Kid-friendly Hikes: Makapu’u Lighthouse

One of my goals for this trip home to Oahu was to find things I could do with my niece and nephews. Something to keep them active and also let them have a lot of fun (and have me stay active too!). I honestly have never done so many hikes until I moved away, so this is a fun way to get to know the place I grew up!

My nephews are 11 years old. Twins. One is very active–he plays soccer and wants to be a professional when he gets older. The other has been less active lately, but that’s just because he doesn’t know what sport he wants to play anymore. His favorite response is always, “I don’t know.” Yeah… he’s at that age. My niece is 16. She’s pretty athletic. She plays volleyball at her high school and loves to (secretly) workout.

That’s a little bit of their background so you know what kinds of kids are on these hikes with me. My niece didn’t go on this one, but she did on the next two (to be posted about later).

The first hike we did was to the Makapu’u Lighthouse on a Saturday morning. We didn’t start until about 10, but luckily it wasn’t too hot just yet, nor as it really crowded. I brought my friend Kathleen as well and bought spam musibis (a staple in Hawaii) for a lunch at the top.

I didn’t know what to expect since I hadn’t done this hike before, but what I read was that it was an easy, paved road. That is absolutely true. It is paved all the way up and makes for such an easy route. There are little spots you could go off trail, but we mostly stayed on the path. Zachary was feeling pretty courageous and he ventured off with me to get this shot.


On the way up, there are a few mini lookout points and on a clear day you can see Moloka’i, Maui and Lana’i. I didn’t get those photos, but I definitely could see the outlines of these islands.


At the very top of the hill, I had my nephews hike down just a little so we could get a cool shot of the lighthouse in the background.To get down you just go around the lookout area, climbing on the side of the wall (it’s not terribly difficult). Otherwise you can just hop over the railing to that rock on the bottom left corner. That’s how we got back up.


Overall this is just an easy trail that is great for strollers, dogs and kids of all ages (infants to 99 years old!). Definitely bring water because there isn’t a lot of shade. On the way down, we met a kid who was laying on his mom’s lap on the side of the trail–he was dehydrated so we gave him an extra bottle of water and told him it was much cooler at the top.

Definitely do this one if you’re on Oahu. Parking wasn’t too terrible since it’s a pretty quick hike. Doesn’t take more than an hour, even with stopping. How to get there is linked to this post.

Happy hiking!

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