Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail

EASY 1029 reviews

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Honolulu, 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
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
505 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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!

23 hours ago

You get what is advertised.

hiking
7 days ago

Long, winding, but paved. Friendly hike, nice views of the ocean!

14 days ago

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is a paved and and scenic trail. You are given unobstructed picturesque views of the ocean, diverse terrain, and of course the historic lighthouse. Makapu'u Point Lighthouse was once an imperative navigational guide, and now it is a beautiful piece of architecture that everyone should experience in person. There are some other separate unpaved trails toward the top of the paved trail that lead to some pill boxes and offer opportunity to be more adventurous. I would suggest doing this trail shortly after it opens (I believe 7 am) as the parking fills up quickly. I recommend this trail for all skill levels and even families.

hiking
20 days ago

I love this trail. Very well maintained and it’s paved the whole way. There is a little incline up the first hill but after that it’s not bad. The views the entire way up and at the end are worth every second. I see people do it in sandals all of the time but I’d say some type of shoe is probably a better option. This should be enjoyable for the whole family. When I take my time it takes me about 40min-1hr to get back to my car. There’s normally plenty of parking. Enjoy!

hiking
21 days ago

11/24/2018-Started around 0815 and it wasn’t as crowded as usual which was pretty nice. The view from the top was on the crowded side and the sun peeked out from the clouds here and there but it was a good adventure overall.

hiking
21 days ago

maintained trail, paved path, not too steep or long so it's very easy. great views around the corner of the island and on a clear enough day you can see the other islands

23 days ago

Paved trail, moderate climb with pretty good views. I mapped it at less than 3 miles from the car. Pretty crowded

walking
23 days ago

Very easy upward climb, paved road all the way.

hiking
23 days ago

So worth the views!

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome hike. My fave place to come on my day off. Starting off with cardios/breathing and then captured amazing views. Then adventuring to the Summit is the breath-taking, picture capturing moments and great workout accomplished. Coming downhill, “pump your brakes!”

27 days ago

sad that the lighthouse is closed. nice paved road, decent workout. no whales yet

walking
1 month ago

Nice paved road up to the top with excellent views!

1 month ago

Great hike and beautiful views!

1 month ago

The hike to the lighthouse made for some amazing views. But the best pet was the alternative trail about half way up that led down tot the blowholes and natural pools that were at the shore line. People say it is crazy dangerous, but as long as you use common sense and take your time you shouldn’t have any problems. The water is amazing down low, and the views from the lighthouse were awesome. Easy hike to end the day with.

walking
1 month ago

Hot, sweaty, Achilles’ tendon challenging walk if you struggle with plantar fasciitis. Gorgeous views and so worth it.

1 month ago

Great easy out and back paved hike. Steep but the lookout pull offs make you really not notice the climb. Great views at the end!!!

1 month ago

Easy paved trail with great views all the way up.

1 month ago

Well kept and beautiful! Parking was easy. This hike is STEEP!

walking
1 month ago

Nice walk, great view.
i recommend it.

Beautiful safe and easy walk

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike, paved all the way up—though a pretty decent incline. It’s Hawaii, the views are great no matter where you are.

hiking
1 month ago

A good easy walk with great views.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy paved hike with great views of the windward side and ocean views as well as Koko head. Can be really hot with the sun beaming then windy as you head up higher. Good quick hike with stunning views though! FYI the lighthouse itself isn’t accessible for some reason I though it was.

hiking
1 month ago

First hike and it was amazing. It wasn't over crowded. We started at about 3:00 and they had lots of places to stop and rest. It does get hot and not to much wind until you get towards the top. Bring water and enjoy the view.

hiking
1 month ago

For my first hike ever it wasn’t bad. Paved and well maintained. Not a lot of people at 1200 and parking was easy. Saw some people swimming in the pools but I was not about to do that hike. Very kid friendly!

1 month ago

Paved road the whole way up with gorgeous lookout areas on the way to the top. Seasonally you can see whales migrating though they weren't there in mid October.

walking
2 months ago

10/14/2018-Started walking with the group around 0800 and encountered 20+ groups along the way. Lots of happy dogs out getting their fresh air and exercise. =) The sun was out but it made the water look inviting for a swim. Definitely recommend sun screen and 1L of water.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail itself is underwhelming. It's basically just a paved road winding up the hillside. But the views of the water are indescribable. The blue water is absolutely stunning, as is the view of Waimanalo and down the windward side. I strongly recommend going a bit off the track and up to the top through the stones. It's not too difficult, and there is a cool little bunker at the top with even more sweeping views.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy hike on asphalt all the way up. However, if you are capable take the side hike down to the pools. Really fun and a very cool blow hole as well.

hiking
2 months ago

All paved and a nice view from the top. No shade so wear a hat.

Load More