If you have researched your Oahu trip at all or done a quick google search for “things to do” you have probably come across the Makapu’u Lighthouse.
It really is that gorgeous! This photo is not edited at all.
I highly recommend you make the trek up to the top of the hill. The path is paved, wide, and extremely accessible. We even saw someone in a wheelchair making their way up! It is steep at times but it’s definitely no ridge hike.
Brent and I put on our “hiking shoes.” In other words, our “slippers,” or flip flops. The hike is a ways from us, not exactly distance wise, but because of Oahu traffic! When we got there we were surprised at the amount of cars that were already parked at the entrance to the trail even though we shouldn’t have been. We got there sometime around 11 on a weekend which is when everyone has finally woken up, rounded up the kids or pets, and headed out for an adventure. It’s also when the sun starts to want to burn a hole through your head …
We ended up parking along the road where there was plenty of space, making sure not to leave anything important in the car of course. We started to wander up the trail and almost instantly started melting from the heat. Thank the Lord for sunscreen or we would have been crisps!
There are signs along the pathway that give information about different things like the crater in the distance (Koko Head), whales, the history of the lighthouse, etc. There is also a path near the first group of signs that will take you to Pele’s Chair, a rock formation on the side of the cliff said to be where the Hawaiian fire goddess created the island before moving on. It is possible to climb to the top of the chair, but please use caution! It is a hard rocky fall if you do happen to slip.
As you climb higher and higher on the smooth paved path the views get better and better. Parasailers circle the top of the ridge, kept up by the strong ocean breeze. The water is a stunning blue that stretches for miles, no filter necessary. On a clear day, you can even see a couple of the other islands in the distance!
We finally reached the top of the hike, where a lookout has been built. Part of it is wheelchair accessible. In the picture I am looking down over the left side of the lookout, and if you look down over the right side, higher up, the lighthouse is visible down below.
After contemplating life at a high altitude for a while, we decided to climb up the narrow dirt path to the actual mountain top. There are several concrete structures up there, a couple being World War II pillbox bunkers, an old out of use water tank, and what I assume are two of the old lighthouse keepers’ homes.
Don’t venture too far in – they reek of urine and trash
The hike takes you along the ridge line and then back down to the look out point. It’s very short, very easy, and not too scary.
I don’t necessarily recommend doing it in your beach shoes though!
We wandered around beneath the look out trying to get to the lighthouse itself, but the pathway along the cliff has been gated off and is not accessible to the public.
I had noticed on our way up that there were several people in a large tide pool off the side of the cliff, so on our way back down we decided to try and get down there too! Read about that adventure >>>here<<< when it gets posted.
After we got back down to the car we were utterly pooped and just dripping in sweat. Luckily we were surrounded by beach! We spent the rest of the day relaxing under our umbrella at Sandy Beach nearby.
Have you been to the Makapu’u Lighthouse?