The best islands in Hawaii for hiking give hikers some of the best views in the world. It’s also easy to get information about the trails that help you learn about the routes before you start. You have to be fit and pick a trail that matches your fitness level.
Best Islands In Hawaii For Hiking
Checking weather conditions will be great and helpful. Wear proper clothing and keep in mind that weather can change quickly in Hawaii. It’s always good to tell someone where you are hiking and when you are planning to return.
Trails may be muddy, slick, and may have sharp rocks. It’s always advisable to wear proper shoes or boots. They offer traction and ankle support.
Lastly, it’s always best to have company. Also, check this post on the best islands in Hawaii for first time.
Hiking in Oahu
Oahu Island has the most inhabitants amongst the Hawaiian Islands. The island offers the best trails in Hawaii. It has an abundant network of trails.
They give opportunities for beginners and advanced hikers. You will enjoy waterfall hikes, pillbox hikes, or coastal ridges.
Oahu has quality over quantity and has provided the best jungle strolls. The best hikes tend to be 3 miles.
The trails in Oahu will take you over two volcanic mountain ranges. Hiking in Oahu puts you away from traffic jams and crowded beaches.
Oahu has over 50 popular trails. One of the ways you can plan is to begin on the leeward side of the island. Continue climbing and you will be in the mountain and rainforest within the hour.
Oahu provides a good view with gradual, steep, and staired climbs. You will always find a trail to get ocean views or look into a crater.
At Oahu, you will get jaw-dropping views and hair-raising ridgeline hikes. Get yourself a pair of hiking shoes, some snacks, and water to keep you going.
Hiking to a waterfall is quick and easy in Oahu. Near the major resort, you will find a family-friendly waterfall hike.
Volunteers tend to the trails but most of them are locals. Trails in Oahu are well documented and there are guidebooks and posted signs to help you. All trails are close to the resort areas.
Hiking in Kauai
Kauai is known for its beautiful scenery and is the oldest on Hawaii’s main island. There are hundreds of trails to hike and miles of unpreserved territory.
You can also use Hiking Tours Kauai and take advantage of their customized day hike or backpacking trip offers. Kauai could not miss in this list of the best islands in Hawaii for hiking.
Kauai is accessible by road. Hiking trails range from short day hikes to advanced ones where you can camp. You can hike into the Kauai interior and swim at a waterfall-fed swimming hole. There is also a leisure stroll through one of the botanical gardens.
Kokee State Park offers an array of hiking trails that takes you to Waimea Canyon. Their museum has a hiking map that gives information on area hikes suitable for you.
If you are looking for an easy hike, Nounou trail up the Sleeping Giant will give you that.
Hikes at Kauai vary from 3,000 ft. ridge and cliff trails. Some trails take you for a promenade along the beach. Others take you to Waimea Canyon and into the world’s highest upland swamp.
Some trails climb thousands of feet above sea level and give the best views. Makawehi Lithified Cliffs trail stretches along the Kauai coastline. Kauai ancient sites have a collection or store of delightful things, petroglyphs, and burial grounds.
The Kauai guides are intense about sharing their knowledge of wildlife, history, and Kauai culture. Most of the American coffee is produced in Kauai.
Kauai beach hikes are perfect for those who want easy scenic walks. You will experience Kauai’s natural beauty and plenty of creature comforts.
Kauai is less developed than other islands. This helps in experiencing majestic waterfalls, raging rivers, and awe-inspiring wildlife.
Hiking in Hawaii
Hawaii is also known as a big island. The island has hikes for all, beginners to seasoned trekkers. Hiking in Hawaii will give all visitors a peep into the region’s natural wilds.
Trails in this big island pass through stunning valleys, traverse ridgelines, and drops into still steaming crater floors.
You will enjoy trails that wind through fields of coastal lava rocks. There are also deserts, rainforests, and mountain tundra, sometimes covered with snow.
Hiking in Hawaii provides a glimpse into the natural wilds of the island. Some hikes pass through the lush forests and cut through arid and mars-like landscapes.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park there are Kilauea Iki Trails. It’s a three-mile loop that starts on the crater’s rim. The trail then diminishes through the rain forest toward the steaming crater floor.
The Napau Crater trail is seven miles long and requires a permit. It passes through a field of jagged a’a and smooth pahoehoe lava.
The Mamalahoa Trail or the kings’ trail leads to some well-preserved petroglyphs. Wear sturdy shoes to hike on the lava trail.
Hiking in Maui
Hiking in Maui will give you the most fabulous hiking experience. The trails and signage are both well maintained.
It’s good to know the length of the trail, difficulty, elevation change, views, clarity of the path, and your general safety. I can say Maui is my favorite for its wild nature. I had an unforgettable adventure.
Maui has all that you need, whether you are beginning or you are a trailblazer. Haleakala National Park has Hosmer Grove Trail approximately 10 miles.
Wai’anapanapa State Park Trails takes you to the black sand beach. The park features sculpted lava rocks. There is also wind twisted foliage, a sea arch, lava caves, and a blowhole.
Pipiwai Trail beyond Hana has a gulch with a 400-foot waterfall. The ridge of Waihee Valley will make you commune with the clouds and spot rare birds and tropical trees. You can enjoy trotting down to watch locals’ jump in the pool from above.
Nestled in the lush greenery of the Lao valley is a natural rock formation. That is an old basaltic core called the Lao needle and it is 2250 above sea level.
