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Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Oahu, Hawaii

The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail on the southeast coast of Oahu is an easy trail that can be enjoyed by all levels of hikers. The trail is steep in some places, which may cause those who don't exercise much to breathe hard, but it is paved, and even suitable for families with baby strollers.

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Copyright © Kathleen Walling Fry

Visitors to Makapuu State Wayside Park can hike on a paved trail that begins at the former Coast Guard residential area and ends at a summit lookout point on a 600 foot cliff. The trail is approximately 1.4 miles in each direction.

There are magnificent views from the two observation decks, include the seabird sanctuaries on Manana Island and Kaohikaipu Island (also called Rabbit Island and Turtle Island) and expansive views of the windward Oahu coast. On a clear day you can see the island of Molokai off in the distance.

Note that there are no restroom facilities in the park and this can be a hot hike, because there is no shade along the way. Bring a hat, sunscreen,and plenty of water. The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is located at Makapuu Point, between Sandy Beach Park and Makapuu Beach Park.

Attractions Near the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Makapuu Beach

One of Oahu's best bodysurfing beaches. Take care here because the surf can be dangerous. You can sometimes see hang gliders launching from the cliffs above Makapuu Beach.

Kaupo Beach
This beach across the road from Sea Life Park has beautiful views of Manana Island and Kaohikaipu Island.

Manana Island
This island off of Makapuu Point is also called Rabbit Island because of its shape and also because rabbits were once raised here.

Sea Life Park
This park features live sealife shows and encounters with dolphins, sting rays, and sea lions. They also have an evening Hawaiian luau.

Sandy Beach
The surf at Sandy Beach on the south coast of Oahu is notoriously rough but it is a great place for advanced bodysurfing and it also popular for skimboarding. Wide grassy areas make this park a popular place for kite flying and family picnics.

Koko Crater
Visitors to Koko Crater on the south shore of Oahu can hike to the top or they can go horseback riding inside the crater or visit the Koko Crater Botanical Garden.

More Articles About the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

Take a Hike on the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
This 2002 article in the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper describes the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail hike and it also includes several photos.

Hiking Up To the Makapuu Point Lighthouse
A trip report by Melvin Ah Ching about hiking on the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. Be sure to select "Photo Index" at the bottom of this article to see all of Mel's photos of the trail.

Aloha Funwear on the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Descriptions of both the paved and unpaved Makapuu Lighthouse Trails, what you can see from those trails, and eight photos of the view from the top.

Backyard Oahu on the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
Photos and information about hiking the Makapuu Lighthouse Road, including a description of the lighthouse, what to expect on the trail, how to find the trail head, distances, elevations, and parking information.

See also:
- Other Attractions on Oahu
- Activities on Oahu

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