7 Easy Hikes on Oahu

Check out these easy hikes on Oahu that are perfect for families with kids, people with mobility issues, and those who want to do a little hiking on Oahu. Scroll down to read them all!

This easy hikes on Oahu post was originally published December 5, 2019 and was updated March 27, 2022 and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

If you are looking for a little bit of adventure on your Oahu vacation, try hiking!

I’ve pulled together the most popular easy hikes in Oahu that are accessible enough for kids or people who are looking for shorter hikes.

These are perfect half-day adventures, so you’ll still have energy to play at the beach, drive around Oahu, go on a tour, or simply relax by the pool.

Keep scrolling to find out easy hikes Oahu has to offer.

If you are an adventurous traveler, you might also be interested in the best waterfall hikes on Oahu and the best North Shore Oahu hikes.

Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Oahu Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

Click here for step-by-step Oahu travel planning help

Easy Oahu Hikes FAQs

What is the easiest hike on Oahu?

The Waimea Valley trail is the perfect beginner hike on Oahu. But that’s just one of the easy hiking trails Oahu has.

How many hikes are on Oahu?

There are more than 200 hiking trails on Oahu.

Why is the Stairway to Heaven illegal?

While it’s definitely NOT an easy Oahu hike, it’s the one you see the most in viral videos. The stairs were built during WWII so soldiers could access the radio antennas. However, a big storm damaged the stairs in 2015 and they have been fenced off because it’s super dangerous.

6 Easy Hikes on Oahu for Families featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids

Easy Hikes on Oahu, Hawaii That are Perfect for Kids

Oahu has many beautiful scenic views one can experience and enjoy. It is a favorite place for family vacations because of its gorgeous, sunny beaches, Hawaiian vibe, and adventurous hiking trails! Along the trail, you can enjoy many stunning views.

One of the easy, kid friendly hikes in Oahu, Hawaii, is the Lanikai Pillbox hike, also known as the famous Ka’iwa Ridge Trail. The distance is only about 2 miles round trip which makes for a perfect, easy stroll.

Several other favorite kid-friendly hiking trails and locations are the Diamond Head Trail, Waimea Falls, Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, Manoa Falls, Likeke Falls, and Judd Trail. Any of these short treks are guaranteed to be a beautiful hike that will be a hit with your family.

What You Need to do Before Hiking with Children in Hawaii

Before you venture out with the family to hike the beautiful trails, be sure to remember some important items. Be sure to wear sunscreen, and bug spray.

Since local water sources aren’t considered good for drinking, you will want to have plenty of drinking water on hand. Snacks are highly recommended to replenish energy along the way as well!

Image of the pay station at Diamond Head on Oahu
Check to see if your hike requires purchasing tickets, like Diamond Head.

Remembering these items can make your trip easier and will allow your family to better enjoy the incredible views, the beautiful waterfalls, and other unforgettable sites along the trails! Even if it’s a short hike, be sure to understand what the hike consists of.

For maximum enjoyment of the stunning views, choose easy hikes in Oahu with a higher elevation gain. The higher the elevation, the more likely the trail has for the best views!

TIPS FOR HIKING WITH KIDS

Younger kids should be carefully instructed to not drink the water from the waterfalls. The water is generally an unfiltered and untreated natural resource which runs off the land, carrying bacteria and animal waste into pools and streams.

Image of a girl wearing a dress in the jungle on Oahu
It’s so fun to hike with kids on Oahu!

These water sources may contain harmful bacteria which sometimes cause a serious infection called leptospirosis. It’s all-important not to go swimming if you or your family has open cuts and inflammations.

The hikes, though short, may be a challenge if you have a toddler with you. You may want to bring some baby gear such as diapers, wet wipes, and a breathable baby carrier in case your child is not able to walk too far.

And, as always with kiddos in tow, don’t forget to visit the restroom before you start your journey! 

7 Easy Hikes on Oahu

1. Diamond Head Trail

Referred to as Lēʻahi by the natives, the Diamond Head Hike is Hawaii’s most popular hike route. This is because the route provides one of the most awe-inspiring, panoramic views of Oahu.

Top 6 Free Things to Do on Oahu featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Diamond Head is a kid-friendly Oahu hike
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

From the top of the route, the giant 300,000-year-old crater created from a volcanic eruption can be seen.

Looking out to the ocean, the most startling combination of colors plays before the eyes and as you look around, going from blue to turquoise, to green.

Open as it is, though, it gets very hot very quickly, so arrive early as possible to get a good walk before the sun comes out.

This is one of the most popular easy hikes in Oahu because of its close proximity to Waikiki.

As of May 12th, 2022 all out-of-state visitors must have an advanced reservation to enter Diamond Head State Monument. Make your reservations HERE.

2. Makapu’u Lighthouse

The Makapu’u Lighthouse trail is Oahu’s second most popular hiking trail, coming in behind the Diamond Head Trail.

