Many people who vacation on Oahu never leave Waikiki. They are content sipping mai tais on the beach or shopping for aloha shirts one of 37 ABC Stores in the area. They never take time the time see the rest of Oahu; the real Oahu. There is so much more to Oahu than the usual tourist traps. The Makapu’u Lighthouse is one of those places.
We visited the Makapu’u Lighthouse one evening after Paul finished work. We had a couple hours of daylight left and we were hoping to climb up to the top of Diamondhead and catch the sunset there. Little did we know, the trail to Diamondhead closes well before sunset. We remembered a hike that Paul’s cousin had told us about and headed towards the most southeastern point of the island near Hawaii Kai. We parked at the trailhead and started heading up the paved trail.
The trail climbs a total of 500 feet but it is an easy climb. I know our three year old children would have no problem with this trail. During the winter months, this is a great place to spot migrating humpback whales as they cruise through the Molokai Channel. We were hiking in August so while whales were not within our view, the Island of Molokai was.
The further we climbed, the more dramatic the scenery became. It was hypnotizing to watch waves crash into the rocks hundreds of feet below us. I felt like I was standing on the edge of the world.
As we got towards the top, we were able to see the windward side of the island, including Kailua.
Of course, one of the biggest highlights of the hike was the lighthouse itself. It sits perched on the edge of the island, warning passing ships that land is closer than they may think. The lighthouse is now automated and off limits to the general public but the views of the lighthouse and the surrounding seas are well worth the hike.
For more information on this hike click here.