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Oahu has some of the best easy hikes for beginners in Hawaii. These hikes are great for hikers at all fitness levels. They are family-friendly hikes that the whole family can enjoy. However, please use your own discretion for your kids.
For any hike in Hawaii it is important to remember a few key things:
  • Bring water! (lots of water) Most hikes are full sun.
  • Wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. Don’t hike in your slippers (flip flops)
  • Park responsibly. Many trailheads are within neighbors and parking can be tricky and limited. So, be aware of where it’s appropriate to park.
  • Remember the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace, Episode 34
    1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
    2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
    3. Dispose of Waste Properly
    4. Leave What You Find
    5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
    6. Respect Wildlife
    7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Easy Hikes on Oahu for Beginners

1. Diamond Head Summit Trail

Roundtrip: 1.6 miles
Terrain: Hot, Dry
Elevation Gain: 560 ft
Location: Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

More Information

2. Makapu’U Point Lighthouse Trail

Roundtrip: 2.0 miles
Terrain: Hot, Dry
Elevation Gain: 500 ft
Location: Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

3. Moana Falls Trail

Roundtrip: 1.6 miles
Terrain: Shaded
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Location: 37 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822

4. Waimea Valley Trail

Roundtrip: 1.5 miles
Terrain: Shaded
Elevation Gain: 240 ft
Location: 59-864 Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712

5. Ehukai Pillbox Trail

Roundtrip: 1.6 miles
Terrain: Sunny/Shaded
Elevation Gain: 912 ft
Location: 59-178 Ke Nui Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712


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Bryan Murphy 0:00

Alright, so just dream with me for a minute. You're on Oahu. It's post kovan you're on the vacation of your life. And you realize that there's so many hikes to choose from, but you can't remember the last time you even stepped off the pavement. It's all good because there are so many hikes on Oahu that are great for beginners, any level of fitness. And in this episode, we're going to cover the top five easiest hikes on Oahu that you can't miss on your next vacation. So stay tuned.

Hawaii's Best 0:36

Welcome to Hawaii's Best travel podcast where we help you prepare for your next trip to Hawaii. Discover the experiences businesses and stories that make Hawaii the Aloha state. And now your host Brian Murphy

Bryan Murphy 0:51

Aloha and welcome to Episode 37 of Hawaii's Best. Murray helped provide tips, resources and support to help you succeed. The best of Hawaii on your next trip. Hopefully that's sooner rather than later. As of right now it looks like September 1 is the day that is slated for Trans Pacific travel to open up. We should hear an update from Governor egay in the next week or so, about if that is confirmed or not so fingers crossed, hoping that is, but we'll keep you posted with the latest and greatest on travel to Hawaii. Well, my name is Brian Murphy and I am the host of Hawaii's Best I'm also the owner here and at Hawaii's Best we provide travel guides, tips and local insight to help get the most out of your stay on the islands. We also love telling stories of the people behind some of these experiences on the island. So if you're new around here, I just want to say welcome. The best way to stay up to date on future episodes is to hit the subscribe button and if you've been listening for a while I just want to say Thank you so much big mahalo to you. You can go ahead and I'd be so encouraged to if you left a review, an honest review of what you think of the show. And if you have any suggestions about topics or even guests that we can interview on Hawaii's Best you can email us at contact at Hawaii's Best travel, calm,