6 Easy Hikes on Oahu for Families featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Couple look across the Pacific from Makapuu Trail
Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Also referred to as the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline, it is a trail suitable for beginner hikers or those with a little experience. Check out our tips for hiking Makapuu Lighthouse trail with kids.

It also has one of the most breathtaking views, looking out on Makapuu Beach, the windward coast, Koko Head, along with Lanai and Molokai, the neighboring islands.

As you hike, some spots of interest that you are likely to come upon including the famous lighthouse landmark, the old service pillboxes, some giant wave pools, Makapuu Point, and a secret blowhole.

3. Lanikai Pillboxes

The Lanikai Pillbox Trail, otherwise known as the Kaiwa Ridge Hiking Trail, takes about an hour to hike, and the trail is about 2 miles.

6 Easy Hikes on Oahu for Families featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Lanikai Pillbox Hike on Oahu
View from Lanikai Pillboxes Hike on Oahu

The trail is known for its spectacular views off the coast of Kailua of the “Twin Islands” or “The Mokes.” The large island is called Moku Nui and the small island is called Moku Iki.

Lanikai is also awed for its stunning turquoise-colored blue waters.

The Lanikai Pillbox trail is named so because of the mass-produced pillboxes during the time period of World War 2, they were used by the soldiers to fight their enemies and to stand guard.

Nowadays, they’re utilized as pit stops during the hiking of the trail.

Some of the areas on the island that you will find these pit stops in are Koko Head, Lanikai, Ehukai and Diamond Head.

The trail isn’t very challenging, however, the beginning part of the trail is quite difficult due to the steepness and the fact that it’s rather slippery.

Thankfully, the rest of the hike is relatively easy.

On Lanikai there are two pillboxes, so you can choose whether you would like to hike up to one or both, however, the second pillbox involves more climbing.

So it depends on if you’re hiking with your spouse alone, or are the kids joining. If the kids are joining, rather consider hiking to only the first pillbox.

If you’re hiking with another adult, going to both wouldn’t be a problem.

4. Manoa Falls Trail

If you do not want the challenge of trails like Tom Tom and prefer an easier hike, or would like to hike a trail that can be explored safely with kids, then Manoa Falls Trail is definitely the best trail for you.

6 Easy Hikes on Oahu for Families featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids: Manoa Falls is one of the most popular waterfall hikes on Oahu
Manoa Falls on Oahu

It is more walk than hike, and it runs a short and very slightly inclined distance of about 1.6 miles. This minimal-demand hike is located fifteen minutes by car away from the more developed island of Honolulu.

However, while you are on the trail, all thoughts of the developed world tend to vanish as you connect fully with nature.

This is one of the easiest hikes on Oahu worth doing.

Find out more Oahu waterfall hikes

5. Kamananui Valley

Where hike trails like Manoa Falls are easy and short, Kamananui Valley is an easy hike that goes a relatively long distance.

Perfect for a long hike with children, the Valley is resplendent with beautiful scenes as well as the historical value that goes back to the 1500s.

This easy hike runs for eight miles and has many great side attractions that you can enjoy as you go along.

Not only is this hike pretty straightforward, but any remaining challenges are easily sorted by the many informational signs installed by the Moanalua Gardens Foundation.

6. Hauula Loop Trail

The Hauula Loop Trail is an underrated and very excellent little hiking trail that is located in the Ko’olau Mountains, at the northeastern end of Oahu.

Image of the Hauula Loop Trail sign on Oahu
Hauula Loop Trail sign on Oahu.

Found within the little village of Hauula, this trail is relatively hidden but well-preserved. This 2.5-mile hike takes hikers up 800 feet in elevation through lush, verdurous forests.

The fauna variety is great and there are lots of ironwood trees and Captain Cook pines growing all over.

Of course, this means that hiking in the afternoon is a given, with the trees providing enough shade for explorers to find their way through the trail without sweating buckets.

7. Waimea Falls Trail

Another easy hike on Oahu that’s worth adding to your Oahu itinerary is the Waimea Falls Trail. this is a short hike that goes through beautiful Waimea Valley to get to an Oahu waterfall that you can swim in!

Check out this full guide to visiting Waimea Falls on Oahu by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a popular Oahu waterfall surrounded by greenery.
Waimea Falls on Oahu

You will need to pay an entrance fee, but it’s totally worth it. Once you get up to the falls, there are life jackets available for those who can’t swim. And you can spend the rest of the day playing in the water.

Waimea Valley also is home to a cultural park that has cool programs worth checking out. This is included in your Waimea Valley admission.

Wrap Up

And there you have it, 7 easy hikes on Oahu that are totally worth adding to your Oahu itinerary! These make great half-day adventures with kids on Oahu.

While there are tons of easy hikes in Hawaii, Oahu has a few of our favorites!

Love this post about easy Oahu hikes? Find out the best 101 things to do on Oahu with kids, best kid-friendly hikes on Oahu, best Oahu kayaking spots, where to snorkel on Oahu, and the best North Shore beaches!