Explore the erosion crater of Haleakala volcano and view one of the most bizarre and rare plants. Haleakala has a multitude of trails.
Waikamoi Ridge Trail is a short loop that will take you to a picnic area. It is along the Hana highway.
Hiking in Lanai
Lanai is also known as Pineapple Island. It used to be a huge pineapple plantation. Lanai has several trails that lead to beautiful destinations.
The most popular is the Puu Pehe trail. It will take you to the iconic sweetheart rock of Lanai. This easy trail takes you uphill but you will see pools down along the ocean. There’s also a sharks bay along the way.
Koloski Ridge Trail gives you ocean views. In beautiful weather, you will be able to see Maui and Molokai. The trail is well shaped with lush green trees, neat flowers, and plants.
The fisherman’s trial starts from Hulopoe Beach. It is the perfect trail for hikers who want to walk along the coast line. There is a vast view of the ocean and you will see Lanai’s rugged coastline too.
The Hulopoe Heritage Trail allows visitors to enjoy the cultural landscape of the region as well as the way of life. There are cultural sites situated along heritage trails.
Fishing and farming were the routines of daily life for the early people who settled there. The area represents ancient residence and workshop areas.
Hike to the Munro Trail loop begins just north of Lanai city. You will be able to see the five Hawaiian Islands during mild weather. Though slippery at times, the trail is used for hiking.
If you follow the Polihua Trail you will pass by the Garden of Gods. The trail ends at the Polihua Beach. The trail has rough terrain but you can use four-wheel drive. It’s a long strip of the beach and unique from the contrast in the landscape.
Koele Keomuku trail is a lightly trafficked trail and is located in the northern part of the island.
Hiking in Moloka’i
Hiking the waterfalls is one of Molokai’s amazing attractions. The rainforest and Kamakou preserve can be booked through the nature conservancy.
A hike is more than a hike while you have the company of an experienced and knowledgeable guide.
Hiking in Molokai will make you see a natural beauty and untamed wilderness. Christina LaMonica hikes across the entire 38-mile length.
The trail starts at the Molokai Ranch heading north to Kalaupapa. It passes through Peko stone along the way where men believe that if a woman spends a night she will be pregnant.
Kalaupapa trail in Molokai cannot be accessed by vehicles. You can only trek, mule ride, or use a plane.
No one is allowed to visit without a permit and a guide before you explore the town. Kalaupapa Park is surrounded on the three sides by the Pacific Ocean.
Mo’olua falls in Molokai Halawa valley is one of the best hikes. The trail features a waterfall and it is rated as moderate.
You will pass through cultural landmarks and countless ancient rock features. Swim in the refreshing pond beneath the falls.
Hiking in Honolulu
Hiking trails of Honolulu allow you to see the island. You will also be able to see the mountains and landmarks from above. You will experience rainforest climates and spot a whale or more swimming.
The Moanalua valley trail takes you through a forest, a mountain ridge, and famous Haiku Stairs. The end will take you to an abandoned radio tower.
If you choose the Kuliouou Ridge Trail you will enjoy awesome views of the Kuliouou Valley. The ironwood forest with thin trees will give you some well-deserved shade. The ridgeline ascends to the summit of the mountain. You will have good sights of East Oahu.
Diamond Head Crater hike starts from inside the crater itself. The trail will take like an hour to reach the summit. At the ridge, you can look into the crater from above and out towards the ocean.
Koko Crater Railway Trailhead is challenging. It is a remnant that was constructed to transport soldiers and cargo. You can climb the 1000 stairs of the abandoned site for panoramic views over Port Lock Peninsula.
Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike offers views of Koko Head Crater. There are plenty of places you can take a break, at the hidden beaches and diverse natural landscape.
The Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail leads to Makapuu’s head. On the way, you will see sights such as Koko Crater and Oahu’s stunning south-eastern coastline.
Hiking in Tahiti
Whether you are a beginner or advanced hiker, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking in Tahiti.
The Papenno Valley is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in Tahiti. You will get a well-rounded glimpse of Tahiti’s landscape.
Te Pari Trail is in the southern part of Tahiti. The trail is only accessible by boat. The trail offers an expedition into the uninhabited natural area of Tahiti. There are sandy beaches, lava tubes, caves, and bathing pools along the way.
While hiking in Tahiti, don’t miss the Faraura Valley. You will explore four spectacular waterfalls and immerse yourself in the valley’s landmarks.
There are moderate hiking trails like the Hitiaa Lava Tubes and the Faananu valley. The Hitiaa Lava Tubes Hiking Trail is unique and magnificent.
Visitors hike in the dark and swim through the cave system. The Faananu Valley hiking trail features striking landscapes, waterfalls, and native flora.
Mt. Aorai is the third highest peak in Tahiti with a well-marked and maintained trail. The path winds along a narrow ridge.
Hiking in Bora Bora is an excellent opportunity for hiking. Its peaks are steeped in history and legend. There are white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Bora Bora has easy hiking trails like the ancestor’s path. This trail features prehistoric temples and colorful native flora.
Hiking in Hawaii will allow you to make great memories. Trails cross through stunning valleys to steaming crater floors and lava tubes.
As you plan your next trip to Hawaii, make sure to include some hiking adventures. I hope this post on the best islands in Hawaii for hiking gave you some ideas on some of the places you could visit. Please share it and also follow me on Visiting Travelers Pinterest for more hiking ideas.