Mike and I love to hike and seek out amazing hikes wherever we travel. When we had a few days on the island of Oahu, we knew that we would have to enjoy some Hawaiian beauty. Here are the two hikes that we did near Honolulu and Waikiki Beach:
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Hike #1 – Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head is Hawaii’s most recognized landmark. This trail would take us to the summit of Le’ahi (Hawaiian name for Diamond Head Crater).
The summit was built in 1908 and completed in 1911 as part of O’ahu’s coastal defense system. This crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during a single explosive eruption that sent ash and particles into the air. As these materials settled they cemented together into a rock called tuff, creating the crater.
The hike is really more like a “difficult walk” and you’ll see by the throngs of tourists that many people of various ages and physical capabilities enjoy this hike. It is 0.8 miles to the top of the summit and contains several switchbacks traversing the slope of the crater wall. Although this wasn’t our ideal type of hike, we were pleasantly surprised when we reached the top and enjoyed beautiful views of Waikiki Beach and lots of interesting history.
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Hike #2 – Honolulu Mauka Trail System
The second hike was in this hiking guide for Honolulu and Waikiki Beach was a “real” hike and it was AMAZING! We woke early in the morning and took public transportation out of Waikiki to get to the Honolulu Mauka Trail System.
As we started on the trail, the sun was beating down on my face, birds were chirping and the smells of oak and fresh rainwater were in the air; we were hiking through a gorgeous rainforest.
We hiked 6 different trails including Maunalaha Trail, Moleka Trail, Manoa Cliff Trail, Kalawahine Trail, Nahuina Trail and Kanealole Trail. For about a ¼ – ½ mile of the trail there was a bamboo forest, I have never experienced anything like this. The wind was very strong and as it blew the bamboo would hit/rub against each other and the sounds were magical… like a rain stick that never ends.
The 6 trails that we hiked were 6.25 miles in total and including all the additional walking we did to the trail head and back to the hostel we walked over 10 miles. This was one of our best days while on Hawaii.
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Mike and I have learned that many of the other islands, especially Kauai and Maui, are extremely beautiful and not commercialized like Oahu (as well as parts of the north of Oahu which we didn’t have time to get to). That said, we really enjoyed our time (and our hikes) in the Honolulu and Waikiki Beach area!