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5 Easy Hikes for Families on Oahu

a large body of water

Oahu is a paradise for nature lovers, with its picturesque views and lush forests. The island was formed from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and nowadays you can enjoy the magnificent natural habitat! The best way to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii is by exploring different hikes. There are around 238 hiking trails on Oahu. The length and difficulty vary from trail to trail. Among all the trails there are several that are perfect for children of all ages and family members with various physical abilities. So let’s explore 5 easy hikes for families on Oahu.

Diamond Head Hike

  • Round trip distance: 1.5 miles
  • Fee: $5 for non-residents (free for children under 3 years old); Parking-$10

The best time to do the hike is early morning or sunset since the hike is not in shadow and it can be extremely hot during the day. This trail is open daily except for Wednesdays. The last entrance to hike the trail is at 4:00 pm.

Diamond Head Trail is one of the most popular hikes for families with kids. Children will enjoy passing through the tunnel on the ascent and exploring the bunkers at the top, while all family members will extremely appreciate the gorgeous views. During whales season which is between November and early May, from the top of the hike, you may even see passing humpback whales.

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Round trip distance: 2.5 miles
Fee: Free

The trailheads are located in neighborhoods, so there are no parking lots and you’ll instead be parking on residential streets.

A great, short, and rocky hike along the Ka’iwa Ridge that offers great views of Lanikai and Kailua. The Lanikai Pillbox hike is one of the best ways to see the gorgeous vista that is on the windward coast. The best time for this hike is sunrise or just after so that you can avoid the crowd and the baking sun. The “pillboxes” are the star attractions at the summit of this route, offering breathtaking views of Oahu’s coastline. Although referred to as the Lanikai Pillboxes, in technical military terms they aren’t really pillboxes. A pillbox is a defensive site — but these structures served only as observation stations and weren’t actually equipped with any defensive machinery. Either way, they are pretty awesome, and, for kids, they offer an educational component to the hike.

Makapuu Lighthouse

Round trip distance: 2.0 miles
Fee: Free

Easy Hikes for Families on Oahu. Makapuu Lighthouse Oahu

The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is a gentle hike with spectacular views of Oahu’s southeast coastline, including Koko Crater and Koko Head. Once you reach Makapu’u Head, the lighthouse comes into view. This hike is perfect for families with kids; the road is paved, so you can even take a stroller with you. Everyone will enjoy a great short uphill trail along sea cliffs to the observation deck and lighthouse with fantastic views as a reward.

Manoa Falls

Round trip distance: 1.7 miles
Fee: Free

Manoa Falls Oahu Hike

This is a very popular area for hiking, trail running, and other nature trips, so you’ll likely meet other people while exploring the trail with your family. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Be aware that swimming in the pool below the waterfall is highly discouraged because there is a threat of becoming infected with Leptospirosis, a disease-causing mild to moderate flu-like symptoms that can last for 1 to 2 weeks. Also, the trail can be quite muddy, so we recommend wearing proper clothes and footwear.

The Manoa Falls Trail winds through a lush Hawaiian tropical rainforest filled with movie scene locations from Jurassic Park and LOST. So you will definitely enjoy this trial which is perfect for all family members with various physical abilities.

Judd Trail

Round trip distance: 1,5-mile loop
Fee: Free

Judd Trail is a 1-mile loop trail located near Honolulu that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The best time to do the hike is early morning, since there is a parking spot for 3 cars only, the rest must find parking along the roadside. Therefore, if you traveling with kids is better to go when it’s not crowded.

The Judd Trail is a very popular hike on Oahu for younger children and their parents who love the outdoors. This 1.5-mile loop can often turn into a complete mud bath, though. The payoff is a kids-friendly Jackass Ginger Pool, a fun, and safe swimming hole.

We hope you will explore one or all of these 5 Easy Hikes for Families on Oahu. Do not forget to tag us on your pictures on Instagram (@danielshawaii) so we can share them with other travel lovers. Likewise, we are always happy to share with you more of our Hawaii experience and travel tips. Stay tuned and read our blog for more useful information about Hawaii.