Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.5 miElevation gain505 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHikingWalkingBeachPavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsNo shadeHistoric site
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Getting There

Great short uphill paved trail along sea cliffs to observation deck and lighthouse with fantastic views. Whole thing is paved, there's no shade so bring lots of water and go as soon as they open to beat the heat. Lots of lookouts for whales, you can climb down a path and get right next to the lighthouse. A parking area offers access to the trailhead. Follow the trail as it climbs up the western side of the ridge. Upon reaching the top of the ridge (about the halfway point), the trail switches back to the north, following the eastern side of the ridge. At this point it levels out somewhat, but still climbs gradually to the summit, where a pair of guard-railed lookouts offer panoramic vistas. To return, retrace your route. The Makapuu Point trail, within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, offers outstanding views of Oahus southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. From the trails destination at Makapuu Head, one is rewarded with magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets, as well as the historic red-roofed Makapuu Lighthouse built in 1909, which makes a stunning picture against the deep blue sea below (the lighthouse itself is off-limits). 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. This portion of the island tends to be hot and dry as evidenced by the abundant panini cacti and low-growing kiawe. The trail is exposed and is usually sunny and hot, as well can be very windy at the summit. Hat, sunscreen, and water are recommended. Give yourself about 2 hours to enjoy this hike and the great views. Many run up and down this trail for a great workout! Accessibility: While this route is paved and typically at least five feet wide, there are sections at the end that require you travel up and down stairs. The estimated grade is moderately steep so some sections of this trail may not be too steep for wheelchair/mobility equipment and stroller users without assistance. It is a steady incline the whole way up.

Parking is available for free. The hours of operation are from 7AM to 6:45PM.

DLNR, Division of State Parks P.O. Box 621 Honolulu, HI 96809 dlnr@hawaii.gov Oahu Main Office: Kalanimoku Building 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 310 Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813 Phone: (808) 587-0300 Fax: (808) 587-0311 Reference: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/hiking/oahu/index.cfm?hike_id=23

This entire hike is exposed and this area of the island can be very hot. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen-you may admire the views from the top for longer than you expected. Bring binoculars if you are here during humpback whale migrating season (November-May).

The park and trailhead are located off of the Kalanianaole Highway (Hwy. 72) at the southeasternmost point of Oahu. From Honolulu, take the H1 freeway east until it becomes Highway 72. Follow the road beyond Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach Park until you reach the park area adjacent to the highway. From the windward side, take the Kalanianaole Highway (Hwy. 72) southeast beyond Kailua, Waimanalo, and Makapuu Beach Park, after which the road climbs up toward Makapuu Head. The park will be on the left side of the highway.

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Reviews (3,043)
Photos (2,528)
Activities (2,399)
Completed (8,810)
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Briana Williams
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WalkingNo shade

High incline, paved hike. Great if you want to do a hike alone, or have kids, strollers, or for families. It’s an easy hike, but I do suggest bringing water always, and sunscreen if you’re going early in the day as there’s no shade. Beautiful views!

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Tiffany Bimmel
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Hiking

Easy hike up it is steep.

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Hue Huynh
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Hiking

Paved and easy trail. Great for families and dogs. We went at a later time around 5p, and it does get very windy and cool temperature. Beautiful and breathtaking views!

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Dakota Gulasa
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HikingGreat!

This was a great family hike. It’s a straight shot, so it’s hard to mess up lol. The hike to the lighthouse is closed unfortunately. Good time regardless.

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Leanna Hutto
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely stunning at sunrise

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Shannon Clancy-Burgess
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Hiking

Gorgeous views. Easy slope up. Beach access. It has it all.

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Erik S
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Hiking

Wonderful!

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Angelica G
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Hiking

sunny, hot, bring water, otherwise beautiful day today

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Cynthia Perez
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Hiking

Easy. Paved the whole way, a few lookout points. You get to see some whales too!

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Paul Baron
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Hiking

Great views easy walk paved walkway

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Monica Webb
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Hiking

So great with kids. Paved and easy, but it is a steady climb. Beautiful views. No bathrooms. Did later In the day (1600ish) and it wasn’t super crowded or hot.

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Wil Samudio
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Hiking
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Jonathan Riley
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Hiking
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Garima Gupta
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Hiking

Bit of a climb, but it's pretty easy. Nice views at the top.

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Burt Barnes
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Hiking

Good hike and paved all the way up

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Geoffrey Tucker
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Hiking
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FRANKLIN MURILLO
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HikingGreat!

This is an easy 3 mile roundtrip hike any family member can do along a well paved wide trail. There is no shade so bring a hat if you burn easily and don't expect to find a restroom either. The ocean views are stunning and along the way look out to see the whales jumping out of the water.

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Normando Mcclemmentz
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Hiking

Humpback Whales!!!

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Austen Johannessen
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Hiking

Easy out and back today was super hot! Sitting around 90 degrees! Wear some sun screen!

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Teresa Melick
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Hiking
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Jason A
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Walking

Easy walk. Entire family enjoyed it. Spectacular views of the coastline at the top.

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Mikaela Manuel
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WalkingGreat!

This was a really good hike to take a dog, mine really enjoyed it. Really crowded tho.

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William Kennard
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Hiking
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Jenny T
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HikingGreat!

What a surprise! I just happened to stop because I saw all of the cars parked. The trail was slightly steep but manageable. There’s great stops along the way to the top.

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Ben Allen
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Hiking
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Dara Nikolova
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WalkingGreat!

Great trail. Paved and completely exposed to sunlight. Wasn’t very windy when we were out. Beautiful views!

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Cass Zara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2021
HikingGreat!

Beautiful uphill paved trail, amazing view overlooking the beautiful ocean, whales and city.

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GIANCARLO MARINO
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Hiking
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Jennah Robichaud
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HikingGreat!No shade

We’ve done this trail a couple of times and have always enjoyed it. It’s paved but uphill and somewhat steep particularly at the beginning. The views are beautiful and we have seen whales every time we’ve gone. I’d recommend bringing water & sunscreen. The short climb from the top up to the pillboxes is also worthwhile if you’re there for sunset as you get a beautiful view of the sunset over the mountains.

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