Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail (Kaiwi)

EASY 676 reviews

Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail (Kaiwi) is a 3.3 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
3.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
918 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!

23 hours ago

The Views!
Catching Bus from Waikiki was easy
Walking along shoulder of road was ok, single file not recommended for groups with kiddos

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous views

1 day ago

Very easy hike but it does have a constant steady incline the whole way. There are rest points with amazing views and fun historical facts you can read along the way. There is no shade so be prepared for constant sun exposure. If you have little tikes who may tire, bring a stroller or wagon. If you do this during the right months, you are almost guaranteed to see whales.

walking
4 days ago

Awesome views all around. I suggest going in Jan or Feb and you'll see plenty of whales. We also could see the next island over.

4 days ago

Beautiful views!

4 days ago

Fairly easy trail, paved the whole way to the top. Nice view of the lighthouse and the coast line from there. There’s a small unpaved trail to the next ridgeline that also offers a great view of the coast and the lighthouse, that’s not totally populated with people. Hiking boots or hard soled court shoes required for that. That was my favorite!

Awesome trail ... ZayRod

6 days ago

Great got the views!

hiking
9 days ago

This is a nice trail for all! It’s steep but paved well that lots of wheelchairs & strollers were on there too. Many lookout points to rest at and signs explaining what is around. If you are for a little more challenge check out the bunkers/ pillboxes at the top: Cool views and just a little extra challenge with short rocky trail. You need sunscreen & water, go to the bathroom before you park, there’s a public beach about 1/4 mile away across from sea park. Please take in what you bring to keep the trails clean for others. Mahalo!

hiking
11 days ago

Super easy. Step off the trail a little to challenge yourself on mini-side tracks. Walk up onto a grassy mountain but be careful not to slip off. Very steep! An information that nobody tells you: the lighthouse is not accessible to public. Not even closer look of the lighthouse itself from the outside. You either walk around it ever so slightly or looking at it from the top. Still gorgeous views and worth the easy walk 50 minutes one way. Free, easy and convenient parking.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice paved trail with gradual incline. Beautiful views.

walking
13 days ago

nice incline going ng up and all downhill heading back to the start. Arrived around noon on a Saturday and not too many people was in the route. Definitely enjoyable and has plenty of stops/lookouts to enjoy the view.

Nice view, paved path up a hill, definitely a good workout with a stroller, but if you come here to find peace and solitude you are at the wrong spot. This place gets very crowded with lots of families

hiking
14 days ago

Did the hike with a small group including 2 of my kids, ages 5 & 6. They did it no problem. Also had a stroller and it was no problem with that either. Definitely take snacks and water.

hiking
16 days ago

A fairly easy hike, all newly paved (2017 or so), wide with decent lookouts. Unfortunately, the best views are from the now closed lighthouse trail. Pleasant hike, but mostly forgettable, compared to some other hikes of equal or even easier difficulty, such as Manoa Cliff/Falls.

However, this is an above average hike, if you are looking for something that's accessible with a stroller. The pavement is smooth, the trail is wide, and you'll get nice views.

16 days ago

It’s definitely family friendly, but it’s a very steep path upwards. It’s an awesome workout with a stroller!
It’s paved all the way up, and there are some awesome views.
Our favorite, though, was going along the path at the bottom. It leads along a dirt and sometimes rock path to a small wading pool. The rocks form a few smaller pools to the side, and the waves crash beautifully to the sides! It’s so much fun for the littles!
We built sand castles, played in the tide, and even searched for crabs and fish in the side pools!

17 days ago

Easy trail to hike.

17 days ago

Extremely easy trail, paved and wide. Stunning views with info markers along the way. Fun watching the paragliders flying through the air at the top. Gorgeous views from the top!

walking
18 days ago

This was a great morning hike. It’s entirely paved with a great breeze. (Its January) the sun wasn’t brutal and the views are amazing. It took us an hour up and back.

18 days ago

We like this hike and usually bring our guest here because pretty much anyone can do this one. usually crowded.

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