Hiking in Hawaii

Get off-road and explore!

Of all the things to do in Hawaii, hiking is most definitely the best way to see the islands. Get off the beaten track and discover the amazing tropical flora and fauna that made Hawaii famous. Trek through rainforests, past waterfalls, and along the rim of ancient volcanoes. Between the beach days and happy hour Mai Tais that immediately come to mind when you think of a dreamy Hawaiian holiday, you should make time to get out and about and burn off some of those huge resort breakfasts by hiking through the lush greenery of the islands.

If you are not a regular bush-walker there are a few things to bear in mind. The trails in Hawaii are often muddy so take sturdy shoes; pack plenty of water, snacks and sun cream; take a hiking buddy and let someone know where you are planning to go that day; and lastly, don’t forget the camera! The views are simply out of this world.

Diamond Head | Oahu

The fairly strenuous two-hour hike, though steep in parts, is well worth it for the 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki that is waiting for you at the top of this 300,000-year-old crater, and iconic Hawaiian landmark.

Manoa Falls | Oahu

Located at the end of Manoa road, the Manoa Falls trail is a fairly gentle 2.6km round trip. Follow the stream as it winds through the forest and ends up at the magnificent falls.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park | The Big Island

Offering over 240 kilometres of trails, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has something for everyone. From short 1.5k loops to all day adventures. See lava trails, steaming vents and volcanic craters; as well as well preserved native tree species and wildlife.

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail | The Big Island

Take a walk back in time with the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Crossing lava fields, beaches, and coastal paths, you can retrace the steps of the ancient Hawaiians while taking in the spectacular views.

Haleakalā National Park | Maui

Offering 48kms of hiking trails, the summit of the Haleakalā volcano is not to be missed. Drive up in darkness and witness the fantastic sunrise before taking a walk through the fabulous trails. Keep an eye out for the native, and increasingly rare endemic species of bird and plants that live on the summit.

Road to Hana | Maui

Among the must-see things to do in Hawaii is driving the Road to Hana. Make time for the Twin Falls hike on your road trip. Less than a kilometre each way, this hike is more of a meander, and you can take a dip in the falls to cool off too!

Kalalau Trail | Kauai

Although this trail stretches for nearly 18km along the Na Pali Coast, you need a permit if you want to walk past Hanakapiai Beach (approx. 3kms). Nestled between the volcanoes and the coast, this trail is nothing short of breathtaking. Make sure to allow around 3-4 hours for the return trip.

By Sarah Tayler

Sarah is an avid traveller. When not writing for My Hawaii, she can be found gallivanting around the globe. Sarah has a soft spot for Barcelona because she’s a sucker for Gaudi and tapas! She’s also a big fan of leisurely river cruising and loves nothing more than stopping off along the banks of the Loire Valley for a spot of wine tasting, visiting Bordeaux for the history and amazing French food.