I recently visited the breathtaking island of Oahu with my sister and three of our close friends. I always joke that when we go on vacation it’s not the relaxing type… it’s the go go go type. I think there’s just too much beauty to miss out on when you’re only on the islands for 10 days, so our vacation consisted of a lot of hiking, swimming and eating. And today I’m sharing 4 of my favorite hikes with you.
The Ehukai Pillbox Hike
This one is seriously one of my favorite tropical hikes ever. It’s short and sweet, with some intense inclined portions. I love getting to experience several different sceneries within this one hike. First you weave through a rainforest-like atmosphere, then you go through a dirt path that is interwoven with tree roots and slippery from mud, next you walk through a serene path that is lined with delicate hanging trees that are light in color… and finally you make it to an opening where you see the ocean and the first abandoned military pillbox. You can even go inside of it where there is graffiti and a view of the shoreline. Make your way down the trail a bit further and you’ll run into the second pillbox where a peace sign is painted with the word “peace”- making for a great photo op. This is located on the Northshore, overlooking the famous Pipeline beach.
I will warn you that this had a “Do not enter” warning sign at the start of the trailhead. So honestly I’m not sure if it’s illegal or just frowned upon. My sister and I bravely began this hike on a windy, overcast morning. Luckily we didn’t know what to expect… because sometimes it’s better not knowing and just going for, it if you know what I mean.
I am pretty scared of heights, so this one was one of the most challenging hikes for me. But nonetheless, the views were definitely worth it. It is a short, but steep hike. You begin by gradually climbing a muddy path where there are ropes to help you out on the sides. Then you make it out of the trees and find yourself on the side of a very steep mountain ridge, which you slowly walk along (and hope you don’t die) for a while. Finally you will find yourself right above the famous hole in the mountain face where you’ll have to climb down to. I am probably making this hike seem scarier than it is, but that’s just because I’m afraid of heights and had a few mini panic attacks. But I made it and I’m happy that it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Couldn’t have done it without my sister, who is fearless when it comes to heights!
Koko Head Crater @ Sunrise
Koko head is a well known hike located in Hawaii Kai. It consists of 1,048 steps to the top of a large mountain. It was my fourth time doing it, but my first time attempting it at sunrise. My sister and I started around 4:30 when we needed flash lights to see where we were going. Luckily it was much cooler than hiking it during the day, but that didn’t stop us from dripping sweat and labored breathing (lol). Even if you think you’re in good shape, Koko head will kick your butt on the way up. But man is it worth it when you make it to the top… especially at sunrise, the feeling and the views were unreal. I love the feeling of being up before the sun, the anticipation before it rises and the stillness you experience on the top of a mountain when the skies are painted with pinks, blues and purples.
The Makapu’u Tide Pools
You will find this hidden gem on the way to the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike. I don’t know if it’s actually considered a hike, because it is basically just climbing down the side of a rocky mountain. Nevertheless, once you make it down the make shift path you’ll find yourself in awe of the clear, emerald water and serene closeness to the powerful crashing waves. There are multiple large tide pools that you can swim and snorkel in- so bring some goggles. I would recommend going at high tide (which was 11 am while we were there) because the tide pools will have more water in them. Be careful of large sets that crash on the rocks, you don’t want to be swept into the ocean at that location.
I hope my hiking suggestions were helpful for anyone traveling to Oahu. If you want me to write about places to eat or beaches to go to, please leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to make another post!
Thanks for reading, xoxo 💛
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