Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail

EASY 1032 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

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!

2 days ago

A very easy, paved trail. It's the best place to see the sunrise! We enjoyed our last day in Hawaii with this trail! In total it took us about an hour total there and back.

hiking
2 days ago

Very nice paved trail. Easy. Great around sunset. Kid friendly and pet friendly.

hiking
2 days ago

Very nice paved trail. Easy. Great around sunset. Kid friendly and pet friendly.

hiking
2 days ago

This is far too touristy and trafficked. Don't leave your valuables in the car when you park; theft is frequent.

hiking
no shade
4 days ago

Easy walk up the paved single Lane road to the summit. Great photo ops.

hiking
no shade
4 days ago

This is a very doable hike in Hawaii. the trail is paved all the way to the top, but is also more hot because of the pavement and no shade. There's not a whole lot to look at, until you get to the top and have a beautiful view of the lighthouse and almost the entire East side of Oahu.

hiking
7 days ago

Paved trail that is heavily trafficked. However, it is worth it as the views throughout the hike are incredible and it is a good cardio workout!

hiking
no shade
11 days ago

Paved trail. Highly trafficked. There is a pillbox or two off trail that are easy to get to with amazing views.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful and so easy!

hiking
12 days ago

One of my first hikes in 2016. Not my favorite but it’s well loved my all. There’s supposedly a pillbox if you go off the trail (google it!) and tidepools down below but use caution. HOT! Paved trail adds to the heat. Lots lots lots of water.

hiking
no shade
12 days ago

Amazing trail and amazing views. No shade or water near.

hiking
16 days ago

Not too bad of a hike.

hiking
no shade
17 days ago

I'd say it's more moderate difficulty due to the fact it's just uphill with little shade. The views at the top are amazing!!

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views all around and well worth the hike up. Great work out if you chose to go fast. Many people are there so go early! Bring water and a light slicker in case it rains. Windy, but not bad. I love to take visitors on this trail!!!

hiking
no shade
26 days ago

hiking
no shade
27 days 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
27 days 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty easy

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Favorite spot

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
off trail
1 month 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
1 month 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

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

Very nice hike with amazing view!

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