In addition to the sparkling turquoise water and pristine beaches found along the coast of Hawaii, our beautiful islands are home to some of the country’s best hiking destinations. While there are countless incredible hikes found across the six main Hawaiian Islands, there are some trails more rewarding and famous than others. From an iconic and easy trail popular among the islands’ tourists, to one that requires a great deal of hiking expertise, these five hikes are perhaps the best Hawaii has to offer. Read on to learn more about the best hikes in Hawaii that you need to add to your bucket list.
1. Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu
This volcanic tuff cone is perhaps the most well-known landmark on Oahu. The view of Diamond Head via airplane is iconic, the hike to the summit is mentioned in every guidebook, and you can even see the volcano from the famous beaches of Waikiki.While many locals think the trail is overrated, the views are absolutely second to none. The Diamond Head Summit Trail is one of our absolute favorite hikes in Hawaii.
The crater is more than 3,500 feet in diameter and has been dormant for more than 150,000 years. Once used for military training, the government-owned property has since been opened to the public, and is now the most iconic hike on the island for tourists. The trail leads hikers on a steep trail more than 500 feet in elevation over 1.6 miles to the crater’s summit, as well as magnificent views of Honolulu.
2. Pipiwai Trail, Maui
If you’re looking for the ultimate Hawaiian hike with some of the best views that Maui has to offer, all within a short, well-maintained trail managed by the National Parks System, look no further than Pipiwai Trail in Maui. Located in southeast Maui, off Hana Highway and near the Pools of Oheo, is the unforgettable Pipiwai Trail, a four-mile round trip trek that will take you on quite the enchanting journey through a lush Hawaiian tropical rainforest to a towering banyan tree, through a vast bamboo forest, and to two impressive, cascading waterfalls: Waimoku Falls and Makahiku Falls.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Hawaiian hike with some of the best views that Maui has to offer, all within a short, well-maintained trail managed by the National Parks System, look no further than Pipiwai Trail. This hiking trail in Maui is guaranteed to deliver it all. If you want to read more about this gorgeous waterfall hike, find out why Visiting This One Place In Hawaii Is Like Experiencing A Dream.
3. Kilauea Iki Trail, Hawaii Island
This four-mile loop trail, which is the remains of a massive 1959 eruption, is wildly popular among Volcanoes National Park visitors.The trail, which takes hikers through lush rainforests, near active steam and sulfur vents, and across a solidified lava lake, was voted as the Big Island’s favorite scenic hiking trail by Hawaii Magazine.
The hike begins near the Thurston Lava Tube on Hawaii Volcanoes’ Crater Rim Drive and descends more than 400 feet through a variety of scenery to the floor of this striking crater. The fiery home of one of Hawaii’s most revered gods, Pele, Kilauea is both Hawaii’s youngest shield volcano (above sea level, that is), as well as the most active. This adventurous hike in Hawaii should be at the top of your bucket list! For more information about this awe-inspiring volcanic hike in Hawaii, read more about The Incredible Volcanic Landscape In Hawaii Everyone Needs To Visit In Their Lifetime.
4. Kalalau Trail, Kauai
Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is perhaps the most beautiful and remote area in all of Hawaii. While you can view this magnificent coastline from the air via helicopter tour, one of the best ways to experience the area’s incredible natural beauty is to hike the Kalalau Trail in Kauai.
Perhaps one of the most famous hikes on the island of Kauai, and Hawaii in general, this rugged 11-mile trek along the breathtaking and secluded Na Pali Coast is challenging, even for those in killer shape.
The Kalalau Trail is the only land access to this section of the rugged Na Pali Coastline and traverses five valleys through lush jungle and towering sea cliffs. The trail is, at times, narrow, rocky, and quite dangerous. In fact, according to Backpacker.com, it is one of the most dangerous hikes in America. Still, if you’re in shape and feel confident enough to tackle this daunting hike, you will certainly not regret it. This hike deserves its spot as one of the best hikes in Hawaii. To get all the details about the most epic hike in Hawaii, read all about why This One Hike In Hawaii Will Give You An Unforgettable Experience.
5. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, Oahu
Last, but certainly not least, is this iconic Oahu trail perfect for the entire family. This is an easy kid-friendly hike in Oahu, just a short drive outside of Honolulu. Located on the southeastern point of Oahu, the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is a short and sweet two-mile hike on a fully paved trail to a historic lighthouse, gaining approximately 500 feet in elevation over the course of a mile.
The hike also features stunning panoramic views of not only Oahu’s southeastern and windward coasts, but the vast Pacific Ocean. If you’re lucky, and visit from December through May, you might witness humpback whales frolicking off the coast while you stop to take a rest. This is such a satisfying, easy hike in Oahu that the whole family will love! To learn more about this easy lighthouse trail in Hawaii, read about why The One Place In Hawaii That Looks Like Something From Your Wildest Dreams.