best sunrise sunset hikes oahu

Hiking in Oahu: The Best Trails for Sunrise and Sunset Lovers

Are you a sunrise and sunset lover searching for that perfect spot to watch the sun come up or go down while traveling?

Look no further than Oahu! This stunning Hawaiian island offers an array of breathtaking trails, ranging from ocean-side cliffs to lush tropical forests.

Whether you’re looking for an early morning jog or a leisurely late afternoon walk, hiking in Oahu will provide all the natural beauty your soul craves.

So, put on those hiking shoes and get ready to witness one of nature’s most beautiful shows – firsthand!

Best Spots for Sunrise Hiking in Oahu

Sandy Beach

Sunrise hikes in Oahu

At Sandy Beach, you’ll be able to capture an awe-inspiring sunrise that will make your Instagram followers jealous!

Nestled at the base of Koko Crater (or Kohelepelepe) this beach is a perfect spot for anyone who wants to bask in the warmth of the sunrise without breaking a sweat.

Don’t fancy sitting in the sand? No problem! Just drive up and enjoy the panoramic sunrise from the comfort and convenience of your car. Pack your breakfast, grab a blanket, and head to Sandy Beach.

Lanikai Pillbox

best sunrise hikes oahu sandy lanikai

Ready to experience a stunning sunrise? Then Lanikai Pillbox is your ideal hiking destination!

This family and the pup-friendly trail have some of the best sunrise views of Lanikai Beach and the Mokes. The trek starts off steep and at times can be quite dry, but the reward is well worth it!

Plus, you get to explore three ancient pillboxes along the way. So if you’re looking for an easy sunrise hike, grab your gear and head to Lanikai Pillbox!

Koko Head

best sunrise hikes oahu koko head

Ready for a sunrise stakeout? Koko Head is the place to find it!

Climb around 1,000 stairs – which sound more intimidating than they are – to make your way up the summit and be rewarded with gorgeous panoramic views of the island.

Once there, you have found the optimal sunrise-watching spot. No need to trudge through dense shrubs in search of a suitable point – Koko Head has got you covered! So don’t hesitate: it’s sunrise-watching time at Koko Head!

Makapu’u Lighthouse

best sunrise hikes oahu makapuu lighthouse
View from the Makapu’u Lighthouse

Looking for a sunrise-worthy spot on Oahu that’s beginner-friendly? The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail has got you covered. This easily accessible, family-friendly hike is paved the whole way up, so no advanced skills are required here.

Not only can you see the sunrise at this well-loved trail, but you can also catch Rabbit Island, Makapuu Beach, and most impressive of all – the majestic Makapuu Lighthouse. If the day is lucky enough to be crystal clear, Maui and Molokai islands will even be visible from the scenic lookout.

Oh – and did we mention this is a great whale-watching spot during certain seasons too? Get ready to start your adventure!

Makapu’u Tom Tom Trail

best sunrise hikes oahu makapuu

Taking the Makapuʻu Tom Tom trail is an undeniable must-do for any Oahu visitor.

It’s a fairly short yet steep incline to the ridge that offers some of the most incredible sunrise sights in the Eastside, with Rabbit Island, Makapuu Lighthouse, Makapuu Puka, Sealife Park, Makapuu Beach, and Koko all visible along the way.

Wear shoes or sneakers because although it’s dry with lots of tall grass and cacti dotting the landscape, it pays off immensely when you reach that sunrise peak.

Best Sunset Hikes in Oahu

Turtle Bay Pillbox Trail

Sunset hikes in oahu
Sunset over Turtle Bay Resort. Photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort

The Turtle Bay Pillbox Trail is one of the most magical sunset spots you can find near Turtle Bay Resort. It’s a short 2-mile round trip with a flat sandy surface, so you can finish in no time and enjoy the sunset views across the bay.

Keep an eye out for turtles too, as they often make an appearance in this area! All in all, you won’t want to miss out on this sunset experience.

Olomana Three Peaks Hike

best sunset hikes oahu olomana

If you’re looking for a challenging but rewarding hike on Oahu, check out the Olomana Three Peaks Hike. With stunning views of the Windward Coast, this popular trailhead is located near Kailua and can be completed as either a day hike or an overnight camping trip.

Don’t forget to pack something warm to wear once you reach the highest peak, Olomana – at over 1,600 feet above sea level there’s usually a cooler temperature up top. It’s well worth it though for sunset scenes that’ll take your breath away; you’ll never spell sunset quite the same way!

Kaena Point Trail

best sunset hikes oahu kaena point

Ready to see the sunset in one of the most beautiful places on Oahu? The Kaena Point Trail is your perfect destination! This purpose-built trail is well-maintained, easy to follow, and a perfect sunset hike for adventurers of all levels.

Starting from either Yokohama Bay or Mokuleʻia Rock Beach, you’ll meander through a stunning coastline and who knows, maybe even spot some whales migrating during the winter months!

So if you’re looking to witness an unforgettable sunset, lace up your boots and head down to Kaena Point Trail.

Ehukai Pillbox Hike

best sunset hikes oahu ehukai

The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is something you don’t want to miss when enjoying the north shore area of Oahu.

It’s one of the most popular attractions, and its sunset views are sure to leave you speechless. Named for its stunning war-era pillboxes, this “Sunset Pillbox Hike” offers a short yet moderately difficult 1.5-mile round trip with some of the best sunset spots around.

Take in the amazing views and snap some unforgettable sunset photos at this favorite sunset spot for Oahu tourists!

Waikiki Beach

best sunset hikes oahu waikiki

As the evening sunlight illuminates the shore of Waikiki Beach, it’s almost too pretty to be real.

Magenta and orange hues paint the sky in an array of breathtaking colors and contrast against the deep blue ocean. With a sunset this stunning, you’ll be able to fool yourself into believing there isn’t anywhere better.

Stroll along the beach or take your seat for a sunset show on a lounge chair – this is undoubtedly one of life’s most enjoyable experiences.

Hiking in Oahu Summary

From sunrise to sunset and everything in between, Oahu is the perfect place to get your daily dose of golden hour goodness. Oahu is filled with an abundance of opportunities to explore and experience the beauty of nature at its best.

So what are you waiting for – start planning your next adventure and kick off your day with a sunrise, end it with a sunset and enjoy all that this amazing island has to offer!

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