Hawaii: Breathtaking Oahu and Big Island Hikes


img_4173On Hawaii’s island of Oahu there is an abundance of outdoor adventures waiting for you. For the experienced hiker looking for a coastline view with a moderate amount of difficulty, I recommend the Pillbox Hiking Trail. With beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, this trail is about a 45 minute drive from Waikiki beach. Once you reach the summit, there lies two abandoned World War II machine gun bunkers, that have been tastefully covered in graffiti. If you decide to continue on past these two historic gems, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of Hawaii’s many valleys. The best advice I can offer for this hike is BRING WATER! No matter the time of year, it’s hot there and staying hydrated is essential to having a great time there.

Another gem on the Island of Oahu is the Kuliouou Ridge Trail, this has to be, by far, the coolest hike that I’ve done on the Island of Oahu. Looking at the view of the valley was like looking at a piece of art. It was so picture perfect I almost shed a tear… OK maybe not quite, but I hope you can understand just how beautiful it was. The trail itself is filled with an abundance of exotic flora to explore. As far as skill level, the Kuliouou Ridge is not too difficult and can easily be explored by hikers of all skill levels. It takes approximately 3 hours start to finish, so make sure to pack water, snacks and sunscreen!

Well aloha Hawaii! The “Big Island” is probably my favourite of the Hawaiian Islands. Despite being called the “Big Island” it is still quite small, taking only a day to circle the whole thing! While there, a must do is visit Volcanoes National Park. The hiking opportunities are endless, ranging from easy to difficult each with their breath-taking sights to see. While I was there, Kilauea, one of the volcanos was active, it’s important to remember that this can make parts of the park closed off to the public. For a truly spectacular experience, you can drive down to the coast to see the lava flow in action.

Another highly recommended hike is climbing Mauna Kea, a massive volcano that towers the island at 13,803 ft. I met a wonderful couple that had climbed it, and said it was amazing. Round trip takes approximately 8 hours total and you get a spectacular view with an added treat of seeing the observatories at the top. But take caution, if you do hike this volcano, do it at your own risk because the couple mentioned that they had some difficulty breathing due to the elevation gain.

My overall favourite hike that I had done on the Big Island was the Pololu Valley Trail. This trail is great for hikers of all experience levels, there are numerous spots to stop and take pictures of the beautiful coast and an outstanding view of the valley. It’s about a 45 minute hike from the trailhead to the beach, a perfect spot for a picnic. I advise caution when taking a dip in the water, the waves are the gnarliest I’ve ever seen and could carry you out to sea in the blink of an eye.

All this being said, you really can’t pick a wrong trail when hiking in Hawaii, and I can’t wait to get back. Aloha!