Oahu, also known as “The Gathering Place,” is a great place for hiking and outdoor activities. With its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and stunning mountain ranges, it’s no wonder that Oahu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Oahu has something for everyone. In this article, we take a look at the best hikes in Oahu, with some amazing sunset spots overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach Park is more a casual stroll than a hike, but it’s ideal for beginners. It’s located in the heart of Honolulu and is a short drive from Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. The park offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Ko Olina Lagoons. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike and is one of the best ways to experience an Oahu sunset. The park is also home to the popular Ehukai Pillbox hike, offering a great vantage point for sunset views.
The hike is easy and provides plenty of shade from the palm trees. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic or a relaxing walk along the sandy beach. The park is also an excellent spot for photography, with plenty of opportunities for sunset shots. Be sure to add Ala Moana Beach Park to your list of places to visit during the summer months.
Diamond Head is one of the best hikes in Oahu, Hawaii, and for a good reason. Its panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki Beach is good for sunrise and sunset hikes. The hike is relatively easy, with an elevation gain of just under 600 feet and a round trip distance of 1.6 miles. The trail is well-maintained, with beautiful surroundings, including man-made lagoons and palm trees.
One of the best things about hiking Diamond Head is the vantage point at the top. You’ll have a clear view of the island and the ocean from the summit. This makes it the perfect spot to catch the sunset. Diamond Head is located just a short drive from Ala Moana Beach Park and downtown Honolulu, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists. The hike can be a bit steep at times, but it’s a great way to exercise and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Just be sure to bring plenty of water, as the hike can get hot during the summer months.
Tantalus Lookout rated one of the best sunset hikes in Oahu, is a great place to hike in Oahu for those looking for breathtaking views and an uphill hike. The hike to Tantalus Lookout is somewhat steep. However, the panoramic views of downtown Honolulu, the Pacific Ocean, and the surrounding areas make it a great choice. The hike is a short drive from Waikiki Beach and offers beautiful west-facing views. During the summer months, it’s one of the top spots for sunset hikes on the island.
The trail to Tantalus Lookout is not an easy hike, but the elevation gain is worth it for the amazing views. It’s also an excellent spot for a picnic, as picnic tables are at the top of the hike. The best time to hike to Tantalus Lookout is daylight savings when the sun sets later in the day. It’s also an ideal spot for stargazing during the winter months. The hike is not suitable for small children or people with mobility issues. However, it’s great for adults and older children. Note: you can also drive to Tantulus Lookout via Puu Ualakaa State Wayside Park.
Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park
Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park, located in West Oahu, is a great place to go for a hike and enjoy the beautiful sunset views of the Pacific Ocean. With its panoramic views, it’s the perfect place to take in the natural beauty of the Hawaiian island. The park is also an ideal location for a sunset experience, as it offers some of the best sunset spots on the island. The hike is easy and provides plenty of opportunities to take in the fantastic views, making it a top pick for visitors to Oahu. The park also features picnic tables, a parking lot, and a sandy beach, making it a sweet spot for a post-hike picnic. If you’re seeking the natural beauty of Oahu, Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park is one of the top spots to check out.
Makapuu Point Trail
The Makapuu Point trail, within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, offers outstanding views of Oahu’s southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. From the trail’s destination at Makapuu Head, you’re rewarded with magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets. Additionally, you’ll have the historic red-roofed Makapuu Lighthouse built in 1909, in the foreground. The Lighthouse set against the deep blue sea below makes for a great pic! On a clear day, you may even see Molokai and Lanai.
The offshore islets are wildlife sanctuaries for Hawaiian seabirds, such as the iwa, frigate bird, and tropicbird. This trail is an excellent place to view migrating humpback whales in season (November-May). Binoculars are suggested for viewing the whales and seabirds. An interpretive sign and viewing scope along the trail help you view and identify the whales seen from this location. Additionally, Makapuu Point trail is a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts, nature lovers, and whale watchers. It’s a must-visit location for anyone looking for an unforgettable sunset experience in Oahu. With its easy accessibility, clear views, and abundance of marine life, Makapuu Point trail is one of the best hikes on the island.
Koko Head Crater Stairway
Are you searching for a hike that offers stunning sunrise views? Look no further than Koko Head Crater Stairway, located close to downtown Honolulu. This hike was once a railway during World War 2 and features a 1.5-mile round-trip journey. The trail has various designated rest points for hikers due to the steep elevation gain of over 1,000 feet. Make no mistake, this hike will test your endurance. The views from the top of Koko Head Crater are spectacular, with Hanauma Bay as the backdrop. This hike is not to be missed for those looking for a challenging and rewarding experience with breathtaking views.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, these hikes offer the natural beauty and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. With so many great hikes and beautiful sunset spots on the island of Oahu, it can be tough to decide which hike to tackle first. But with our top picks in mind, you will indeed have an unforgettable sunset experience on your next trip to Oahu.
Scott founded FunOutdoors to connect his professional life with his passions. When Scott isn’t working, you’ll find him on the bike trail, riding a wave, or skiing down a mountain.