Top 13 Beautiful Hiking Trails in Hawaii [Update 2024]


Hawaii offers you an unforgettable experience with its pleasant scents of islands and marvelous sights. The islands are immersed with beauty, and you can find your way around through the natural hiking trails. If hiking is on your bucket list, then Hawaii is the ideal place for you.

While there are plenty of hiking trails, I narrowed down the best hiking trails in Hawaii that will be perfect for you. 

1. The Diamond Head Crater

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The Diamond Head Crater is one of the most Beautiful Hiking Trails in Hawaii

Right in Oʻahu, with an elevation of 500 feet, the trail of the Diamond Head Crater is the top hiking place for hikers. As Diamond Head is the most famous landmark of the island, you cannot miss visiting the park.

The trail is 2 miles long, but it is challenging. Diamond Head was created by an eruption over 500,000 years ago, so you have to hike and explore this fantastic national monument. 

2. Manoa Falls

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Manoa Falls

To explore the lush rain-forests of the tropics of Hawaii, you need to visit Manoa Falls. The Falls is a spectacular place to escape the hustle of Honolulu city, and it is easily accessible. The natural waterfalls are explored fully by hiking through the trails where you can see the natural beauty of Manoa Valley.

The hike will be a little slippery at the top, but you will enjoy the thrill. For the visitor’s convenience, there is a general store located at the trailhead. 

3. Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail

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Oahu’s windy east side is the perfect place to enjoy the breathtaking and glimmering turquoise coastline and the trail paved for you is the Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail. With only about 30 minutes’ time, you can reach the top and get enchanted by the magnificent beauty.

Don’t forget to take shots from the top, and you can also click pictures of the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. If you are lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of Humpback whales from the top.

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4. Olomana Three Peaks Trail

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Olomana Three Peaks Trail

One of the most popular and crowded trails in Kailua is the Olomana Three Peaks Trail. The reason for its charming popularity is that it is defined by its three iconic peaks.

From the peaks, you will be awed by the 360 degree views. The strenuous slippery trek with ropes will exhaust you, yet the view from the peak will make it worth it. The first two peaks are for all but the third peak is suitable for experienced sure-footed mountaineers as it is quite dangerous. 

5. Kalalau Trail

Across the Na Pali Coastline, Kalalau Trail is a thrilling hiking trail. For hikers, this trail offers the pristine beauty of rivers, the mesmerizing charm of the sea cliffs and interesting archaeological sites of the Kalalau Beach.

For backpackers, you need to get a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and get access to exploring the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park.

6. Keonehe’ehe’e – Sliding Sands Trail

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For the best summit hike in Hawaii, you need to hike through the Sliding Sands Trail, located inside Haleakala National Park. The trek can be broken down into sections, which makes it less strenuous.

The crater floor can be visited at the end of the trek so that hikers can enjoy the unparalleled views of geological formations. The area is home to different unique plants like bidens, Hawaiian silverswords, and also birds like nene geese.

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7. Awa’awapuhi Trail

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For overlooking the fantastic views of the Awa‘awapuhi Valley, you can hike through the Awa‘awapuhi Trail. Over 2000 feet straight below after the trek, you can enjoy the stunning view of the Nualolo Valley as well. The hike is 6.7 miles, and you get the chance to see the unforgettable panoramic views of Koke’e State Park too. 

8. Haʻikū Stairs

Often called the Stairway to Heaven, Haʻikū Stairs is for the height lovers. The slippery metal ladder-like stairway can be quite nerve-wracking to climb as there are drop-offs on the side. This one is not recommended for those who are afraid of heights.

The dangerous trail conditions make it a challenging one for which it is not open to the public. You need to be guided with the experienced hikers with permission or else you will be fined.

9. Kaupō Gap

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For adrenaline seekers, Kaupō Gap is the perfect choice. You can enjoy both hiking and camping when you visit the Haleakala National Park. Through hiking you can witness the breathtaking ocean side beauty of Kaupō.

This trail is a fantastic choice because it allows hikers to hike through the Hawaiian forests with the magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, south shore and the Big Island.

10. Kalaupapa Trail

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Located amid extreme isolation, Kalaupapa Trail is bounded by oceanic views and sheer cliffs. As it is located in the Kalaupapa peninsula, this trail is remote.

The breathing vows of the sea cliffs and the secluded colony in the area make it a place to come again. I would recommend going via Damien Tours, as they provide a package of in depth tours and will provide the best tips.

11. Waihe’e Ridge Trail

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With an elevation of 1500 feet, Waihe’e Ridge Trail is for those who want to see the mountain vistas and dramatic coastal vistas of Hawaiian islands. The trail starts off easy but as you climb higher, it switches to a slippery and steep incline.

For such a changing feature, the trail falls under the difficulty hiking level. If you do manage to hike with vigor, you need to watch out for the stunning Makamaka`ole Falls in the background.

12. Canyon Trail

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Located in Kauai, Canyon Trail leads to a peak of a 3000-feet gorge. From the top, you can see a splattering mixture of brown, green, yellow and red shades.

13. Ke Ala Hele Makalae

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The Ke Ala Hele Makalae trail, which literally translates to “The Path that Goes by Coast,” is one of various outdoor adventures available on Hawaii’s stunning Kauai. The trail follows the Royal Coconut Coast of Kauai for around 7 miles across 2 distinct sections, which is how it got its name.

Hawaii is ideal for outdoorsy people who are in for an adventurous time. With this list of the top hiking trails, you can easily choose the one that fits your checking list. If possible, try multiple trials from the list to make the most of it.

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