A lot of people continue to search for information about things to do near Honolulu International Airport. The queries range from best places to shop, surf, sunbathe, and even where to get shave ice. We get it, because after all, who doesn’t want to maximize their time in paradise, even if their flight back to reality is just a few short hours away.
One query that recently came across our paths, was in regards to the most convenient hikes near Honolulu airport. We have to be honest, that one was a bit surprising, given that the activity will have you working up quite the sweat and muscle burn so close to your HNL departure or arrival (the latter of which does make more sense). But people love what they love, and as fans of local area hikes ourselves, we’re certainly happy to chip in with our two-cents about which hiking destinations make the most sense when proximity to Daniel K. Inouye International is key.
Top Three Hikes That Are Convenient from Honolulu International Airport
Lulumahu Falls (9.5 Miles / 20-25 Minutes by Shuttle)
Although this adventurous hike seems far removed from civilization, it is very conveniently located near HNL, in that you just need to hop on the I-H-1-E to Pali Highway and on to Old Pali Road where you’ll meet the unofficial, unmarked trail that crosses a creek through a bamboo forest leading to Lulumahu Falls, which is also located near the Kaniakapupu Ruins aka King Kamehameha III’s summer home. The hike (which is located on private land, by the way…so shhh) boasts an adventurous journey through historic hunting grounds, bamboo-laden terrain, along the Nu’uanu Reservoir, through a running stream, over giant rocks, and on to the majestic 50 foot+ waterfall at its end, making it all worthwhile. The hike can be completed (there and back) with time to stop and smell the hibiscus, in about two hours.
Manoa Falls (10.5 Miles / 30-40 Minutes by Shuttle)
While we were inclined to name Kolowalu and Puu Pia Trails given that they are about five to seven minutes closer than the named, we’d be remiss to keep Manoa Falls off of this list, which is one of the best hikes on Oahu. While it’s a fairly straight shoot from I-H-1-E to Manoa Road, traffic and time of day will dictate how long that will take. Of course, none of that will matter once you witness the waterfall cascading 150 feet down the mountainside. Given that the hike is located on one of the better-maintained mountain trails on the island, it’s a good one for beginners and intermediates alike. The trail begins at the bottom of the old Paradise Park building at the top of Manoa Road. From there, you’ll start the trek across a bridge, and hike the gradual incline along the sides of the deep and lush rainforest valley that is ripe with guava, eucalyptus, banyans, and bamboo.. The last 100 yards or so are more challenging, as you’ll need to navigate over a few boulders, but the fuss is nothing compared to the waterfall payoff. The hike takes just an average of 30-35 minutes, making it a great escape before or after your time at HNL.
Diamond Head Crater Hike (11.5 Miles / 25-35 Minutes by Shuttle)
Too obvious? Well, it is obvious for a good reason. It’s the most popular hike on Oahu due to convenience, accessibility, historical significance, and the sweeping 360 degree ocean view at its peak. And if you haven’t yet done this hike after staying on Oahu, what the heck were you thinking?? Given that Diamond Head is next door to Waikiki, the extra miles (to get there) are nothing as our direct shuttle zips to and from Waikiki frequently through the day. For a 760-foot summit, the hike (which is suitable for all ages and skill levels) can be completed in just about 40 to 60 minutes depending upon your pace. The most challenging part (aside from the heat) is the total of 99 steps that lead you up to a dim lit 200-foot long tunnel that eventually releases you to the North Pacific ocean side that answers the question why you’ve taken on this hike in the first place. Just, wow.
Honolulu Airport Transfer can take you to (and back from) any of the amazing hiking destinations listed above (and more). Just give us 24-hours notice and we’ll take care of you, your party, and all of your gear! View all flat rates, and call us at 1.800.929.1219 or complete the form found here.