Oahu is one of the eight islands in Hawaii. It is considered the third largest island in Hawaii, with over 600 square miles. The Big Island is the largest, and Maui is the second largest.
Oahu has over 1.4 million residents and is the most popular among tourists. The well-known Honolulu (a city on Oahu) and Waikiki (a district of Honolulu) can be found on Oahu island.
Regions of Oahu
Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii, found on the south shore of Oahu. The city is home to world-class shopping, dining, and of the fine Waikiki beach. The most notable landmark of Hawaii, the Pearl Harbor Memorial, is found in Honolulu.
Oahu’s east shore (also known as Windward Oahu) is located 30 minutes from Waikiki and Honolulu. The windward side is the wet, rainy, and more lush, green, and tropical section. The towns on the east shore are Kaneohe, Kailua, Kahalu’u, Kualoa, Ka’a’awa, Waimanalo, Waiahole, and Waikane.
Central Oahu is divided into three: Pearl City (south), Mililani (center), and Wahiawa (north).
The leeward coast, or the western side of Oahu, is just 25 minutes from Waikiki. The towns included in this region are Nanikuli, Maile, Waianae, and Makaha.
The north shore of Oahu is divided by a coastal area between Ka’ena Point in the west and Kahuku point in the east.
Top Hiking Trails in Oahu
1. Koko Crater Tramway to Kokohead Lookout
Location and Trail length: a 2.6- mile out-and-back trail near Honolulu, Oahu, which might take up to an hour and a half to complete.
View: A trendy area to hike among tourists visiting Oahu because of its panoramic view of the east Honolulu shoreline.
2. Diamond Head (Le’ahi) Summit Trail
Location and Trail length: a 1.6-mile round trip located in Honolulu. The trail was built as part of Oahu’s coastal defense system in 1908.
View: The hike provides insight into the geological and military history of the Diamond Head crater. Most of the trail is a naturally tuff face, with many twists traversing the sharp inner slopes of the crater wall. The climb continues up steep stairs and through a 225-foot lighted tunnel. At the top, the Crater Rim Bunker and the Nautical Lighthouse made in 1917 are visible. The scenery of Oahu’s southeastern coastline from Koko Head to Waianae is breathtaking, and humpback whales sometimes pass by in winter.
3. Manoa Falls Trail
Location and Trail length: a 1.6-mile round-trip trail and part of the Honolulu Makau Trail System. The trail leads to a 150-foot waterfall called Manoa Falls and might take an hour to complete.
View: The trail is a simple walk-hike spectrum suitable for kids. It offers a luscious view of the Manoa Valley at the trail’s end. The best thing about the track is the shade given by enormous eucalyptus trees. Along the way are some old-growth banyan trees and tropical flowers. The location is also remarkable for being included in some scenes of the show Lost and the movie Jurassic Park.
4. Kuliouou Ridge Trail
Location and Trail length: a 4.4 miles round-trip trail in Honolulu, which will take about three to four hours to complete.
View: This trail climbs about 1,800 feet to reach the summit of the impressive Kuriuu Ridge and the complete picture of the landscape. The course is steep, wet, and slippery, so it’s best to be prepared for muddy conditions.
5. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Location and Trail Length: a 2.5 miles round-trip miles trail of Waimanalo, Oahu. The trail can be completed in an hour and about 15 minutes.
View: The trail is one of the popular hikes because of the historic lighthouse built in 1909. The track is also one of the few paved and well-maintained hikes on the island, which allows families to bring their children without a problem.
6. Aiea Loop Trail
Location and Trail Length: a 4.8-mile trail begins and ends in a park. The trail runs along the ridge of the west side of Halawa Valley.
View: The trail offers views of the southern coastline of O’ahu from Pu’ulua to Wai’anae range to Honolulu and to Le’ahi. There are a lot of eucalyptus trees along the way.
7. Olomana Trail
Location and Trail Length: a 4.4-mile round trip near Kailua, Oahu. The trail will take 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete.
View: There are three peaks the trail presents. The first peak, Mount Olomana, is about 1.5 miles high with steep slopes on both sides, takes about an hour and a half to hike, and gives tourists a 360-degree view of the landscape. It’s a steep downhill to the second summit. The next peak is less challenging but offers excellent views. The third peak requires a 4th-grade technical scramble (refers to a difficult and exposed scrambling on very steep terrain, which should only be climbed by experienced scramblers with the aid of a rope for safety).
8. Kaiwa Ridge Trail
Location and Trail Length: a 1.7-mile round-trip trail near Kailua, Ohau, will take an hour and about 10 minutes to finish.
View: The hike offers a great view of Lanikai and Kailua. Some sections of the trail are steep, do not have guardrails, and might require scrambling. The walk is also a challenging one, just like Olamana Trail.
9. Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
Location and Trail Length: approximately 5-mile round-trip trail near Honolulu, Oahu.
View: From the top of the ridge at approximately 1,600 feet, enjoy panoramic views of Waikiki, Honolulu, Waimanalo, and Konawanui, the highest peak of the Koolau Mountains.
10. Waimano Falls Trail
Location and Trail Length: a 2.9-mile round-trip trail near Pearl City, Oahu. The hike can be finished in about an hour and 4o minutes.
View: At the trail’s end, there is a small waterfall in a jacuzzi–sized natural pool area. Another beautiful waterfall drips into a deep pool with large ropes marked with white dots indicating where tourists can jump off.
Oahu is not just famous for having the capital city in its location but also because of the fun-hiking trails available in the area, which are enjoyed by adventurous tourists.