also one of the most accessible: Diamond Head. It’s less of a hike and more of a walk up lots of stairs, but visitors young and old make the trek for the unforgettable views of Honolulu and Southeast Oahu from the summit. Other trails are less traveled, but no less spectacular. Close to the city, the verdant Manoa Valley region beckons with dense bamboo forests, valley vistas and waterfalls—though remember to bring bug spray. Elsewhere on the island, trails open up to dramatic coastal views, like the picturesque Kahana Bay from the Kapaeleele trail or Kaena Point’s lava shores. Families may prefer Waimea Valley, where peacocks wander the paths, you can swim in a waterfall, and guided tours lead you through dazzling tropical territory.
[The Manoa Falls hike] is steep, slick, muddy and a little treacherous, but so worth it. The vegetation made us feel like we were in Jurassic Park. Everything was really beautiful. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time in the afternoon, because it can get dark pretty quickly.
Hiking and More Nearby