Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
4.5
Historic Walking AreasHiking Trails
07:00 - 19:00
Monday
07:00 - 19:00
Tuesday
07:00 - 19:00
Wednesday
07:00 - 19:00
Thursday
07:00 - 19:00
Friday
07:00 - 19:00
Saturday
07:00 - 19:00
Sunday
10:00 - 18:00
About
Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is one of Oahu's most popular coastal hiking trails on its southeastern coast, offering spectacular views of the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline. You'll get to see landmarks like Koko Crater, Makapuu Beach, and even the offshore islands Molokai and Lanai on a clear day. There's also the iconic red Makapuu Lighthouse built in 1909 which you can see along the way. Bring a pair of binoculars to spot seabirds and migrating humpback whales from November to May. This uphill trail is about two miles long and is well-paved throughout, making it a manageable trek for families with children. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Glenn and Terri H
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible Hike
    Definitely worth the effort to take this hike. The views are spectacular. The hike was a gradual uphill on a paved road and seemed to go on forever. Once at the top, you can hike to other spots but we did not. Lots of traffic here so parking can be difficult. Definitely worth the effort.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 18 May 2023
  • May_EXL
    Winnipeg, Canada571 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Panoramic Vistas
    It was a sunny but gusty windy day in February when we hiked the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse on the southwest tip of the island. These are the things to keep in mind; arrive early to beat the heat, bring some water, there is no shade and no bathroom facilities along the path. The roadside parking was packed when we arrived around 8 a.m. The path is wide and paved…it was not a strenuous walk/hike with only a gradual incline. Don’t rush, give yourself at least a couple of hours to enjoy the hike and views. We saw humpback whales on the way up and the panoramic view from the top is amazing! I thought the path would end at the lighthouse itself but it didn’t (There may be a different trail to it?). The path ends at the viewing areas where you can see the lighthouse below. This was a 5 star hike except for the lack of public washroom facilities. On the way out we stopped in at the Makapu’u Lookout for more spectacular views. We ended our day with a visit to Makapu’u Beach right next door…beautiful!
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 May 2023
  • john m
    Wellington, New Zealand57 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the effort
    My wife and I visited this trail in May, the weather was almost perfect, as it wasn’t too hot, with only a slight breeze. You can get to this place quite easily by car, the parking and admission is free and plenty of space. The track itself is tarmac all the way to the top, but it is fairly steep in places, you should be able to get a wheelchair all the way up to the viewing platform. The views are pretty spectacular, you can see the other islands and also a good variety of wildlife. Make sure you take some water with you, but I couldn’t find or see any toilets anywhere in the nearby area.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 June 2023
  • T-dot_cowboy
    Toronto, Canada18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing view
    This climb is a beast. Plan for a solid 90 mins for up and down. Bring water and comfortable shoes. The road is complete paved so the walk is easy but it feels like it won’t end. Stick with it and you’ll be fine. I saw folks carrying kids, pets and pushing strollers, not sure how far they made it but it would be a challenge for sure. The pictures don’t do it justice
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 September 2023
  • Roary
    Vancouver, Canada3,081 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free easy family hike
    I wanted to find a hike for my family that was easy to access and relatively easy to do. I'm glad I picked this one. It's paved from the parking lot to the last lookout near the lighthouse. A few lookout spots with informational boards along the way. It was windy, which made the hike cooler and easier, but I did see someone lose their hat when it was blown away. Views are nice, and it's all free. No washroom or refreshment amenities, so go prepared!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 September 2023
  • islandlovingtwosome
    Lake Forest, California88 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good Exercise And Lovely Views
    You can see the beginning of this trail from the road. What you probably don't know is that it's just the beginning. It's paved, but it's a pretty steep incline the entire way. They have a few stops along the way so you can check out the views and catch your breath. In the end, you're looking down at a not that impressive lighthouse that you can't go in. It's a good physical challenge and the views make it all worthwhile.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 October 2023
  • TheeJAS
    Hamilton Parish, Bermuda52 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice hike, good views.
    Very nice paved trail to the lighthouse viewing area. Good workout but not too strenuous if you're in reasonable shape. Uphill on the way out, downhill back. Nice views along the way.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 October 2023
  • Caroline T
    Washington DC, District of Columbia118 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tough incline, great views!
    The views at the end are very nice! The steep incline all the way up is fairly grueling though. Don’t recommend doing this during high noon or when there is no wind/breeze. Saw many dogs struggling to make it up with their owners too, and suggest leaving your pooch behind :)
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 November 2023
  • Groo
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scenic hike
    This is a great hike!!! It is on a paved trail all the way. Several switchbacks and fairly steep in spots. Several spots for viewing and to rest on the way up. Parking is very good, but can get crowded. Unbelievable sights from the top lookouts. Out in the open so bring water and hats. No facilities here. Most people will make it up just fine. Will do it again!!!
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 December 2023
  • Kevin B
    Mount Juliet, Tennessee2,327 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun hike with great views!
    We hiked here right after visiting Diamond Head, so it made for a very active first day of vacation! This trail is quite nice and there's a good amount of elevation change, but it's not challenging overall. It's all exposed though, so make sure to bring sun protection and lots of water. The views here are stunning and it's a beautiful part of the island. The trail is free as well and it's a great way to spend part of your day in O'ahu!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 December 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Susan H
Pompano Beach, FL101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
This was a highlight of our time on Oahu. The views were amazing, we even saw a few whales. The area was very well kept and clean. We are in fairly good shape, but felt the hike was a little more strenuous than is usually presented.
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kchaney16412
Plymouth, IN14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This was a great hike! It was an incline all the way to the top, but the paved path made it easy. (We did this after completing Koko Railway trail, so it may seem easier to others doing this fresh :). There were great stops along the way with signage to read and learn about the island. We truly enjoyed this hike. The lighthouse and views were incredible. One of my favorite spots on our trip to Oahu!
Written 30 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard C
5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This is quite a hike on a paved trail. On the way down, we did see four whales swimming near the shore and one did a breech. Amazing views from the top of the trail.
Written 20 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim H
New Westminster, Canada1,127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
I'd call this a must-see. We didn't see any whales but otherwise it was perfect.

