If you’re looking for an easy hike on Oahu, you’re in for a little surprise. Oahu hikes aren’t as easy as ones you’ll find on Maui. They’re a little more challenging with steeper climbs and slippery slopes. But in exchange, they are absolutely beautiful. 

We’ve rounded up the seven best easy hikes on Oahu. While they’re not all paved or flat, many of them we’ve done with our toddler in tow.

Video of the Best Easy Hikes on Oahu

While we can describe what each trail looks like, sometimes it’s better to just see for yourself. We made a video of the best easy hikes on Oahu, so you can see for yourself which ones you’d like to do.

 

The 7 Best Easy Hikes on Oahu

Here are the best, easy hikes on Oahu. You’ll notice that for most of them, you’ll need to drive (taxi and uber just won’t work). We always use Discount Hawaii Car Rental when visiting other islands because they always deliver crazy low prices that have saved us a lot of money. Grab your rental car and let’s get to the hikes: 

 

1. Waimea Valley Hike

Location: North shore, Google Maps directions

Length: 1.9 mile

Parking: Large parking lot for Waimea Valley visitors

Entrance fee: $20 for adults, $12 for children. More fee details here

This is hands down our favorite easy hike on Oahu. Yes, there’s an entrance fee, but we love this hike because it’s is truly the easiest hike on Oahu and it leads you to a waterfall at the end. A waterfall you can easily swim in.

easy hikes oahu Waimea Valley Waterfall hike

There is nothing sketchy about this hike — no tricky parts or slippery rocks. The hike is paved and it’s a gradual ascent, so even if it’s wet, it’s not muddy. During the hike, you’re walking through a botanical garden so there are plenty of chances to stop and learn about the flora and fauna you’re seeing. 

Plus, when you’re done with the hike their cafe serves good food. After relaxing you can hop across the street to Waimea Bay, which is a wonderful place to swim in the summer. 

2. Judd Trail to Jackass Ginger Pond

Location: Google Maps directions

Length: 1 mile

Parking: No parking lot, some cars parked alongside the road

If you want to head into the mountains and hike while you hear a babbling brook next to you, the Judd Trail is the spot for you. This one-mile loop is in a lush setting — hike amongst vines, beautiful plants, and even a small waterfall. You can take a detour to get to a pond, called the Jackass Ginger Pool. 

While this hike isn’t too difficult, it can be very muddy and slippery. Wear good shoes and expect to get wet. This trail isn’t well marked so pay attention as you’re walking. And just a reminder for anyone swimming, beware of drinking the water or getting it into your mouth, eyes, nose, or any open wounds! Hawaii does have leptospirosis, a bacteria found in freshwater streams. 

easy hikes oahu Hawaii Judd Trail

 

3. Koko Head Crater Tramway Hike

Location: Southeastern Oahu, Google Maps directions

Length: 1.8 miles

Parking: Large parking lot at the bottom of the hill

This is more of a moderate hike, not because the terrain is challenging (there’s no hill to slide down or rocks to climb over) but because the hike is steep. This hike is a workout as you ascend up over 1,000 steps to reach the top. 

While it is a workout, it’s also a fun trail with some pretty amazing views. The steps that you take up to the top are old railroad tracks, which adds to the fun (you’re not just taking stairs up to the top). 

While you can do this hike in your slippers (sandals), I really suggest you bring some better footwear to handle the steps. There are parts that are a little uneven and tricky to navigate, and if you fall it would be a long roll down the hill. 

In our Oahu itinerary, we’ve combined this trail into an amazing day on the Windward side of the island. Local grindz, snorkeling, and hiking. This itinerary is one you won’t want to miss. 

koko head crater hike oahu easy hikes

 

4. Diamond Head Hike (Le’ahi)

Location: Kapahulu, Google Maps directions

Length: 1.6 miles 

Parking: $10 per car

Probably the most famous hike on Oahu is Diamond Head, the Le’ahi Summit Trail. This hike takes you up a volcanic cone and once at the top, it delivers you beautiful views of Waikiki. The hike starts out with a paved, flat trail, but soon switches to a somewhat steep, winding climb up the mountain. There are handrails so nothing ever feels unsafe, but there are some steep stairs and narrow staircases to contend with. 

