We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Simple Hike with Rewarding Views”

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Go Oahu Card
Ranked #20 of 341 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Further along Kalanianaole Highway is the Makapuu Lighthouse hiking trail. This easy route with its moderate incline to the 647-ft. summit is a popular spot during whale season between December and April. This is a definite photo opportunity even when humpbacks aren’t spouting offshore. If you’re really ambitious, tackle a pre-sunrise hike to the top so you can grab a glorious photo of the sunrise.
Reviewed 21 April 2014

The Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail is located on the eastern tip of Oahu. To get there from anywhere on the island, you'll want to get onto the Interstate H-1 heading east. You'll remain on the freeway until in ends and turns into Kalanianaole Hwy (72) and continue on for quite some time, past Hanauma Bay. Once you turn into the driveway, you can either park along the road or take your chances driving down to the tiny parking lot in hopes of finding a stall. Unless you go first thing in the morning, you likely won't get a stall.

It's important to not leave valuables in your car here (or anywhere really) as the area, like other popular sites, are often targeted by thieves. Sunscreen and water is also very important, as the area is very hot and has no shade. There also aren't any restroom facilities whatsoever.

Once you find parking, you can begin your hike. The hike is entirely paved as mentioned earlier and used to be an access road. Even though it's paved, it does get quite steep in areas and other areas are suffering from erosion with segments of the pavement that have fallen away. Despite this, it is a relatively easy and enjoyable hike with great views.

During whale season, you can often spot whales from the upper end of the hike. On clear days, you can even see the island of Molokai in the distance. The lighthouse itself has an additional trail from the main trail, however, it is fenced off and off limits. The lighthouse (I believe) is still active, though is now automated. You can see it before reaching the lookout at the end of the trail, and arguably this is a better view. Nevertheless, you should continue on to the lookout at the end of the trail for its spectacular views of Mañana and Kaohikaipu Islands (facing east) and a birds eye view of the lighthouse itself. After you're done taking in the views, you simply turn back and head back down.

3  Thank kharada46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (2,136)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"easy hike"
in 182 reviews
"tide pools"
in 76 reviews
"bring water"
in 161 reviews
"see whales"
in 97 reviews
"paved road"
in 66 reviews
"light house"
in 66 reviews
"great hike"
in 133 reviews
"rabbit island"
in 26 reviews
"during whale season"
in 23 reviews
"whale watching"
in 65 reviews
"sea life park"
in 29 reviews
"lookout point"
in 23 reviews
"nice walk"
in 44 reviews
"breathtaking views"
in 47 reviews
"wear sunscreen"
in 34 reviews
"mile hike"
in 20 reviews
"up hill"
in 27 reviews

1,443 - 1,447 of 2,136 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

This hike is not long, may get your heart going a little, but its a paved walkway and has a spectacular view from the top. You can get some great pics from the top as well as along the way. Go in the morning, because it does get hot from the pavement.

Thank Kelly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We took my sister aged 84 and she managed quite nicely to walk up to the overlook where you can look down on the lighthouse. We also happened to be there when some humpback whales came by. Looking north you see rabbit island close, mountains on the left, shore line toward Kaneohe off in the distance; south you see 'sandy beach' and the blow hole.

Thank Dieter706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Cool short hike to the top. Spectacular views, cool locks place by travelers at the top that we think is done to declare their love or just show they were there. You may be fortunate enought to see a whale (we didn't). Fun pitstop after a great day at Hanauma Bay which was the highlight of the trip for me.

1  Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 17 April 2014

TItle says it all.
...But be aware it's not a flat hike, as there is some elevation to climb, so best to bring some water if hot out.

1  Thank Lee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Makapuu Lighthouse Trail also viewed


Been to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing