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Mountain hiking at sunset | Photo by @kalenemsley via Unsplash

Mountain hiking at sunset | Photo by @kalenemsley via Unsplash

Hikes on Shaka Guideļæ½s East Oahu Shoreline Drive

Jennifer Fields

Shaka Guide’s East Oahu Shoreline Drive takes you to three optional hikes. Each allows you to explore Oahu’s landscapes from a different perspective. Whether it’s above the island’s sprawling beaches or within its wild wilderness you’ll discover the scenery that makes Oahu special. Here are three optional hikes along Shaka Guide’s East Oahu Shoreline Drive

1. Diamond Head Crater

Hikes East Oahu Shoreline Drive Shaka GuideViews from Diamond Head summit | Photo by Tor Johnson, Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate 

Miles, Round Trip: 1.8 

Time to Complete: About 1.5 hours

Price: $10 parking AND $5 per person (credit card only), free for Hawaii residents 

As you hike Diamond Head, you’ll walk narrow pathways, climb two sets of stairs, and stop at a series of scenic lookout spots. Diamond Head is one of Oahu’s most popular attractions — in fact, about 3,000 people hike the volcano daily. That means there’s a lot of foot traffic; be mindful of this as you’re navigating the route.

Just before you reach the top of Diamond Head, there’s a former military bunker. Go inside and see the lookout points that made this spot a strategic post for the U.S. Military — it purchased Diamond Head in the early 1900’s. Once you’re done, walk just a little further to reach the summit where you’ll find views of Waikiki and the island’s leeward beaches. 

RELATED: Diamond Head Travel Guide

2. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail 

Hikes East Oahu Shoreline Drive Shaka GuideMakapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, Oahu | Photo by Tor Johnson, Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate 

Miles, Round Trip: 

Time to Complete: About 1.5 hours

Price: FREE

The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail was formed on a dormant volcano — one of five that you’ll see on Shaka Guide’s East Oahu Shoreline Drive. As your walking the paved pathway to the summit, you’ll take in views of Oahu’s rugged scenery, including Kokohead, Makapu’u Beach, and Rabbit and Shark Fin Islands. 

Once you reach the top, look down to see Makapu’u Lighthouse which was created to guide ships along the island’s turbulent coast. Fun fact: the giant lens of the Makapu’u Lighthouse is the largest of its kind and is still in operation today – the lens was even exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair!

3. Judd Trail 

Hikes East Oahu Shoreline Drive Shaka GuideWalkers at Judd Trail

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Round-trip Miles: 1

Time to Complete: About 45 minutes

Price: FREE, street parking only

Judd Trail runs parallel to Old Pali Road, a small stretch of the original roadway that connected Honolulu to Oahu’s west side. This short path travels through lush jungle, passing streams and small waterfalls along the way. Once you reach the end of the trail you’ll come across a swimming hole — feel free to jump in! 

This hike is family friendly, however you’ll have to cross a stream to get there. Be careful — it can get muddy and slippery if it’s been raining. You’ll also want to pack bug spray to protect against mosquitos. 

Pro Tip! Koko Head Stairs is a hike you’ll pass along the tour route. This particular hike is known — and revered — for its difficulty. The trail takes you along an abandoned railroad track to the summit. Although just under two-miles Koko Head Stairs in steep! We don’t explicitly go to Koko Head on the East Oahu Shoreline Drive, but you can make a short detour (about an hour) and continue with your road trip of Oahu’s east coast. Please note that this trail is for experienced hikers only. Do not attempt it if you are not in good physical shape, scared of heights and are not a confident hiker. 

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