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Best Family Friendly Hikes Oahu – 2024 Guide

Looking for the best family friendly hikes on Oahu? Also known as ‘The Gathering Place’, Oahu is the perfect destination for a family vacation. From its stunning beaches to its lush rainforests and breathtaking waterfalls, Oahu has something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

One of the best ways to experience all that Oahu has to offer is by taking a hike through some of its most beautiful landscapes.


The 10 best family friendly hikes on Oahu

We lived on Oahu and our favorite past-time was hiking, so needless to say we have done our fair share of exploring! We’ve put together this guide to give you a list of the 10 best family friendly hikes on Oahu.

It is best to rent a car since these hikes are quite spread out and some have tricky access. Check out our complete guide to renting a car in Hawaii.

We’ll also tell you about each hike’s difficulty level, length, scenery, and other important information so you can make an informed decision about which hikes will be right for your family adventure!

1. Diamond Head Trail

View of Honolulu from Diamond Head hiking trail.
View of Honolulu from Diamond Head Trail

The Diamond Head trail is conveniently located just 5 minutes away from Waikiki making it the most popular hike on the island. It is a fairly easy hike with stunning views of Waikiki, Oahu’s south shore, and even the Diamond Head crater itself.

The trail is .8 miles long and well maintained but is a bit steep gaining about 560 feet. It should take you around 1-2 hours depending on how quickly your family moves.

Pro tips: Make sure to make reservations in advance since this hike is quite popular. You can make them up to 30 days in advance. Also, try to arrive as early as possible since the trail is quite exposed in some places and the afternoon sun can get hot!

  • Hours: 6:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Reservations are required for non-residents
  • Entrance fee: $5 for non-residents. Children under 3 are free.
  • Parking fee: $10 per vehicle
  • Not stroller friendly

2. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Oahu stroller friendly hikes.
View of Makapu’u Lighthouse – Oahu

The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is located on the picturesque east side of Oahu. This hike offers impressive views of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Koko Head crater.

The trail to the lighthouse is all paved and 2 miles long. It is fairly easy, though it does have some steep parts. Plan on around 1-2 hours to complete depending on the pace of your group. You will need to take breaks, especially with toddlers, but there are view stops all along the way the views are breathtaking!

Pro tips: Try to avoid going in the middle of the day since there is no shade and it can get hot. Also, the viewpoints are priceless, especially during whale season (December-March).

  • Hours: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free but the lot fills up quickly so you may need to park on the road.
  • Stroller-friendly but steep

3. Lanikai Pillboxes

Best hikes on Oahu for families with kids.
Lanikai Pillbox View

The Lanikai Pillboxes trail also known as Kaiwa Ridge trail is one of the most popular trails on Oahu. It offers a stunning view of pristine Kailua beaches and lush forests. The trail is 1.76 miles long, gains about 626 feet in elevation, and should take between 1-2 hours to complete depending on your group’s skill level.

This hike can be a bit strenuous, and dicey in sections but it is well worth the effort. The view from the top of the pillboxes is simply breathtaking and will stay with you long after your hike is over.

Pro tips: Wear good shoes since some parts of the trail can get slippery. Also, try to go in the morning since there are often strong winds in the afternoon. Unless you have a backpack carrier I would not recommend bringing kids under 6 years old.

  • Hours: 6:00 am to sunset
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Limited parking in the area, so plan to park on the side of the road. Be courteous and careful not to block anyone’s driveway.
  • Not stroller friendly

4. Manoa Falls Trail

Best waterfall hikes on Oahu with kids.
Manoa Falls

The Manoa Falls Trail is an easy and family-friendly hike located in the lush rainforest of Oahu. This trail will lead you to one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island.

The trail is 1.7 miles out and back with a 650-foot elevation gain making it a solid option for older kids or the younger ones in backpack carriers. The trail is well maintained with several lookout points along the way. Plan to take around 1-2 hours depending on your group’s pace.

Pro tips: Don’t forget to bring bug spray as there are mosquitos in the forest and a raincoat in case of unexpected showers! Also, try to avoid rainy days since the trail can get muddy and slippery.

  • Hours: 6:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: $7 per vehicle
  • Not stroller-friendly

5. Hauula Loop Trail

North shore Oahu hikes for kids.
Hauula Loop Trail Mountain View

If you’re planning to spend some time on the north shore and looking to do some hiking, the Hauula Loop Trail is a great option. This 2.7-mile loop is great for any skill level and offers some amazing views of the lush jungle mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

The trail is fairly easy but can be a bit muddy after rain and there are areas with loose rocks, so make sure to wear good shoes. You will be walking through lush forests and should plan around 1-2 hours to complete depending on the pace of your group. However, it is a loop and there is no end point so you can go as far as you would like and then turn around.

Easy hikes for kids on north shore Oahu.
Hauula Loop Trail Ocean View

Pro tips: There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way, so don’t forget to bring your camera! Also, try to go in the morning since the afternoon can get hot and humid.

  • Hours: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free on street, please be courteous
  • Not stroller friendly

6. Waimea Falls Trail

Top hikes for kids on Oahu.
Waimea Falls – Waimea Valley

The Waimea Falls Trail is a short and easy 0.7-mile out and back trail located in the lush rainforest of Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore. The trail takes you from the valley floor across from Waimea Bay up to one of the most popular waterfalls on the island.

The trail is family-friendly and easy enough for most people to complete. You will be surrounded by lush vegetation, unique Hawaiian flora and fauna, as well as birdsong from the many different species of birds in the area. The trail is generally flat, paved, and well-maintained.

