4 of the Best Scenic Walks in Hawaii

When you visit Hawaii, there are so many things for you to do and see. You can literally experience 10 new activities each day and still have more waiting for you.

Now, you don’t need to be an expert hiker or gung-ho adventurer to take advantage of Hawaii’s beautiful scenery. We’re going to list some hikes that offer stunning landscape viewing for those who like to be quite active, but we’ll also talk about some places where you can leisurely walk your way through Hawaii’s unrivaled beauty, viewing incredible fauna, gorgeous waters and even some wildlife with ease.

Today we’ll visit some of the most popular Hawaiian Islands, where I’ll introduce you to the best scenic walks to help you gain a better understanding and appreciation of the natural beauty of Hawaii.

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Let’s hit the trails! Here are four of the best scenic walks in Hawaii, including something for all fitness levels.


Oahu has many wonderful walking and hiking trails, more than enough to fill up this list on its own. In fairness to the other islands, though, we’ll limit ourselves to these two scenic walks, which are a couple of the most popular on the island.

1. Diamond Head Summit Trail

This scenic walk is probably the most beloved on the Island of Oahu, and it’s perfect for walkers and hikers with moderate experience in long-distance walking. The 1.5-mile round-trip walk starts from the center of the Diamond Head Crater and climbs approximately 550 feet up the fairly steep terrain to the rim of the Diamond Head volcano.

Diamond Head is a dormant volcano that formed more than half of a million years ago. The trail through Diamond Head was constructed in 1908 as part of Oahu’s coastal defense system.

You’ll start this walk on a paved pathway and then proceed to climb several switchbacks that lead to a first set of stairs. Ascend the stairs, go through the tunnel, and then take the next set of stairs to the WWII bunkers at the top of the rim. At the summit, you’ll enjoy a 360-degree view of Oahu, including a glimpse of Waikiki down below.

2. Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail

Wait until you see the incredible scenery on the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail. This easy walk takes you on a gradual climb up to view the eastern shore of Oahu from above. On a clear day, you’ll see all the way to Molokai and Lanai—an ideal photo op for impressive island pictures.

On the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trial, you’ll be walking about two miles. If you take this walk sometime between November and May, you’ll hopefully spot some humpback whales migrating between Oahu, Lanai and Molokai. Look carefully for their waterspouts!

The trail is paved the entire way and takes about one to three hours to travel from start to finish, depending on your speed and how much sightseeing you do along the way.

You’ll likely come away with some amazing photos of the lighthouse. Although not open to the public, it is a wonderful sight to see. This walk is not to be missed.


Getting out into nature to walk and view extraordinary scenery is exciting. Sometimes, though, our best scenic walks take us through lovely botanical gardens and public parks. While it’s not quite a hike, you’ll enjoy this different, but equally lovely, scenic walk on Maui.

3. Tropical Gardens of Maui

You’ll be viewing flora and fauna inside Maui’s four-acre botanical garden and plant nursery. For more than 25 years, the Tropical Gardens of Maui have raised and exported beautiful orchids, palms and other exotic plants, and you are invited to come stroll at your leisure.

Soak in the abundance of the exquisite gems from Mother Nature that bloom here and spend as much time as you want wandering the garden on a self-guided tour, passing banyan trees and other native plants. Walk up the hill for a gorgeous view of the garden below.

The Big Island

4. Earthquake Trail and Waldron Ledge Scenic Stroll in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

This walking trail is relatively short, and is also wheelchair-friendly. You’ll enjoy a shaded walk past many beautiful plants that ends up on an overlook that affords an excellent view of the Kilauea Caldera.

The Earthquake Trail is a hidden trail of sorts, and even some locals don’t know of the special opportunities for sightseeing that can be found here. This trail will lead you through earthquake territory on The Big Island, offering a little glimpse of Hawaii’s history as you pass by landslides and entire sections of road that have been affected by earthquakes over the years.

There are public facilities at the start of the trail, and most visitors find that they can manage this walk just fine if they stay on the pavement.

Whether you hike into the alpine zone every weekend or only able to get along with the help of a walker, there are plenty of beautiful paths, trails and attractions suited to your capabilities in Hawaii. You’re never too young or old for this island paradise!