Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Lookout Trail

EASY 928 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

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!

walking
5 hours ago

Nice and easy, paved, uphill walk. Great views at the top. We did this later in the afternoon just to stretch our legs after Koko Head Crater trail.

hiking
no shade
2 days ago

2/16/2019-We started around 0830 which worked out better than the last time we tried to find parking and even managed to get a space closer to the trail head. The weather was partly sunny and we saw some of the rain clouds out over the ocean before they were pushed inland. All in all it was nice to finally get outdoors after not hiking/jogging/walking for the last couple of weeks!

hiking
6 days ago

This was a very fun little hike on the easternmost tip of Oahu. The path is paved - it took me about 20 minutes to run up the trail to the top. I loved the view of the Kaohikaipu from the lookout point. The lighthouse was lovely as well, but you have to hop some fences to get there. I highly recommend this hike! Mahalo!

10 days ago

Easy little walk with a nice lookout at the top.

hiking
12 days ago

Awesome trail and great views especially with whatever watching

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous view of the ocean at the top of the trail. Sometimes whales are spotted. Quite a challenging path for my little ones as it’s pretty steep for little legs. But a great hike especially going down!

no shade
13 days ago

parking is hit or miss. went mid morning. no shade. very well paved.

Was a great trail. Parking is a pain so decided to park near Sandy Beach (Ka-ili-ili) and walk over. The trail is completely paved up to the lookout. There are also trails that lead to the top of the ridge where you can see old bunker type buildings. Very nice for small children, plenty of stops to rest for the weary.

hiking
no shade
14 days ago

Steep Paved path with stunning views along the way. Lots of places to rest if needed.
No shade. Windy. Saw whale breaching!
Whales are far off- bring binoculars. Awesome view at top!

no shade
14 days ago

This is one of my favorite paved trails to take my dogs on a walk. There isn't much shade though so we try to go in the evening or morning. The view is gorgeous but there's a decent amount of people.

Beautiful paved trail for people with families, puppies, and disabilities. Many options for photo ops on this trail. Walk it all the way to the top for stunning view of Rabbit Island and bay. Mahalo.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful views!!! Only downside is how windy it is. Bring a hair tie and forget your hat!

22 days ago

This is a beautiful place to watch the sunrise. It's easy and you can do it without a flashlight. The path is paved and wide and the edge is painted white so you can see it easily in the dark. It can be really windy so take a light jacket. It is steep. There are plenty of lookout spots, though, where you can sit on the edge of the path if you choose not to walk all the way to the top. This hike is easy with kids. It took us ab 35 minutes to get to the top walking somewhat slowly. I recommend leaving a little bit of extra time for 2 reasons: in the minutes before the sunrise everything is a soft blue and it's beautiful. You'll want to take a few pictures AND it will give you a few minutes to fine a spot in case you want to venture off the paved path on one of the side trails or go back down a little bit away from all the people at the top.

28 days ago

Beautiful views. Wear comfy shoes & bring lots of water and sunscreen. The sun is brutal and there is no shade anywhere. Our first time and we saw whales. Awesome experience for our family.

29 days ago

It's uphill, but paved so seems more trail than hike to me. Regardless, beautiful views from the top.
Hiking down the "secret" trail to the tide pools definitely increased both the challenge and the adventure.

30 days ago

First of all, the parking! Wow!! can't do much about it, but when when you get a spot your good. The trail is paved all the way and you are in a moderate incline. Worth a morning stroll as we were fortunate to see a few whales early noonish!

hiking
1 month ago

Short, paved walkway. Beautiful views at the top. It’s more of a uphill walk than a hike, but certainly still enjoyable.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Upward incline the entire time with some Lookout spots along the way. Some off-paved paths that looked interesting but I wasn't that brave... One wrong foot and you could slip right down the cliffs. Not much to see along the way except cacti and scary spiders in the brush. Once you reach the lookouts to the ocean it's beautiful. Deep blue and you might catch a glimpse of a whale. We saw a little baby one playing in the distance. At one of the whale watch spots there's a steep Rocky trail down to the tide pools. Wanted to do it but it was really windy and we were already pooped as it was our second hike of the day. Heard they are a must see though. Saw tiny people down there floating in them.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Great trail to do with kids, elderly, dogs ...virtually doable for anyone! Paved trail with some steep parts throughout, easy incline and plenty of rest stops. Scenic hike throughout! Can catch whales breaching but they are quite far out. There are so many places to go off trail to (At your own risk) but incredibly worth it. You'll find tide pools down one of the off beaten paths, make sure you bring water shoes! Also, there is no shade throughout this hike so be mindful when it's hot out with no breeze.

hiking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

Short, sweet, side hike. Saw humpback whales. Lovely views and easy path.

1 month ago

Fun walk. Not really a hike because you are on pavement the entire time, but the views are spectacular. We were lucky enough to see humpback whales at the second lookout point. Bring water, sunscreen, and a hat because you're completely exposed the whole way.

walking
1 month ago

This hike is really a paved walkway, but has stellar views all around.

However, the best part of this hike is to venture down to the tide pools. They were one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Wear good shoes and be mindful of the waves.

1 month ago

Great easy hike

1 month ago

Beautiful walk. Too about 1.5 hours return Inclined paved walk. Great if you have prams, strollers.
Hubby and I are generally active and found this walk quite easy.

walking
1 month ago

Easy, completely paced, mobbed with tourists. The view over the city at sunset is beautiful. Took about an hour and a half for a VERY leisurely stroll up and down.

hiking
1 month ago

Great paved trail, wonderful views, and very family friendly. Not a lot of shade however so bring water. A lot of incline on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail....paved all the way through. Supposedly you can see whales but unfortunately I did not. Can get congested but for the most part everyone makes room for each other. Nice walk for kids.

walking
1 month ago

Very easy walk. It is at an incline but nothing hard. Windy in the AM

1 month ago

Awesome views! Paved road from bottom to top. I saw strollers, flip flops. No shades. Go early in the morning or when it cools down in the afternoon.

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