Challenging Hikes in the Hawaiian Islands 

Challenge yourself to get out of your hotel room and into nature with a memorable hike. A few natural wonders you can look forward to (even on easy hikes) include waterfalls, lush rainforests, native plants and breathtaking ocean panoramas. But if you’re ready for a more difficult hike, and review safety tips and guidelines, below are a few worth considering. 
 
Waahila Ridge Trail (Oahu) – This trail originates in the Waahila Ridge State Recreation Area near the top of St. Louis Drive, which overlooks Honolulu. The 2.4-mile hike negotiates a ridge separating Manoa and Palolo Valleys, alternately passing through a thick forest of ironwood and guava trees and open spaces. Native Hawaiian plant species, including ohia lehua and koa trees, are easily visible along the trail. Whether you’re headed for its highest peak and end point in the Koolau mountain range or merely escaping from the busy surroundings of Waikiki, the Waahila Ridge Trail hike offers several hours of worthwhile distraction.
 
Ala Kahakai Trail (island of Hawaii) – This 15.4-mile coastal loop hike – a portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail – is best accessed from Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. A trail for moderate-level hikers, it follows coastline over ancient fishing trails, passing area resorts and some of the state’s most captivating beaches and shoreline. 
 
Piilani Trail (Maui) – You’ll find the solace of the Piilani Trail in Waianapanapa State Park, near the end of the Hana Highway (Road to Hana). The rugged, 3-mile coastal trail takes visitors across lava rock and through vegetation, offering spectacular views of the emerald northeast slopes of Haleakala volcano and Hana coastline.
 
Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp (Kauai) – If you don’t mind getting dirty, Pihea Trail on the island’s northwest side in Kokee State Park might just be the perfect hike for you. The trail passes through mud, fog, brush and rainforest toward spectacular views of Wainiha and Hanalei Valleys. Be warned, however, that this 3.5-mile hike can take four to five hours on a trail that is often wet, slippery and muddy. Please take precautions before hiking and use appropriate clothing and footwear.
 
For more information on hiking trails in Hawaii, visit Hawaii State Parks or Na Ala Hele Trail & Access Program.

Malama

Statewide Story Ideas