Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail

EASY 1479 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: 4.0 km Elevation Gain: 154 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

historic site

Please note: the portion of this trail that goes to the lighthouse is reportedly closed. 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
2 days ago

Beautiful, easy trail. We started just as the gate opened (7 am) and we were able to watch the sun rise. The landscape is breathtaking. There are off trails as well if you’re feeling more adventurous. Highly recommend!

Nice paved walk. Definitely bring water!! Also the trail to the lighthouse is closed.

walking
no shade
5 days ago

Good views Tons of dogs. Some droppings on trail due to lazy dog owners.

hiking
no shade
6 days ago

Beautiful views, pretty much an incline all the way up.

hiking
no shade
8 days ago

Great view along the trail and at the trail end. The trail is not difficult but it felt long without shade and with constant elevation rise.

hiking
no shade
15 days ago

This is not an easy hike. It’s uphill non stop for more than 1 mile. I guess if you are a pro hiker this is easy. If you don’t go hiking often this will bring you a good sweat. The views at the top are spectacular. Totally worth it!

hiking
15 days ago

Went for a sunrise hike here and was not disappointed! Arrive around 6am, the gate will be closed (opens at 7), park on the road outside of the gate and hike around. I went on a week day and there was very little traffic on the trail and I had great views. Also hiked down to the blowholes (challenging, but not impossible as it is marked with spray painted arrows on the way back up) and hiked up to one of the pillboxes. Highly recommend!

Beautiful, decent. Wide open lookouts. Would come again. No shade. Bring water bottle. Short road up to the main lookout point. Very nice.

hiking
no shade
18 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Very easy and slight incline. Dog friendly and awesome views. Saw whales frolicking the whole time- which was cool!

Very easy way, short and feasible for everyone

Great views at the top.

Easy paved trail with spectacular views on a clear day. Crowded, but the path is wide enough for everyone.

hiking
no shade
26 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

10-31-19. Paved incline hike to view a spectacular lighthouse! Beautiful Ocean views and I spotted a mongoose along the way!!! Free/No washrooms

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Not much shade but it’s paved nicely. Incredible views. Easy hike but it does get hot.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this during sunset and it was beautiful! Super easy (paved, steady incline) and luckily because the sun was setting, it wasn’t too hot! Finished just as it was getting dark but so glad we did it! Nice little unexpected stop. Finished in about an hour with some time spent at the top. If you were doing this during the day, expect no shade!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Nice surfaced path out to a lookout just above the lighthouse. We also went up short distance on an unmaintained trail to the some old usc&gs reference markers and www lookout bunkers. Beautiful views, worth the hike even just to lighthouse lookout. Disappointing how much trash people ditch and graffiti cover every structure on the ridge, and the lighthouse trail, a descending trail to some awesome looking tide pools are gated off.

hiking
1 month ago

nice hike. my 2 year old was able to make it to the top. had to carry him down. wore him out.

Little to no shade, steep incline. Beautiful views at the top! Take water

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Love this hike, it is easy to do with kids, strollers, dogs, etc. There are a few trails that branch out from the paved trail, you can get some pretty amazing views if you're willing to adventure out. Signs say that in winter months, you may spot whales. Parking can be rough. There's a recycling can at the trail head.

recorded Recording - Oct 14, 10:37 AM

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

The trail is fully paved and an overall easy hike/walk up. The views are really gorgeous and you can learn a bit of the history on the way.

Super easy hike on a paved path up. Some decent incline but overall very beautiful and enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views at the top!! The water was so pretty. There was plenty of parking at the trailhead. Nice paved trail all the way to the top.

makapu'u trail is a fairly easy, paved walk up hill. The incline is not strenuous and very kid friendly. we saw lots of dogs, small children and strollers along the way. There are many comments about a lack of shade, but it was not noticable for our hike as it was an overcast day.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

pretty easy walk to the light house. it was very hot that day and no shade made it quite tough. bring plenty water and sunscreen. we did the offshoot to the tidal pools (I consider this part 5 star) which required a bit of scrambling but made this trip worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

short, paved, easy. can get crowded but has an amazing view! worth showing everyone

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

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