It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again – Hawaii is absolutely incredible in fall.
When picturing oneself on a Hawaiian beach, which seasons typically come to mind? Summer and/or winter? Probably, which makes sense since most Americans take summer and winter vacations.
But the truly amazing time to explore the lush, lava-made rocky pieces of paradise we call Hawaii is during the fall when the weather, crowds and rates are at their best (or lowest).
Now that we’ve established when the ideal time for a Hawaiian getaway is, it’s time to divulge our favorite Hawaiian autumn pastime – hiking.
Honing in on a specific island – hiking on Oahu.
There are few superior ways of exploring and getting up close and personal with Oahu than by hiking in, around and above the island.
What’s more is that there’s such a variety of hiking landscapes that it would take months before any one person can claim they’ve seen it all.
From waterfalls to epic views, we’ve got the inside scoop on where you’ll want to get your outdoor cardio on at.
For The Striking View
Oahu has plenty of hikes with views, but few compare to the easy access and jaw-dropping view of the Ehukai Pillbox Trail. The pillboxes were erected by the Army to defend Hawaii from potential invasions, thus how the hike got its name. From the top of the pillboxes you’ll be treated to stunning views of Ehukai and the North Shore (one of Oahu’s prettiest parts if we do say so ourselves). Be sure you make it to both pillboxes – yes there are two – because though the first one is nice, the 2nd one is magnificent. Do be careful as you take in the views though – we wouldn’t anyone to fall off the steep cliffs that surround the pillboxes. Though this hike isn’t flat, it is a hike after all, it also isn’t the most challenging Oahu hike, and is therefore generally great for all ages and levels of ability.
All Natural Swimming Hole
Hawaii is known for it’s glorious showers which produce more than just lush greenery. After a rain, head to the Kalauao trail to take a dip in the natural swimming hole. It’s about a four mile hike which will take you through strawberry guava, paperbark, ironwood and Pukiawe trees. Once you reach the pretty waterfall, you’ll be shaded by banyan and mango trees. Pack a picnic and you’re set for a perfect afternoon adventure.
Incredible Ridge Trail
The Lanipo Trail, in Maunalani Heights is a bit lengthier, but offers plenty to see and experience. About seven miles round-trip, it can take up to 10 hours so be prepared for a full day of adventure bliss. The terrain is mostly mountain ridge, which is why you’ll be able to see so much almost the entire way. The views will be of Oahu’s windward coast, the long-extinct Kaau volcanic crater (generally very difficult to see) and it’s waterfall and at the end of the trail – vistas of the three peaks of Olomana (an immensely beautiful but extremely treacherous hike).
Idyllic Vistas and Archaeology
For a fascinating glimpse into Oahu’s past, as well as beautiful views and surrounding landscape of course, hike the Kamananui Valley Road. It’s usually rated a fairly basic hike, not requiring supreme hiking skills, but merely basic athletic abilities. There are some petroglyphs to be found, as well as some old carriage bridges and ruins from the former Damon Estate. About seven miles round trip, long enough to merit bringing plenty of water and snacks. For the more experiences hikers, you can hike past the official end of the trail to find a back entrance route to the top of the famed Ha‘ikū Stairs – be forewarned though the stairs are not to be trifled with, it’s an extremely treacherous hike and a not altogether legal one at that!
The Longest Stream Where Tubing Dreams Come True
The Wahiawa Hills offer an epic, all-day adventure. Though it may be somewhat short in mileage, a mere four miles, this is an intricate hike which will have you traversing several streams, ridges and a steep hill. You’ll pass through knolls of lovely eucalyptus and paperbark trees. Eventually you will reach the Kaukonahua Stream, the longest stream in the state, which flows for about 33 miles. You can hop in for a dip and if the water is high enough, go innertubing! This isn’t a trail you want to do alone, it can get very confusing so definitely find your strength in numbers.
Already planning out your hiking schedule? We hope so! Oahu has incredible landscapes to explore and enjoy, and we hope you get your fill, at least temporarily!
Every good adventurist needs a bit of R&R in between escapades, and there are few resorts on the island that compare in luxury and setting to Turtle Bay Resort, nestled on 850 acres of pristine north shore land. Give yourself the gift of Turtle Bay getaway and discover the serenity of the north shore. Remember – be safe, drink water and most of all – enjoy every moment!