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Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail

EASY 1009 reviews

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail is a 4.0 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
154 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

beach

paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

historic site

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!

hiking
no shade
22 hours ago

hiking
no shade
1 day ago

PARK: recommend arriving before 10 am to get a parking spot, especially on the weekends. Otherwise, you may need to wait until someone leaves. HIKE: as others have stated, there is NO shade. It is a wide paved trail suitable for strollers (looks more like a single-lane road). There are four lookout spots to take a breather and photos. The lighthouse view from lookout four is cool but island views from the top are amazing. This hike is known for whale sightings (not today, season needs to be right). BRING: water, hat, sunscreen, camera, dog on leash. COMPARE: likely should be rated between easy and moderate due to constant elevation climb. If wheelchair bound, there is an option to see top of incline (other side island view) but there are a dozen stairs at the highest landing.

hiking
1 day ago

The trail was super easy pathed road and the view was breath taking there are a lot of little trails off of the main in so definitely make a day out of it and you can wear a bathing suit many places to get down to the water at

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful. Easy with kids (you can use a stroller). Amazing views.

hiking
4 days ago

Pretty easy

hiking
no shade
6 days ago

Favorite spot

hiking
7 days ago

Steady incline to the top with spectacular viewpoints along the entire hike. This is rated as “easy”; however, I (50 YO in good health) rate this as a moderate hike. The paved trail all the way to the top is nice, but can feel hot as the sun beats down on it (and you). Bring plenty of water. It took us approximately 1.0-1.5 hours to complete.

hiking
no shade
8 days ago

With 1 being the easiest, 10 the hardest. As a 60 yo in good health I rate this a 6 to 6.5. A cardio workout being a steady incline to the top. Wide paved trail has ocean breezes, panoramic views and a couple stone benches to rest at the lookouts. Shade was scarce. The return backtrack was all downhill. Bring water. Views are nice along most of the trail so no need to feel you have to go the entirely to the top.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike. Easy path but quick elevation gain. You can’t actually get to the lighthouse but still beautiful.

hiking
no shade
13 days ago

hiking
off trail
14 days ago

View was amazing But coming down we took a trail that took us to the blowhole and the water we enjoy it so much No good for kids or dogs

hiking
bugs
no shade
14 days ago

Although this is a paved trail, I would list it under moderate instead of easy because it’s a for sure workout and compared to diamond head and other paved tracks it’s more difficult. The asphalt is a problem! If you go during the afternoon it will add an extreme level of heat beneath you. On the way up it was hot on the way down the clouds covered the sky making the asphalt cooler. I walked up and ran down. The lighthouse is beautiful although there is no way to actually get to it. There are many scenic lookouts to take cool pictures and learn a little about the trails history. I can not stress this enough...dress light and bring water!!! Very good trail to do with a friend and have in-depth talks about stuff lol

17 days ago

This is a good paved walking path up a mountain/hill. Best done at 6am to avoid most tourist and the heat. Once on top you can look down at the lighthouse and look out over the ocean to see the sunrise.

hiking
no shade
17 days ago

Completely paved family friendly trail leading to the top with mostly no shade. The views were pretty but I found that other trails on the island provided more to see.

To whale pillbox to watch the sunrise.

hiking
no shade
28 days ago

Very nice hike with amazing view!

hiking
1 month ago

Best views on Oahu. In March - we could see whales from this trail. Amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views!! Very easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful view!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views along the way! Very easy to hike. Bring water as there is very little shade. Lots of little spots to stop and read about the history, and see extra things :)

hiking
1 month ago

55 minutes up and down 2.5 miles. Good, easy paved hike. Got there fairly early, and was not too crowded. For sure would say get there by 730-8 to avoid large masses of people. Really good views from the top, with not a ton of work to put in for it. Recommend.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Paved all the way. Incline all the way. Ends with a great view. Same view can be achieved by driving just north of the trail at the lookout point, however.

no shade
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Great hike with kids. The path is completely paved. Bring sunscreen and a hat though because it is completely in the sun. We did this trail around 11am but I would recommend going earlier if possible. Parking gets semi crowded. We were able to see humpback whales from the second viewing point.

loved this just go early like 7-8a.m. or the sun will get you!

no shade
1 month ago

entirely paved, pretty good ascent. several scenic spots along the route. gorgeous views! I didn't see any whales today.

Very good workout. Local Navy does this one often. Took me longer because I'm out of shape, but highly recommended.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

The trail is entirely paved and the views are incredible! No shade at all. We didn't check out the tide pools today because it was a bit crowded and the surf was low, so the pools looked a little stagnant. There's also an unpaved trail you can explore from the peak, which I hear leads to a couple additional pillbox views. It's a hike my mid-60s mom could handle, so we'll definitely be back as family visits. Might recommend against weekends as it was incredibly busy and many people played loud music on speakers as they hiked. It's whale season until May, so bring your binoculars! We saw whales constantly!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy trail as it is paved all the way. Incline all the way up but never too steep. Great views with plenty of lookout points to stop for a little rest. After you climb the stairs to the top lookout point you can tackle the small hill just to the left of the lookout as there are 2 pillboxes with great views. This trail is not paved but it is a pretty easy, rocky climb to the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome views from the top! Very windy! Make sure to take some sunscreen! My boyfriend got burnt because he forgot! Worth the trip up there!

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