Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail and Photographs of Eastern Oahu
The Makapu'u Lighthouse trail is located on the eastern point of Oahu, just past Koko Head, Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach.
the Light House Trail actually rests in a much larger area, and Hawaiian State Park, called the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline.
The southeastern portion of Oahu is truly a sight to see. The views are absolutely gorgeous, there are plenty of beaches and the drive itself can be distracting. (I recommend doing it with a dedicated driver while everyone else looks around!)
Directions to the Makapu'u Light House Trail
The Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline and the Makapu'u Light House hiking trail are located off of the Kalanianaole Highway (HIghway 72, but Hawaiian don't use route numbers...they use landmarks.).
The Park and trail really are at the most southeastern part of Oahu. When coming from Honolulu or points west, take H1 until it ends and turns into Highway 72 or the Kalanianaole. You will pass Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head and Sandy Beach. It's a beautiful drive. You'll reach the Park Area (noted by the sign and the parking area) on the right hand side of the highway.
If coming from the Windward side, take Highway 72 southeast, past Kailua and Waimanalo. You'll pass the Makapu'u Beach Park and then the highway will start to rise. The Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline will be on your left soon after.
Where to Find Makapu'u LIghthouse Trail on the Map
Above you can see where Highway 72 is in relation to the Makapu'u Light House Trail.
Beautiful Scenes of Eastern Oahu
Eastern Oahu Beauty Immediately
The picture above is literally no more than 2 minutes into the hike. As soon as you start walking the initial incline you look right and this is what you see.
To the left, by the ocean, you can see a sliver of Sandy Beach. Dead center of this photo is the famed Koko Head, Oahu landmark and hiking trail. Just to the left of Koko Head, jutting out just a bit, you can see the initial opening to Hanauma Bay.
The Makapu'u Light House Trail Details and Tips
The hike is short only .75 and 1.5 miles round trip.
The hike is wide-open with zero cover. Wear a hat, sunglasses and apply sunscreen before starting.
The hike is 99% uphill. It is not a steep climb but it is a climb, nonetheless. Drink water. I like to use my small Camelbak when I hike. It hold 3 liters of water and can carry my phone, camera, keys, wallet and a flashlight.
Bring binoculars or a camera with a really good zoom function because there are possible migrating humpback whale sightings at certain times of the year.
I saw many people walking or running the trail with GoPro's on their chest or head.
There is no camping or mountain biking allowed on the trail.
STAY ON THE TRAIL and watch small children closely. As you can see from some of the photos, once of the trail the drops can be deadly.
Good Stuff for Hiking in Hawaii
The Western and Northern View from the Makapu'u Light House
From the lighthouse scenic lookout you can look north and west and see Makapu'u Beach Park and Waimanalo.
There is actually another trail that follows the ridge line you see in this photo all the to Waimanalo. It's about a 4 mile hike and is called the Makapu'u TomTom trail. This is an ancient Hawaiian trail named after the two guys (both Toms) that discovered it.
Romance and Love at Makapu'u Light House
Makapu'u has romance and love. The breeze, the blue water and the gorgeous sights can't help but induce romantic feelings with the ones you love.
There are many "locks of love" left by visitors on the Makapu'u Light House observation deck. I think this is a beautiful tradition.