Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail

Hiking The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Table of Contents

If you are looking for an easy hike to do with your children that has absolutely gorgeous views all around then this is the hike for you. It is a paved hike, with a lighthouse, and several resting spots. There’s four different paths but the paved one is very stroller friendly and perfect for taking your little hikers with you.

About The Hike

The views are absolutely stunning. One side of the mountain you will see Koko Head Crater, Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay, and even Diamond Head at a distance. On the other side you will see the tide pools, our neighboring island of Molokai, and you can even see the whales splashing around in the Pacific Ocean. On the other side, once you have reached the top, you will see Waimanalo Beach. It is very easy to get too but it is very important to prepare accordingly to avoid injuries, dehydration, sunburn and other issues. The trail is not shaded and gets full very quickly so arriving early is a must so you can get a good parking spot.

What To Bring

It is important to always come prepared, pack out what you packed in, and always stay hydrated. Proper clothing is always a must to avoid heat exhaustion. Here’s a small list of items that you will need to bring with you on this hike.

  • Camera – I brought my GoPro, phone, and camera to take the best pictures.
  • Hydration – I took my Hydroflask to keep my daughter’s and I hydrated with nice cold water.
  • Sunblock – This is very important cause the trail is not shaded. My favorite eco-friendly sunblock is Raw Elements.
  • Sunglasses – It will get bright and sunny so definitely bring a pair of Sunglasses.
  • Stroller or baby carrier – If you are bringing little ones it is important to bring something that they can sit in when they get tired. I used my Ergo baby carrier which I absolutely love and they give back to children in need. Read more about it here.
  • Snacks or a lunch – Especially when you bring kids. Here’s a list of snacks for kids on the go.
  • Comfortable sneakers.
  • Appropriate clothing. Avoid jeans, cotton, etc which will make you hot and exhausted.
  • Backpack.
  • Headgear
  • Toilet Paper and/or Baby Wipes – When I went there were no restrooms so squatting behind a bush was the only way we could go.
  • Trash bag – Please don’t leave trash on the trail. Pack out what you pack in. Including that toilet paper you used when you had to go.
  • Hand Sanitizer – I’m a clean freak so I always have hand sanitizer with me. You never know when you have to change a diaper, wipe your child’s butt, or clean up a mess you little ones made.
  • Small first aid kit – You know, for the boo boos your little ones may get.

About The Trail

The main trail is paved and as you work your way up you will find unpaved trails drifting off to the sides. First one takes you to the Makapu’u Tide Pools. These are gorgeous though I couldn’t take the trail that day like I had a stroller and little ones with me but if you do take this trail please be very careful. There has been many people that have been careless and gotten seriously hurt so please please please proceed with caution and always at a low tide. Rules of thumbs is that if it doesn’t look safe or feel comfortable to you, don’t do it and don’t risk it.
The next unpaved trail that you will see drift off to the right side is the one that takes you straight to the lighthouse. Once again I didn’t take this trail either. I tried to just do the paved trail cause of the stroller and cause my little one was very tired by the time we were reaching the top. ​
Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail
Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail


The following unpaved trail is to the left and it takes you up to the pillbox which I really wanted to go to but didn’t this day. It did look steep in some areas from what I was looking from down below so proceed with caution.At the end of the trail you will reach a scenic point where you over look the bay and can take pictures. This spot is absolutely stunning. I took several pictures here. It is currently under construction to make the area bigger to view and rest before heading back down but it should be opened up within the next couple of months. Don’t let this change your plans though, the hike is beautiful and you won’t regret it. The views and everything are just amazing. Below are a few of the pictures from our hike.

Top of Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail
Top of Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Details of Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Cost: free
No shops or restroom. They had an area under construction for restrooms and a lookout so it may be open at this time.

Length: 3.3 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 1,220 feet

Location:  Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795



Thank you for reading and I hope this helps serve you as a guide for this hike. To view more check out these posts from our adventures in Oahu, Hawaii.

Top 5 Kid Friendly Hikes in Oahu, Hawaii

Manoa Falls Trail

Diamond Head Crater Trail

Ehukai Pillbox Trail

Lanikai Pillbox Trail

Waimea Valley Falls

 Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail, Waimanalo, Hawaii

Hi, I'm Jessica!

I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors. 


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6 Responses

  1. Such a beautiful trail, the blue of the water is just amazing! I have not been fortunate enough to visit Hawaii yet, however it is on my list and I hope to make it soon. I will keep this in mind!

  2. Every time I see such outstanding views I start thinking of getting an airline ticket to reach it! Thank you for sharing this post as the trail looks totally worth doing it!

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