Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail (Kaiwi)

EASY 772 reviews

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail (Kaiwi) is a 3.2 mile moderately 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
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
807 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

surfing

trail running

walking

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

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

Pretty views, and great whale sighting during the season. Definitely a walk as the path is well paved (moms with strollers jog this all the time). Great for anyone that needs an even surface.

hiking
6 days ago

Great ! Really easy, you can use stroller and is very easy for kids, beautiful view.

7 days ago

Good steady incline with a lot of great view opportunities. Great birding in the morning

walking
10 days ago

This hike/walk is PAVED the whole way— you can use a stroller!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been on several “kid friendly” trails on O’ahu and they were all disasters and (to my knowledge) this is the only ***stroller friendly*** hike/uphill walk I have discovered so far! It is very well maintained with beautiful scenery and stopping points throughout. The only issue you might encounter is limited parking.

10 days ago

Almost on the top, there is a way on the right side, you can see the lighthouse really near.

You can find the tide pools too.

12 days ago

Easy hike ,great for dogs and small kids!I was able to spot whales!Very enjoyable walk.I recommend it. Picturesque views.

25 days ago

Easy with a wide paved trail. The view is gorgeous.

hiking
29 days ago

Not really a hike, more of a moderate intensity uphill walk. Still very enjoyable. There are several points at which you can walk off the paved path and climb to the cliff face. The views are incredible. Saw some blowholes as well. No whale sightings unfortunately. Once you reach the lighthouse you’ll see an unpaved path that will take you up to the pillboxes. Cool views from there as well.

1 month ago

Easy and beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

My family and I had an amazing experience. It is kid and dog friendly and as well very easy to make it up with a stroller. I recommend this trail to all age groups .

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike.

1 month ago

Enjoyable hike for all fitness levels, paved completely to the top. Come early or you’ll have to park on the street. No whales this time.

hiking
1 month ago

3/11/2018-Started with the group around 0815 and passed 20+ groups of hikers (quite a few of them brought their dogs along). Weather was mostly overcast and windy so it was a little chillier than usual. Didn’t see any whales on this run but did see some birds flying around and a mongoose.

1 month ago

Easy paved hike. It is steep but quite a few places to stop and rest/check out views. No shade.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike for the tidepools -- to find them head to the first lookout with binoculars (you'll see signs indicating possibility of a whale sighting). There's a sort of natural "staircase" of rocks leading down to the tidepools, and someone has been kind enough to mark the path with white arrows and dots spraypainted on the rocks. It's totally worth it to go down there but be sure to go down around low tide since high tide may be a bit more dangerous for getting into the pools. Amazing, breathtaking, and if you're the only people down there it's even more special.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike twice - once to get to the lighthouse and once to head down to the tide pools. It’s a slow-climbing, easy, winding hike that had extraordinary views of the countryside on the first half and nice ocean views on the other. The hike itself is paved and not too special but the tide pools are a lot of fun to get to (hike almost to the top of the hill and then head down the black rocks, very easy to spot) and explore. Very popular spot for tourists and joggers. I recommend bringing water since it’s a longer hike than it looks.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, completely paved, very family (and dog and stroller) friendly hike with gorgeous views. The trail is entirely exposed, so wear sunscreen and bring water, especially if you don't get an early start.

Depending on the season, you may be able to see migrating whales without binoculars.

hiking
1 month ago

3/3/2018-Started around 0800 and saw about 20+ groups of people walking on the path. Finding an open parking spot was pretty easy this time around. Weather was nice and chilly but no whales in sight on this trip for me.

hiking
1 month ago

easy hike, just walking up but it does get tiring. however, there are a few view points for you to rest on the way up. saw some whales jumping that was surreal. pretty nice hike

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is paved all the way up - steep but safe. We saw people running, Moms and Dads carrying kids and pushing strollers, and folks of all ages. We arrived about 8:30 am and found a parking place right away. The day was overcast and cool which made this hike extremely pleasant. There are several viewing places along the way. The views are spectacular and the whale watching fantastic. Sunscreen! Water!

2 months ago

Nice easy hike on a paved road. My wife (21 weeks pregnant) and I hiked to the top. We saw a whale breach 4 times which was awesome! Definitely need sunscreen or an umbrella if you want to stay out of the sun. There is little shade. Lots of viewing stations with helpful information plaques of culture or wildlife. Parking can be difficult, many have to park on the street.

2 months ago

Nice scenic hike. We saw some whales , a few very close to the shore which was really neat. We also hiked the little path that leads to the lighthouse although the lighthouse itself is fenced off but it was still really cool. Go early in the morning or closer to sunset as it will get HOT!!

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely walk along tarmac trail. Limited shade so sunscreen is a must. Beautiful views across the ocean. Whales can been seen splashing about!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike, fairly quick and easy. Stunning view.

2 months ago

Beautiful! Saw lots of whales!

2 months ago

A lot of people do this hike everyday! So please be ready to hike a crowded hike with lots of traffic. Sometimes hard to find parking inside the lot, you can park outside of the lot alongside the highway if need. It can be hot but this trail is very easy, great for dog walking and kids, the views are awesome. WHALE WATCHERS!

2 months ago

easy going but fun trail

2 months ago

Great view, fun little side trail to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is fenced off but you can try to squeeze in there to get closer.

2 months ago

It’s a really easy hike to get to the lighthouse. We always come here to do the tide pools hike. Just mind the coral if you decide to swim. You can see Lanai, Molokai, and west Maui from the trail on a clear day. It has only been clear enough to see them all once.

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely one of the easier trails on O’ahu. Paved all the way, If you are looking for a little more of a challenge climb up the rocks to the old bunkers! Still easy enough for a beginner hiker like myself! Also saw some whales, which was an added bonus!

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