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I will be the first to admit that sitting on the beach is awesome.  But at some point I’ve finished my magazines, drank too many Mai Tai’s and my butt goes numb.  I need to do something active!  And splashing around in the water doesn’t count.  It’s time to take a hike! 

Oahu is a beautiful island and it is full of fantastic hiking.  From short jaunts to full day treks, the island has a hike for everyone.  These are my top five hikes for scenery:

Lanikai Pillboxes
Location: Lanikai
Length: About a mile
Level of difficulty: Beginner to intermediate

This is a fairly steep 20-minute uphill hike that ends at two pillbox bunkers erected during World War II. The pillboxes offer sweeping views of the coastline.  The first pillbox offers views of Lanikai beach and the Makolua Islands while from the second pillbox you can see the entire windward side!

Mariner’s Ridge Trail
Location: Hawaii Kai, East Honolulu
Length: About 1.5 miles to the summit
Level of difficulty: Beginner

Mariner’s Ridge is the perfect day hike.  It’s a very scenic hike with various terrain. The view from the top of the ridge is stunning as you can see Waimanalo and Lanikai’s Mokulua Islands on the Windward side and Maunalua Bay and part of East Honolulu.  You’ll find the trailhead at the end of residential Kaluanui Road. The Mariner’s Ridge trail isn’t long—about 1.5 miles or 30 minutes to the summit. 
Mariner's Ridge
Mariner's Ridge
Pilbox Hike
Pilbox
Koko Head Crater Trail
Location: Hawaii Kai
Length: About 0.7 miles to the summit
Level of difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

“Why am I doing this?” 
Picture
Koko Head
This is what you will be asking yourself repeatedly on this hike.  It’s very steep and you will be breathing heavy through most of it.  There is also no shade so take a hit to avoid sunburn.  It takes some people as little as 15 minutes and other over an hour to get to the summit but it is worth it!  The views from the summit are breathtaking.  It’s more of a workout with an amazing view at the end but it provides one of the best views on the island. 

Kaena Point
Location: End of Highway 93 (if arriving from Waianae); end of Highway 930 (if arriving from Haleiwa)
Length: 3.5 miles
Level of difficulty: Beginner to intermediate

This trail winds around Kaena Point, the northwestern tip of Oahu.  This amazing stretch of coastline is the 59-acre Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, home to a variety of plants, birds, monk seals and other native coastal species. During whale season between November and April, It’s possible to see humpback whales off the coastline, breaching and playing with their calves.


Diamond Head
Location: Honolulu
Length: 1 mile
Level of difficulty: Beginner

This is a very popular and easy hike that offers fantastic views of the coastline and Waikiki.  Most tourists will visit Diamond Head and there is plenty of transport to the crater where the walk to the summit starts. 

Now, get off your bum and take a hike to see some of Oahu’s amazing landscape!
Koko Head Summit
From the summit of Koko Head
 


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