Every morning, hikers pull themselves from their cozy beds and hit the trails before first light. Here in Hawaii, we believe we are blessed with some of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. Below is a list of some of the top sunrise hikes on the island of Oahu. Follow the links to find more information on these trails.
Due to its close proximity to Waikiki, as well as its popularity as an iconic landmark of Hawaii, Diamond Head is the most visited sunrise hike among tourists. Every morning, hundreds of eager travelers line up at the park entrance, awaiting its opening at 6am. Hikers then scurry up to the top of the crater walls to take in the stunning 360 degree views of Oahu’s south shore. This trail is best visited from October through March in order to allow enough time to make it top after the gates open. Learn More …
The hike up Ka’iwa Ridge, more commonly known as the Lanikai Pillboxes trail, is less than a mile in length, and offers one of the most beautiful sunrise vantage points on the island. The trail ascend the steep ridgeline to reach the WWII bunkers at the top. From here, hikers are treated to a spectacular view of the sun rising over Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. With the amazing scenery, this hike has become one of our favorite ways to start another awesome day in Hawai’i. Learn More…
Located along the Ka’iwi State Scenic Shoreline, the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail offers hikers a gentle climb above O’ahu’s stunning coastline. This one mile paved path to the top lookout point is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. From the trail, hikers will enjoy the uninterrupted 360 degree views, only made more magnificent with the sun coming up over the ocean. On clear days, one can even see the mountains of Maui off in the distance. The lighthouse, which is unfortunately off limits, can be seen just below the lookout point as well. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail also provides one of the best vantage points for spotting humpback whales, so we recommend visiting during whale season, lasting from late November until the beginning of May. For hikers that a looking for a bit more of a challenge, a trail starting from the whale sign leads down to some tide pools. The path is rather steep and slippery at times, but those that are willing to make the climb will be rewarded with deep ocean pools, perfect for jumping in and cooling off. Learn More…
For those looking for a challenging morning workout, look no further. The trail up Koko Head Crater is made up of wide railroad ties, creating a steep stairway up to the top. After climbing 1,048 exhausting steps, hikers are treated to fantastic views of Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay. Looking down into the crater, visitors gain a unique perspective of this old tuff cone, and get to see the sun rising up over it. There are old military bunkers at the top, providing places to sit and enjoy the view.
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