and we respond to every email that we get. I just think that's super important to be able to connect in that way. So on today's episode, like I mentioned, we're talking about the best easiest tykes on the island of Oahu and now, even though these are quote, easiest, you're still probably gonna be feeling pretty sore after a couple of these hikes. I think one of the best ways to to reduce your soreness is through CBD oil and recently I found that it has helped me personally with some anxiety and helping fall asleep now after I was a bit reluctant to try CBD oil for some reason I thought it was it kind of felt taboo but after getting over myself I tried it and the team at Matera they want to give Hawaii's Best listeners 15% off their first purchase so if you go to Hawaii's Best travel calm slash CBD and enter the code Hawaii, you will get 15% off your first purchase. This is a brand that I trust and I personally use. I'm actually I have a screen open right now that I need to reorder some products so CBD is amazing. They comes in in gummies roll on applications or, or oil whatever is best for you. My wife Allie, she uses the the roll on application. She's had some car accidents in the past and it and sometimes hurt her neck and her shoulder area will flare up the CBD roll on really helps relax your muscles and just alleviates some of the pain so go to Hawaii's Best travel comm slash CBD for 15% off your first purchase, use promo code Hawaii. Alright, so let's get you back on the trail. Now Oahu, like I mentioned has some of the most incredible hikes in all of Hawaii. And it offers some, some really good easy options as well. Even though that these are easy options, I'm not, don't get me wrong, it there's still gonna be can be pretty trying to so you just want to take that into consideration but there's some hikes in Hawaii that are just crazy extreme that I'm not going to recommend in this episode maybe in a future episode. Me personally, I'm a family guy. I have three girls, I've talked about them before. A marry like I said, we love getting outdoors. We love going on family hikes. We've never been like huge adventurous like get the saddled up. Let's like let's just shred this mountain right now we've we've always been kind of outdoors, we love the outdoors. So I can relate if that is you, if that's not you, it's all good. But in this episode we're talking about the top five easy hikes. And I would say most of these you can do as a family. I would say a family that is a little bit more older, like if you have kids who are elementary age, they can probably hang on some of these hikes. If you have a newborn or an infant. There are a couple hikes that you can actually use a stroller and their stroller accessible so that is an option for you. But for any hike in Hawaii, it's important to remember just a few key things. Probably the most important being is to bring water and lots of water because most of the hikes in Hawaii are like full sun. Some of them you get a little shade break, but it can be super hot and as important To bring water and just always stay hydrated, because that's just you know, that's what mom says. So we're going to do that. The other thing is make sure you wear shoes that you don't mind getting money. Some of these hikes, a lot of these hikes, there's mud, there's water. So you want to make sure that you have some shoes. Probably not, you're like brand new, you know, Nike running shoes, you probably don't want to do that, but something that you don't mind, getting muddy, and getting all all messed up. Don't hiking your slippers, you know, your flip flops. Don't do that, because that's not going to be fun. Another thing to remember is Hark responsibly. Many of these trail heads that we talked about are within neighborhoods. And parking can be tricky and it can be limited. So just be aware that be aware of where you know where to park. You know, don't be dry. Don't be blocking people's driveways. If it's trash day, don't be blocking the trash, you

know, stuff like that just kind of common sense stuff just to be reminded But I think probably the one thing that might take you off guard is that a lot of these places are kind of off the beaten path and are in the middle of neighborhoods, or there's like a small parking lot designated to the trailhead, so you just kind of have to be mindful of where to park, when the park, how to park and all that good stuff. Another thing to remember is just the seven principles of Leave No Trace, back in Episode 34. We talked with Manny Liang and Spencer Lee, on Oahu about just some things to be reminded of whenever we're out in nature or wherever out, you know hiking. This is like how respect think about other people, and you're gonna have a good time. Now let's go ahead and get into the list. Number one is probably the most famous hike out of all the hikes in Hawaii and that is the diamondhead summit trail. Now this hike Is 1.6 miles round trip takes about two hours. It is hot and dry. So like I mentioned, you're gonna want to make sure you bring your water the elevation gain and this one is about 560 feet. So there are some stairs just to be aware of so when I talked about you know a stroller friendly hike, this isn't one of those but if you got you know a carrier that you can strap on you, you can probably do this with with your little one. Now the trail does summit law, which is the name of Diamond Head crater was built in 1908. As part of Ohio's coastal defensive system. The walk is a glimpse into you know, the Military History of the volcanic crater. And at the summit, you'll see bunkers on the crater rim and a navigational lighthouse built in 1917 along the coast, outside of the crater. Now when you think of Hawaii Probably one of the most iconic postcard images that come to mind is Diamond Head and you're gonna hike up Diamond Head summit and that is just such a cool, cool thing to do. So the trailhead is adjacent to the parking lot within Diamond Head state monument. The entrance is off of diamondhead road between makapuu Avenue and 18th Avenue in Honolulu. So entry fee is $5 per vehicle. So that's something to keep in mind. Or it's $1 per walk in visitor. The best time to do the hike on diamond is definitely in the morning. You can catch some epic sunrises from this hike. So that's just something to keep in mind. All right, moving along, just not too far away from Diamond Head

