Today we decided to do the Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike. This hike is located on the southeast tip of Oahu. It’s about a round-trip 2-mile paved hike that leads you right above the Makapu’u Lighthouse. It’s a little steep at times, but definitely categorized as easy, and since it’s paved, it’s perfect for the whole family…..even the pets! (with a leash).
To get to the trailhead, drive east on H-1 and continue as it turns into Kalanianaole Hwy. Continue along Kalanianaole Hwy for awhile passing all the residential areas, the scenic coastal drive, Sandy’s Beach, and the Hawaii Kai golf course. When you see the Hawaii Kai golf course on your left, the highway will swerve right, and then it will swerve left. After that left, there will be a right turn lane into a small parking lot. This is the beginning of the trail.
We went around 1 pm and the sun was really bearing down on us. I highly suggest bringing lots of water and wearing lots of sunscreen. If you’re really afraid of the sun, sunglasses and a hat would be good too. Be forewarned that there really aren’t many shady spots on this hike. At certain points however, you’ll feel the wind gliding off the ocean, and man does it feel good!
There are some great views of Oahu’s southeast coast on this hike. Today there was not a single cloud in the sky, so you could see all the way to Molokai. About halfway up the hike there is a whale watching spot with free binoculars and a sign detailing humpback whale behavior. Makapuu point is a popular spot to see whales from the months of late-Dec to mid-April.
Although the lighthouse is closed to the public, the views at the end of this hike are spectacular. We leisurely strolled throughout the hike with plenty of stops, so it took about 3 hours roundtrip.
If you want to be adventurous, there is an unpaved hike down starting from the whale watching binoculars to sea level where you can relax in some tide pools. There’s fish and a mini blow hole that shoots water up like a whale’s blowhole. Don’t forget to wear your bathing suits if you choose this adventure as there are no bathrooms on this hike.