Have you always dreamed of going on a Hawaii vacation and experiencing its gorgeous outdoors? Well, no one can blame you if you do. The Big Island of Hawaii is a true paradise for every nature lover with its breathtaking beaches, serene valleys, giant volcanoes, and lava fields that look like they don’t belong in this world.
The scenery in Hawaii is varied and dramatic, something that you might not always imagine or expect from a tropical island. But if you want to fully immerse yourself in all of Hawaii’s natural beauty, your best option is to go hiking!
Here are some of the best hikes in Hawaii for breathtaking views that you will surely remember and cherish for life:
The Kalalau Trail, originally developed during the 1800s, extends to Kalalau Beach from Kee’s Beach. The tropical trail passes through five verdant valleys, steep sea cliffs, and streams, offering hikers a stunning challenge.
If you are an experienced swimmer knowledgeable about local sea conditions, don’t forget to pack your bathing suit because the trek also offers body-surfing and swimming opportunities. You can go on a hike up to Hanakapi’ai Valley just two miles in from a trailhead even without a permit.
You will need a permit for overnight camping, however, if you want to venture further. Either way, you can be sure you will get scenic views of the azure Pacific.
Koko Crater Trail
To reach the peak of the Koko Crater Trail, you have to conquer more than 1,000 steps. However, even if the challenge might seem high and lofty, it is still a fun hike that offers great views of Honolulu, Hanauma Bay, Kailua, Diamond Head, and the gorgeous lava rock beaches below. You can also check out the nearby Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Makapu’u Beach.
Kuli‘ou‘ou Ridge Trail
A hike on the Kuli‘ou‘ou Ridge Trail offers panoramic views of Oahu’s east side. It features steep inclines, rocky terrain, stairs, tall grasses, and switchbacks up to the mountainside. Since the trek is quite long, don’t forget to pack enough water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
The trail has a steady incline that makes it perfect for intermediate hikers. But of course, you can always tap into the trail runner inside you and pick up your pace if you are up for some challenge.
Once you reach the peak, you will be greeted by the spectacular views of Koko Crater, Rabbit Island, the Mokulua Islands, and Waimānalo. There are also nearby restaurants, including Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, Ono Steaks, and Shrimp Shack, where you can stop to grab a bite after the hike.
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike, also called the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is located above Lanika Beach and offers charming views of the blue ocean below. The hike features a dirt trail that begins with a steep uphill climb. However, everything is worth it once you get a glimpse of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulau Islands throughout the hike. The name of the trial comes from the pillboxes of the military. Pillboxes were observation stations during World War II, found all over the trail.