is makapuu Point Lighthouse trail. This one is two miles round trip and It is also hot and dry. There's not much shade of any shade on this hike. It's about a 500 foot elevation game. And this particular hike is one that is completely paved all the way to the end of the trail. So this one is definitely, if you have a stroller, this is a hike I would definitely recommend this is one that my family like we personally love doing this hike and if you're hiking between the month of like November and May, there is a chance that you might see some humpback whales along your hike, which is also pretty cool. There's also some lookouts along the way where you can stop take pictures and do that whole thing, which which makes the hike even better. It's one of the I think one of the better hikes the east side with just some of the views because once you get up to the top, you can see Rabbit Island you can see a lot of the east side. On the other side you can see Koko head crater as you're as you're going up which Which is pretty cool. A parking area offers access to the trailhead. The parking trailhead are located off of off of Highway 72 out the south eastern most point of Oahu. So from if you're in Honolulu from home you want to take h1 freeway East until it becomes highway 72 and follow that road beyond Hawaii Kai. Sandy Beach Park into your reach the park area adjacent to the highway. This is definitely one you don't want to mess because the the paved hike is incredible and the lookouts are amazing. So be sure to hit this one up on your next visit. Number three on the list is Manoa falls trail and it is just a quick drive outside of Waikiki and Manoa Valley. It's about $5 per person if you want to park This is probably one of the most accessible waterfall hikes or Wha hoo. It's an incredible fairy tale setting with huge hundred year old trees, bamboo forest, the whole the whole thing you think of last you think of Jurassic Park. Some of the images that conjure up when you think of those, those places, this has been all falls. And because of that this place is sometimes it's open. Sometimes it's close. A lot of times it's close. So if you're on Oahu, just be sure to look up to see if it is open. Because rainfall happens quite a bit. It is a muddy hike. So be aware of that. And also, you want to make sure you bring bug spray that's super important on this one. It's a short and heavily trafficked good trail, so just be aware of that. But it's incredible. So don't forget your camera. The trails open from sunup to sundown, however, it's highly recommended to not start the hike after 5:30pm Like I mentioned, this trail can be very muddy and slippery in areas. So I would definitely recommend to not hike when it is raining or it just rain. So just be aware that be smart. This trail is not accessible for baby strollers. So also be aware of that. But if you have, like I mentioned beginning of this episode, like elementary age kids, this could probably be one that you guys can do as a family, and you won't regret it. All right, number four, Waimea Valley Trail. This whole valley is pretty epic and full of rich history. So it's not just the trail. It's this whole experience is a little bit on the pricier side to get in, but it's totally worth it. It's $20. As of right now, hurdle, and $12 per child. And as you visit this sacred place, just please be mindful to not touch the server remove any rocks or anything or any objects just out of respect. For this truly special place, Wai man Valley is a magnificent botanical garden on Oahu. Northshore. With over 5000 variety of plants and incredible Hawaiian cultural sites within this incredible oasis of Waimea Valley is the y Mountain Valley Trail. This hike is 1.5 miles roundtrip and an elevation of only 240. This is something that I think the whole family could definitely enjoy. You want to make sure you check out Wyman Valley on the North Shore of Oahu and wrapping up the list on the top five easiest like to do on a wahoo is the sunset pillbox hike on the North Shore, located behind sunset elementary this hike will take you about 30 minutes to climb to the top. It is 1.6 miles round trip. It is pretty covered it with with shame And it can be muddy. So be aware that the elevation is 912 feet, so you will definitely be doing some climbing. But once you get to the top after about a half hour in the flat terrain and inclines and plateaus, you'll reach a top and you'll get to explore the historic bunker and beautiful surrounding views of the North Shore. And if you're on Instagram, you may have seen pictures of this hike. It's the it's the hike with the you know, the big piece signs painted on it on the pillbox. So be sure and grab your camera with you get your selfie, get the BAM you know, get the picture of the family and the whole thing. And this can be one that the whole family can definitely enjoy. So that's the Sunset Beach pillbox hike. But what about you? What I do we miss what are your favorite hikes on a wahoo that is, you know, beginner friendly, someone who doesn't hike all the time. But definitely you're gonna work up a sweat on all these hikes, but what about you? What are what are some of your top hikes to do on the island of Oahu love to hear from you what those are.

And since you made it this far, I would just love it if you can leave a quick and honest review of what you think of the show. And until next time, be Well, hello.

Hawaii's Best 16:24

Thanks for listening to Hawaii's Best travel podcast. To stay up to date on future episodes. Be sure to subscribe. For more information to help you plan your next trip to Hawaii visit Hawaii's Best travel.com

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Bryan Murphy
Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.