Pro tips: Bring mosquito repellent for the mosquitoes in the area and your swimming suit and towel if you plan to swim in the falls.

  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Entrance fee: $25/adult $14/children 4-14 years
  • Parking fee: Free with admission ticket
  • Stroller friendly: Yes

7. Turtle Bay Trails

Turtle Bay hiking trails for kids on Oahu.
Turtle Bay Hiking Trails with Kids

Turtle Bay Trails are a great spot to explore some of Oahu’s best and most diverse scenery. Located on the North Shore, this system of trails offers spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding tropical forest.

There are several trails suitable for all levels of hikers within Turtle Bay Trails ranging from 0.5-mile flat loops to longer, more challenging out-and-back hikes. The most popular trails are the Pu’u Manamana Trail and the Sunset Beach Trail which both offer stunning views of the ocean and Turtle Bay.

Pro tips: There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching so bring binoculars if you have them! Also, be sure to check the tide report for safety since some trail sections are close to the ocean.

  • Hours: Daily, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking Fee: $5/vehicle per day
  • Stroller friendly: Yes (some parts may be too sandy)

8. Ka’ena Point Trail

Best family friendly hiking trails on the north shore of Oahu.
Ka’ena Point Trail

The Ka’ena Point Trail is a popular 3-mile out-and-back trail located on the northwest tip of Oahu. This picturesque trail takes you along the coastline, through tropical vegetation and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

The trail is considered moderately difficult due to its uneven terrain and sandy sections but is suitable for most people with a moderate level of fitness. The trail is mostly flat and unpaved, so make sure to bring appropriate shoes.

Pro tips: Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen as there are no amenities on the trail! Also, check the conditions before heading out since strong winds and rain can make the going tougher than usual.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Stroller friendly: No (sand is too deep in some parts)

9. Judd Trail – Jackass Ginger Pool

Family friendly hikes on Oahu for swimming.
Judd Trail – Oahu

The Judd Trail is a 2.6-mile loop hike located on the east side of Oahu that takes you to one of the most fun and picturesque spots in Hawaii: The Jackass Ginger Pool.

Our kids had a blast swimming, jumping, and playing on the rope swing.

Best Oahu hikes for swimming.
Playing at the Jackass Ginger Pool

You can keep going on his moderate-easy trail as it winds through lush tropical forests and along the edge of a small gorge. The trail is mostly flat but can be quite muddy after rain.

Pro tips: Bring your swimming gear so you can enjoy the Jackass Ginger Pool! Also, make sure to wear bug repellent since there are quite a few mosquitos in this area.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours but please be courteous of the homes nearby
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Stroller friendly: No (trail is too rocky and steep in some parts)

10. Ehukai Pillbox – Sunset Pillbox

Sunset Pillbox family friendly hike.
View from the Sunset Pillbox Trail

The Ehukai Pillbox Trail also known as the Sunset Pillbox trail is a 2.3-mile out-and-back hike on the north shore of Oahu that takes you to an incredible viewpoint atop two WWII pillbox’s offering spectacular views of the north shore coastline.

The trail itself is considered moderate-easy, with some steep terrain that can get slippery after rain. You also will have to climb over a few roots and rocks, so wear good shoes!

This one is probably better for older kids or kids in a backpack carrier.

Pro tips: The mosquitoes can get pretty fierce so make sure to bring some repellant. Also, be aware of your footing at all times as some parts of the trail can get slippery and the ropes are sometimes worn.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking fee: Free
  • Stroller friendly: No (too rocky and steep in some parts)

What Is the Easiest Hike on Oahu?

The easiest hike on Oahu is the Waimea Falls Trail. This 1-mile out-and-back trail is an easy stroll through a lush tropical landscape and features many native Hawaiian plants and animals. It is suitable for most ages and fitness levels, making it the ideal choice for beginners or families with young children. Be sure to bring a swimsuit as there’s an opportunity to cool off in the waterfall at the end of the trail!

Best Stroller Friendly Hikes on Oahu

The best stroller-friendly hikes on Oahu are the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail and Waimea Falls Trail. The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is a 2-mile out-and-back trail with stunning ocean views that winds along a paved path and has several areas to stop and take in the scenery. The Waimea Falls Trail is a 1-mile out-and-back trail with an opportunity to cool off after your hike in a waterfall.

Tips For Hiking on Oahu With Kids

Tips for hiking with kids on Oahu.
Hiking with Kids on Oahu Tips

Hiking with kids can be a hit-or-miss experience but here are a few tips to help make it an enjoyable experience for all:

  • Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen as there are no amenities on the trails.
  • Check the conditions before heading out since strong winds and rain can make the going tougher than usual.
  • Wear bug repellent since there are quite a few mosquitos in many areas.
  • Have kids wear good shoes with good grip as some parts of the trail can get slippery and the ropes are sometimes worn.
  • Consider bringing a backpack carrier if you have young children who may tire out easily.
  • Bring your swimming gear so you can enjoy any water features you may pass through.
  • Be courteous of other hikers and follow the trail rules.
  • Have fun! Taking breaks along the trail to appreciate nature can make it a great family outing.

Wrap-Up: Best Family Friendly Hikes Oahu

Hiking on Oahu with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. By following these tips, you’ll have an enjoyable time exploring the island’s trails without worrying about safety or getting lost. With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and plenty of opportunities to cool off in waterfalls or pools along the way, hiking on Oahu is sure to become one of your favorite activities when visiting Hawaii!