When most people think of Hawaii, the first thing that comes to mind is the beaches. But there is another amazing aspect of Hawaii life that is often overlooked – hiking. With brilliant weather, and stunning geography, Hawaii is home to some of the country’s greatest hiking and here are 15 trails to prove it.
1) Koko Head Crater, Oahu
1100 stairs up to the rim of a dormant volcano, this hike will knock the wind right out of you – but it is well worth it, of course.
2) Papakolea Beach Trail, Big Island
Situated on the southernmost tip of the United States, this brilliant trek is home to one of only two green-sand beaches in the entire world. And that is pretty dang cool.
3) Hanakapiai Beach Trail, Kauai
Hike two miles to reach a gorgeous beach. You can either rest here, or add another two miles to reach Hanakapiai falls – your choice.
4) Maunawili Falls, Oahu
Perhaps one of Oahu’s most stunning hidden waterfalls, this trek through the mud is never uphill for too long and offers the opportunity to jump in a beautiful waterfall at the end.
5) Pipiwai Trail, Maui
This four mile round trip hike features stellar views, a gorgeous banyan tree, a bamboo forest and a waterfall. Can you really ask for more?
6) Kilauea Iki Trail, Big Island
Wildly popular among Volcanoes National Park visitors, this four mile loop trail includes the remains of the 1959 volcanic eruption.
7) Kalalau Trail, Kauai
This strenuous 11-mile trail located along the Na Pali Coast is definitely not recommended for the hiking beginner.
8) Lanakai Pillboxes, Oahu
A short hike up to three old U.S. Marine pillboxes on Oahu’s east side provide views of Kailua Bay, Kaneohe and beyond.
9) Sliding Sands Trail, Maui
Located near the Haleakala Crater, this hike provides a stunning contrast to the typical Hawaiian landscape.
10) Thurston Lava Tube, Big Island
Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this short 20-minute walk through a thick forest leads visitors to a 500 foot lava tube that once carried molten lava.
11) Pu'U'Ohulu Kai, Oahu
Located on Oahu’s west side, the directions may be a little sketchy; “Turn onto Kaukama Street, and park near the eleventh light pole.” But the views from the pillboxes on top of the mountain are totally worth the confusion.
12) Waihee Ridge Trail, Maui
This five mile hike ascends 1,500 feet, rewarding hikers with breathtaking views at the summit.
13) Muliwai Trail, Big Island
Located in the Waipio Valley, this hike can be as long as you want – up to 17 miles if you’re up for it!
14) Nualolo Trail, Kauai
A 7.5 mile round trip trek, this is a Koke’e State Park favorite. Other shorter Koke’e hikes include Canyon Trail, Awa’awapuhi, Honopu Ridge, Kalepa Ridge and Pihea Trail.
15) Stairway to Heaven, Oahu
Though this hike is extremely difficult, illegal and dangerous, it is hard to deny the incredible view. We clearly don’t endorse this hike but it wouldn’t be a list of Hawaii hikes without at least mentioning the most famous.
We know there are a thousand additional hiking spots in Hawaii both advertised to visitors and those that locals wish to remain as secret as possible. But which is your favorite from this list?