We had a rental car, and easily found a parking space on the road. As advertised, the walk is a steady, moderate climb on a smooth, wide paved path. We saw a powered wheelchair at the top and there were plenty of strollers.

You get about ten different amazing views on the way.

There will, of course, be wind. I'll bet if you set up a team downwind you could run a business selling people their own lost hats.

There's no toilet facility here, but there is at Sandy Beach Park, just a tad before Makapuu as you come from Diamond Head.
Written 3 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lazybu
Paragould, AR165 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Not only were the views from this trail Breathtaking, we were able to see baby humpback whales, playing out in the ocean. There are steep parts on the trail but still worth the views.
Written 20 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

veryhappytraveler247
Gentry, AR18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This is a fun free activity. It is popular, so you may have to wait for parking. 2 miles total of paved hike. Not too steep. Bring your binoculars. Got to see lots of whales breaching. I was bitten by blond ladybug beetle things. I’m not sure if bug repellent would help with that. A very nice hike that wasn’t too difficult.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma W
Auckland, New Zealand739 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
It was a very hot afternoon when we walked the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, so at times it felt more challenging than Diamond Head.

It is worth the walk, the views are great at multiple points along the trail. I just don't recommend doing it mid afternoon with a limited amount of water.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
We arrived at 6am, parked on the road, and walked the trail for sunrise. Probably my top experience on Oahu. Coming down, it was way more noisy and crowded, I think pre-dawn is the time to go.
Written 16 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LizaB
Las Vegas, NV528 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Moderate hike on a paved trail. It’s a good climb up but there are many view points to stop and rest. Go early to avoid crowds, traffic and to get parking spot. Arrived at 8 am and lot was full. Unfortunately, we didn’t see whales but did see Molokai. Great views from the top.
Written 22 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin B
Mount Juliet, TN2,327 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
We hiked here right after visiting Diamond Head, so it made for a very active first day of vacation! This trail is quite nice and there's a good amount of elevation change, but it's not challenging overall. It's all exposed though, so make sure to bring sun protection and lots of water. The views here are stunning and it's a beautiful part of the island. The trail is free as well and it's a great way to spend part of your day in O'ahu!
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MAKAPUU LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

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