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Best Hiking Spots in Hawaii to Consider

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The following is a guest post by Via Travelers, a modern travel-blog focused on helping you learn the best travel tips, hacks and itineraries to travel the world.

Hikers love Hawaii for its ultimate hiking experience. The popular trails offer a chance to witness the true beauty of nature. Rushing waterfalls, volcanic craters, and verdant tropical forests are some of the highlights.

The Hawaiian Islands are popular for their attractive features like majestic mountains, volcanoes, serene beaches and a vast variety of hiking trails. Most of the tourists prefer this place for backpacking excursions, as there are numerous options for adventure seekers.

When looking for a combo of jaw-dropping views and surreal hiking adventure, Hawaii is the most recommended option. The combination of culture and views make it one of the top tourist destinations in all of the U.S. Through travel hacking, I’ve been able to explore different Hawaiin Islands.

Below are a few of the most popular and widely acclaimed hiking spots in Hawaii.

Pipiwai Trail

This 4-mile hike trail is famous for its spectacular views and takes you to sensational Waimoku Falls. The presence of this 400-foot waterfall makes it the most serene hiking spots in Maui. This is an absolute must for your Maui itinerary.

The trail is relatively difficult for most hikers, but the amazing scenery pays off all the hard work. The Pipiwai Trail starts with a trek to the Oheo Gulch.

The approximate elevation of the Pipiwai trail is 650 feet, and the total hike time stands between 2.5 and 5 hours. 

The hiking trail crosses Pipiwai Stream at numerous occasions and then takes you to a group of bamboo forest. Apart from this, you will also come across 185-foot Makahiku Falls while hiking on this trail.

Kilauea Iki Trail

Kilauea Crater Hike
Kilauea Iki Crater

Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea Iki trail runs along with the most active volcanoes in the world. This turns it into one of the most adventurous hiking spots in Hawaii.

There are numerous choices when it comes to trails. The trails range from an interesting short walk into a lava tube to multi-day hiking spots.

The popular of all Kilauea Iki Trails is a 4-mile loop trail, which passes through Kilauea Iki crater. The 400-foot descent is there to test the skills of professional/amateur hikers.

Besides, you can also enjoy the scenic beauty of lush rainforests, active steam, sulphur vents, and native birds. However, you need to be careful while hiking across the crater floor.

Diamond Head Crater Summit Trail

If you are searching for the top hiking spots in Hawaii, the Diamond Head Crater Summit is the best option. This is so, as more than 1.3 million people visit the Diamond Head State Monument each year.

The 1.6-mile round-trip trail may appear to be a bit easy-going for the hardcore hikers, but the track is more adventurous than you expect. The quick 560-foot descent requires some serious skills.

Moreover, walking down the steep stairs also demands an efficient workout. Even though, if you want to do it in a rough style, take the round-trip again after reaching the summit.

The circling path inside the crater reminds you of a violent and short-lived eruption that took almost 200,000 years ago.

After reaching the summit, you can view the entire south shore of Oahu. Hiking the Diamond Head Trail takes almost 40 to 70 minutes. The highest point of this trail is around 760 feet.

Here you can enjoy the enchanting 360-degree view of Waikiki skyline. You can even see the volcano’s caldera. No doubt, this place is among the top-visited hiking spots in Hawaii.

Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail Hawaii
Kalalau Trail

Located along the Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, the Kalalau trail offers a strenuous 11-mile hike. The trail starts along the island’s northern side, taking the route from Kee Beach to Kalalau Valley and Beach.

Taking this rough trail rewards you by offering breathtaking and panoramic views of the coastline, beautiful valleys, plunging sea cliffs, and lush rainforests.

To start the hike, you have to reach the Kee Beach. After that, follow the two miles Kalalau trail in order to visit Hanakapiai Beach. This white sand beach is in its full bloom during summer.

With a view to continuing your journey to Kalalau Valley and Beach, you require a state permit. You can’t even camp here without such a permit.

However, the effort put by you to reach Kalalau won’t go in vain, as it promises captivating views and relaxing atmosphere once you make it to the end.

Furthermore, if you wish to follow the trail to its final destination, it would be appropriate to plan an overnight trip.


Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park

Known as the ‘Sliding Sands Trail’, Keonehe’ehe’e stands among the top hiking spots in Hawaii. Situated within the Haleakala National Park, it is the most sought after summit hike in this area.

For a more rugged experience, you can go for a strenuous all day long hiking option. On the contrary, you can make it less tough by breaking up your trip into different sections.

In case of an overnight trip, you can stay at one of the purpose-built cabins, located within the crater. Both these options are rewarding in their own way.

This hiking trail offers unparalleled views of the crater floor and its geologic features. Although the environment appears to be desolating, it is home to Hawaii’s state bird, the famous ‘nene geese’.

Manoa Falls Trail

Manoa Falls
Manoa Falls

If a long sweaty hike isn’t on your list, just enjoy a nice walk on the Manoa Falls trail. This spot might be slightly busier than other options. The most obvious reason is its one and a half-mile stretch.

Even this trail is easy to hike; it is still a must place to try. The trail begins at the Paradise Park and you can easily reach there by taking a bus from Honolulu.

The trek is well maintained and passes through lush rainforest. The Koolau mountain range and its majestic peaks offer a verdant backdrop to this hiking trek.

Kaupō Gap

The Kaupō Gap trail is difficult to hike and it takes almost a day to reach the destination. This is the reason; most of the hikers prefer camping at Haleakala National Park.

It intersects with Halema’uma’u Trail, Lau’ulu Trail, and Paliku Campground. After that, it starts to descend through a gap in the crater rim.

While hiking this trail, you will also pass through the virgin Hawaiian forests. It offers constant views of the Big Island, Pacific Ocean, and south shore.

The Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail

Lighthouse Trail
Lighthouse Trail

This trail stretches over an area of two miles. It offers some of the most satisfying views of Hawaii. There are numerous stopping points, which give you an opportunity to spot a glimpse of popular attractions. You can enjoy a perfect view of Molokai and Crater Rock on a clear day.

The name of this trail relates it with the Makapuu Lighthouse. The construction of this lighthouse dates back to more than a hundred years. The lighthouse isn’t functional, yet it serves as a historic landmark.

Another highlight of this trail is the possibility to spot dolphins or whales.

The Pearl Harbor Historic Trail


This hiking trail holds a significant place due to its historical value. It was the place where the bombing of the United States Naval Base by Japanese took place. The attack of December 7th, 1941 was a total surprise.

However, today, this trail gives you an opportunity to hike a long stretch of six-mile-long. While hiking along the trail, you will experience some stunning natural views.

The trek also includes a tour to the Pacific Aviation Museum and the Pacific National Monument.

Author Bio

Kyle is the Co-Founder and Editor of Via Travelers. Via Travelers is a modern travel-blog focused on helping you learn the best travel tips, travel hacks and itineraries to explore the world. Find your wanderlust. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

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  • Lora Pope

    Lora is a full-time digital nomad on a quest to visit every country in the world and pet as many dogs as she can along the way. Over the last 15 years, she has traveled to 70+ countries and six continents solo. She currently calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico home and enjoys ending each day with sunset and tacos on the beach.

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