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Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail and Photographs of Eastern Oahu

Updated on May 19, 2014
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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!)

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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

Here is Eastern Oahu from the Makapu'u Light House trail.
Here is Eastern Oahu from the Makapu'u Light House trail. | Source

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.

People resting on the trail and just watching the ocean to relax and maybe see migrating humpback whales.
People resting on the trail and just watching the ocean to relax and maybe see migrating humpback whales. | Source

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.

The water is the bluest I've ever seen.  The ocean can be angry, though.  Those tide pools below look inviting but one rogue wave could be deadly.
The water is the bluest I've ever seen. The ocean can be angry, though. Those tide pools below look inviting but one rogue wave could be deadly. | Source

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.

Again, look at how beautiful and pure the blue of the water is from this vantage point.
Again, look at how beautiful and pure the blue of the water is from this vantage point. | Source

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.

Locks of Love at the Makapu'u Light House observation deck.
Locks of Love at the Makapu'u Light House observation deck. | Source

One Last Beautiful Image of Makapu'u Light House

On the way back down the trail I turned to take this last picture of the light house and the water.
On the way back down the trail I turned to take this last picture of the light house and the water. | Source

My Short Video of Makapu'u Light House and the View

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