Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail Hiking Trail

Easy walk along the coast on an asphalt trail

Essential info

  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Season: January-December
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 3.6 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 150 meters
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

About Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

This is an asphalt trail along the coast up to the Makapu’u Lighthouse. The views are amazing and if you are lucky you can even spot whales from the trail. From the peak you will have a view of Rabbit island, Kaohikaipu Island State Seabird Sanctuary and the South east coastline.

Getting there

From Honolulu, drive south. Take first Lunalilo Freeway and after Kalaniana’ole Highway to Makapu’u Lookout parking lot. The entire drive from Honolulu takes about 30 minutes. 

On the island it is wise to rent a car. The public bus does not run often and drives only between the larger towns on the highway.

Trail description

The trail starts at the end of the parking lot and is well marked. The entire trail is asphalt and you can easily bring a baby stroller the entire walk. 

The first part of the trail gives you views of the south side of the island. There are stops along the way where you can sit and enjoy the view. Glance out over the ocean every now and then, because a whale may swim by. 

When you’re almost at the peak, you will see the lighthouse on the rocks near the sea. When you can see the southeast coast, you know you’re on the peak. Enjoy the view and the wind, because they say the wind never stops here. 


  • No drinking water on the trail, so make sure to fill up before leaving the parking lot.


  • Public toilets in the parking lot.
  • You will find lot of shops in Honolulu if you need to stack up on supplies. 

Where to stay

You can choose from one of the many hotels in Honolulu. The island is not big, the maximum distance you can travel in any direction is two hours by car.

The island also has several camping sites if you want to bring your tent.


Questions or comments? Let us know.

By Nadja Kroon

World traveler originally from the Netherlands. 

Download trail descriptions, maps, and guides in the Outtt app.

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