Makiki Loop Trail, a nice hike very close to Waikiki

Hiking may not be something that comes to mind when planning a vacation in Hawaii. However there are many beautiful trails on all our islands. I will admit that I am not a hiker but recently I had the opportunity to discover Makiki Loop Trail. This trail goes into Makiki Valley which is right in the heart of Honolulu and only about ten minutes by car from Waikiki. It is very close to Tantalus and Round Top Hill. What is so nice about this trail is that it is a perfect work out, about one hour and forty minutes of ups and downs. Good exercise! It is not that difficult although I do recommend good shoes with traction. The trail gets a lot of rain so it can get muddy. Of course I also recommend that you bring water, wear sunscreen and hat, and use mosquito repellent.

This trail is about 2.5 miles and it begins and ends at the Nature Center up Makiki Heights Drive. There is even a gravel parking lot near the entrance of the trail.

We went up there around 8:00 in the morning. Many folks are out there walking the trail for exercise. I noticed that there are many local Korean walkers. They must walk it every day because they all looked fit to me. There was even a gentleman walking the trail with bare feet!

The loop is a combination of three trails: Kanealole, Maunalaha and Makiki Valley. You can walk clockwise from Kanealole or counterclockwise from Maunalaha . Maunalaha is much steeper so I prefer the gradual ascent of Kanealole. I think I will try the other way next time. I guess it’s good to attempt the difficult part first when you have more energy.

There are many beautiful streams to see. Lots of plants including taro, fern, bamboo, banana, guava, kukui. I also saw heleconia and the sweet smelling ginger. There is much shade throughout the trail and it can get quite cool as long as it’s not a muggy day. The view from the top
overlooking the valley and the Honolulu high rise buildings is quite spectacular. It’s very peaceful. You can hear the birds and roosters. It’s a wonderful tropical and lush trail that I recommend for novice hikers. I noticed many people hiking alone but I think that it’s more enjoyable to go with a partner.

Yes, there’s more to Hawaii than beaches. There are many valleys and mountains to explore. Enjoy!

Honolulu Festival

Honolulu Mauka Trail System

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