Hike Makapu'u lighthouse
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Hike Makapu’u lighthouse trail in East Oahu

One of the most popular trails to do and a short drive from downtown Honolulu is the Makapu’u lighthouse located in the southeastern tip of Oahu. Less than a 45 minute drive from Waikiki, Makapu’u lighthouse is fun to do as a day trip and then exploring the windward coastline areas of East Oahu afterwards.

Hike Makapu'u lighthouse

Getting to the Makapu’u Lighthouse

From Honolulu or Waikiki area, travel the surface road on Kalanianaoli Hwy 1 going southeast and eventually you will come into the Lanikai district and the road turns into Hwy 72 and skirts around the Koko Head area. Follow the coastal route until you see the sign for the Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline and turn right to enter the Kaiwi parking lot. Parking is free and fills up quickly in the morning so best thing is to arrive very early or later before the gate closes for sunset.

Getting to the Makapu'u Lighthouse

Start of the Makapu’u trailhead hike

Park and look for the trail head and the hike is all on relatively easy asphalt road with an uphill ascent and is around 30 minutes walk to get to the top of the observation area. You can also do a short detour down to the tidepools and the blowhole. Once one top at the observation point, enjoy views down to the lighthouse, Makapu’u beach below and the windwards side of the island.

Start of the Makapu'u trailhead hike

More details to visiting the Makapu’u lighthouse

Hours are from 7am to 6:45 pm daily, come early to get a parking spot or park on the side of the road and walk through the parking lot to entrance.

The trail is paved with an easy with slight uphill walk to the observation area

There is no access to the actual lighthouse from the observation area

There is a pillbox you can also explore but be careful in the area.

The hike is exposed to full sun so prepare for sunny conditions

Bring your own water, sunscreen, hat and other hiking materials

More details to visiting the Makapu'u lighthouse

Exploring the Tidepool and blowhole area

A detour to the tidepools and blowhole is locate a short distance by the whale watching lookout point (stop #3). Follow the trail downhill on a rocky path with loose gravel. The trail is about two miles round trip so plan accordingly if you want to do this as an option.

Further down from the tidepools is the blowhole. Take care in exploring the area including the blowhole which you should not be on top of. When you go back uphill follow the trails and be very careful with the loose gravel path.

Exploring the Tidepool and blowhole area

Exploring the Tidepool and blowhole area

Check out this brief video experience to exploring Makapu’u lighthouse

Conclusion to hiking Makapu’u lighthouse

For an easy hike with spectacular views of the area, lighthouse and other unique facets to exploring the southeastern part of the island, Makapu’u lighthouse hike delivers.

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