The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is a nice hike to overlook the lighthouse. You can take the paved trail all the way up to the lighthouse, or you can take a side detour to the tide pools.
What: Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Where: Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline Park near Hawaii Kai, east (windward) side of Oahu.
Distance: about 2 miles.
What to Bring: If you are just hiking to the lighthouse, you’ll want water, sneakers or hiking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. Most of the trail is exposed to direct sun, with very little shade.
If you are going to the tide pools, wear your bathing suit under your clothes. Wear good hiking shoes. The unmarked trail down to the tide pools is steep and rocky.
Other Things You Should Know:
The tide pools are cool and fun to swim in, but you MUST go at low tide. At high tide, waves splash up over the rocks and into the tide pools, making it dangerous to swim.
Children and inexperienced hikers should not attempt to go to the tide pools. It’s a steep climb down (and back up), with loose, sharp lava rocks and some rock scrambling.
The reef at the bottom can be dangerous even at low tide. A rogue wave can come at any time. There are also several blowholes that are fun to watch, but you’ll need to keep your distance from them.
To Get To The Tide Pools: about 2/3 of the way up the lighthouse trail, you’ll see a sign about humpback whales. The trail down to the tide pools starts behind that sign. On the way back up, you’ll see that someone was kind enough to paint arrows on the rocks to show you the way. Follow those as best you can.