To get to the Makapuu Point lighthouse hike from Waikiki, drive past Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach on Highway 72 (Kalanianaole Highway). There is a parking lot on the right before Makapuu Beach that leads to the two-mile, paved trail overlooking the lighthouse. The lighthouse is not open to the public. The hike offers great rewards for the easy effort. On a clear day, you will see the neighbor islands of Molokai and Maui off to the East. Just off Makapuu Beach, you will see a small uninhabited island called Rabbit Island.
The Makapuu Point Lighthouse was built in 1909 and is currently still in use. It is maintained by the US Coast Guard.
Park as far away from the road as possible. The hike is one of the easiest hikes on Oahu. It is only a 500 foot elevation gain and footing is easy. Bikes and camping are not allowed. If you are walking a pet, be sure to protect the paws from the hot paved asphalt!
Things to know before you go:
- There are no bathrooms
- There is free parking, but don’t leave anything of value in sight in your vehicle
- The hike is sometimes steep and offers no shade to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Rest often and enjoy the spectacular views
- Stay on the trail near the lighthouse. Many hikers have lost their lives falling from the steep cliffs.
- If you are hiking this trail during humpback whale season (late October – May), you will want to bring a camera with a good zoom lens and a pair of binoculars.
- It gets windy at the top so hang on to your hat.