As this is the most popular trail on Oahu, it’s also the most crowded. We suggest arriving before 10:00 am to beat the crowds. Parking can be a challenge and the trail does get congested, but in general the crowds are smaller earlier in the morning. 

If you can’t get yourself up for an early hike, consider taking an Uber or taxi from Waikiki. You’ll skip the wait for parking, which can sometimes be very long. 

Combine Diamond head with a full Waikiki excursion day with our Oahu itinerary

Related article: The Best Hawaiian Island for HIking (plus 11 of the best trails)

easy hike oahu hawaii Diamond head family hike

 

5. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Location: Southeastern Oahu, Google Maps directions

Length: 2.5 miles

Parking: Large lot at the bottom of the trail

This uphill, paved trail is stroller friendly hike that takes you to the Makapu’u Lighthouse. The trail is easy but does gain 500 feet in elevation and there’s not much shade (bring that sunscreen!). But the views from the hike of the southeastern coastline are stunning. 

From the hike, you’ll see Diamond Head, Koko Crater, and the shoreline. Years ago, we also saw a whale! In the end, there are a few steps up to the lookout where you can see the lighthouse and beautiful views from the top. 

Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail easy oahu hikes

 

6. Ehukai Pillbox Hike (Sunset Pillbox Hike)

Location: Google Maps directions

Length: 2.3 miles

Parking: A small parking lot at the trailhead with additional street parking

Ready for a climb? This hike gets steep in parts, but it’s worth it for the epic ocean views of Ehukai beach (also known as Banzai Pipeline beach). For the most part, the terrain isn’t too difficult, but there are spots where you’ll be thankful to have the rope provided to help you up and down the steep parts. It does get muddy, so wear proper footwear. 

Like with most steep trails, uphill is a cardio workout but downhill takes a lot more caution and patience. We did hike this with our toddler who enjoyed climbing over the roots, but there were spots we needed to pick him up and carry him (to be expected of a not-quite 3-year-old). 

Heading to this hike? Don’t miss our 10 free things to do on Oahu’s North Shore

ehukai pillbox hike easy oahu hikes hawaii

 

7. Lanikai Pillbox Hike (Kaiwa Ridge Trail) 

Location: Google Maps directions

Length: 1.8 miles

Parking: Street parking in a residential neighborhood

Another steep hike, but this offers even more wonderful views than that last. Hiking up Kaiwa Ridge Trail, also known as the Lanikai Pillbox Hike is steep and a workout, but you are in for a treat at the end. At the end, you’ll find sweeping out over Lanikai beach and the Mokulua Islands.

Up at the pillbox, you’ll get excellent views but it can get a little crowded. Everyone wants to catch the view. 

This hike can be slippery in the rain. And though we’ve seen plenty of children on the trail, there are some tricky and confusing parts. There are two pillboxes, but we usually only reach the first. Heading up the second pillbox can treat you to even more wonderful views. 

Lanikai Pillbox Hike easy Oahu hikes

 

What is the easiest hike on Oahu?

Aside from strolling the Ko Olina beach walk (some might consider this a hike…no judgment!), the easiest hike on Oahu is Waimea Valley Hike. This hike is paved, has a gradual climb, and doesn’t get as hot as some of the other hikes. 

As a bonus, you’ll get to stroll through a botanical garden and end your hike at a waterfall that is perfect for a quick swim. If you want an easy, stress-free hike, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Waimea Valley. 

 

What is the hardest hike on Oahu?

In my opinion, the most challenging hike on Oahu is the Aiea Ridge Trail. When you start this trail, it’s fairly easy — deceptively so. After the first couple of miles, you’re met with steep inclines, muddy, overgrown paths, and a narrow ridge. But for the effort you are rewarded with beautiful views and relative solitude — I don’t think we saw more than 5 people when we did the hike. If you love a good challenge and you’re up for a real challenge, this trail delivers. You can find details here

Planning your trip to Oahu? Don’t miss our five-day Oahu itinerary

And if you’re looking for something a little more in-depth with can’t miss restaurants, beaches, and the best excursion days, we have you covered with our Best Oahu Itinerary

Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. I am a planner! I love to plan island-hopping adventures, days out on Maui, and everything in-between. I spend a lot of my time on our SUP and my favorite time of year in Hawai'i is whale season!

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