With its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning mountain views, Oahu is the perfect place to explore with your pup. From easy trails to more challenging hikes, there are plenty of options for you and your four-legged friend. Here are the top 10 dog-friendly hikes in Oahu that you won’t want to miss!
1. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
Difficulty: Easy • Length: 2.5 miles
The Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is one of the most beloved of all Oahu’s hiking trails. The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is located on the south-eastern tip of Oahu. The trail is 2.5 miles long, with stunning panoramic views of Makapuu Beach, Koko Head, Molokai & Lanai neighboring islands and beyond.
2. Aiea Loop Trail
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 4.9 mi
The Aiea Loop Trail is a 4.9-mile trail that offers stunning views of Halawa Valley and Pearl Harbor. The trail is considered moderately challenging, taking about three hours to complete. It has an elevation gain of about 1300 feet and features mostly shady terrain. Being a loop, this hike will give you a unique experience with every step; no scenery or view is the same!There is ample parking available at the Keaīwa Heiau State Recreation Area, where the trail begins and ends. Restrooms are also available at this location.
3. Kaiwa Ridge Trail
Difficulty: Hard • Length: 1.7 mi
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike is a stunning and moderately challenging hike located in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. The 1.7-mile out-and-back trail takes an average of 1 h 8 min to complete and offers breathtaking views of the Mokolua Islands and the beautiful beaches of eastern Oahu. The beginning of the trail is steep with loose gravel, but it levels off as you reach the top. Once at the top, hikers are rewarded with two old World War II-era concrete bunkers with panoramic views of the area. The hike can be done in about an hour or so, depending on how far you decide to go.
4. Ehukai Pillboxes
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 2.3 mi
The Ehukai Pillboxes are a 2.3-mile loop trail located near Haleiwa, Oahu. It is generally considered to be a moderately challenging route and takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete. The trailhead begins next to the Pupakea Elementary parking lot and provides stunning views of Ehukai Beach, also known as Banzai Pipeline, which is famous for its 20-foot waves at certain times of the year. Along the way, there are ropes and trees to hold on to as it can get steep in some areas.
At the top of the hike, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Oahu’s North Shore and the Seven Mile Miracle. This is a great way to explore the north shore of Oahu and experience its beauty from above!
5. Likeke Falls Trail
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 0.8 mi
The Likeke Falls Trail is a 0.8-mile out-and-back trail located near Kaneohe, Oahu. It is generally considered to be moderately challenging and takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete. The trail leads to the stunning two-tiered Likeke Falls waterfall, which sits below the Pali Lookout. Along the way, hikers will pass a chain link fence and graffiti-covered water tank before reaching the falls. The hike is relatively short at only 0.8 miles, making it an ideal choice for families with young children and/or dogs who want to experience a beautiful Oahu waterfall without having to commit to a long hike.
6. Makiki Valley Loop Trail
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 3.2 mi
The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is an easy, shaded hike around the Makiki valley in Oahu, Hawaii. The trail begins at the Hawaii Nature Center and takes you through a gorge with dense vegetation and lush greenery. Along the way, you’ll be able to spot some of the island’s native flora and fauna, as well as a secret waterfall. The loop is approximately 3.3 miles long with an elevation gain of about 1000 feet, making it a moderately challenging hike that can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to complete. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous trek, this trail has something for everyone!
7. Waimano Falls Trail
Difficulty: Hard • Length: 2.9 mi
The Waimano Falls Trail is a 2.9-mile out-and-back trail located near Pearl City, Oahu. It is generally considered to be a challenging route and takes an average of 1 h 41 minutes to complete. The first part of the hike is an easy half mile or so, with the Manana/Waimano Ridge Trail being composed of pavement, roots, and a wide trail.
Once you reach the end of the ridge trail, you will find yourself at Waimano Falls. This stunning waterfall cascades into a pool at its base and features rope swings for those brave enough to take the plunge! The hike also includes two major waterfalls with one deep enough to jump into.
If you’re looking for a short hike on Oahu’s West Side, then Waimano Pools and Falls is definitely worth checking out! With its breathtaking views and fun activities, it’s sure to make your day an unforgettable experience.
8. Judd Trail
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 1.0 mi
The Judd Trail is a 1-mile loop trail near Honolulu, Oahu that takes an average of 30 minutes to complete. It is generally considered to be moderately challenging and features a bamboo and Norfolk Pine forest. Along the way, you will find a 10-foot waterfall and swimming hole known as the Jackass Ginger Pool. The terrain is mostly flat with some slippery sections, making it great for adventures with dogs or those looking for an easy hike. Parking is available near the entrance on Nuuanu Pali Dr. With its stunning views and natural beauty, the Judd Trail is one of the best hikes in Oahu!
9. Moanalua/Kamananui Valley Trail
Difficulty: Hard • Length: 9.2 mi
The Moanalua/Kamananui Valley Trail is a 9.2-mile out-and-back trail located near Honolulu, Oahu. It is generally considered to be a challenging route, taking an average of 6 hours to complete. The trail begins at the end of Moanalua Valley at Moanalua Valley Park and starts as a road barred by a green gate. Along the way, hikers will traverse seven bridges and enjoy the lush forest of Kamananui Valley. The trail is suitable for two- and four-legged hikers of most fitness levels, making it an ideal outing for families with children or pets. With its stunning views and unique terrain, the Moanalua/Kamananui Valley Trail is sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
10. Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Trail
Difficulty: Moderate • Length: 2.3 mi
The Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Trail is a 2.3-mile out-and-back trail located near Kaneohe, Oahu. It is generally considered to be moderately challenging, but suitable for beginners due to its short length and easy terrain. The trail offers stunning panoramic views of the Windward coast and takes you to a piece of history that overlooks the east side of Oahu. Along the way, you will pass by a pillbox with great views of Kaneohe Bay.
This trail is perfect for those looking for an easy hike with rewarding views and plenty of bang for your buck! So if you’re ever in the area, make sure to check it out!
Tips for Hiking with Your Dog D. Understanding dog behavior
Proper preparation is key when heading out for a dog-friendly hike. Make sure to check the weather ahead of time, and know your pup’s physical limitations and energy levels. If you’re new to hiking with your pup, it may be better to start off with a shorter and easier trail before attempting something more challenging.
Related Article: Tips For Safe Hot Weather Hikes
Supplies to bring
Be sure to bring things like plenty of supplies for your dog like water,snacks and treats, a first aid kit, leashes or harnesses, water bowls, toys or brushes and flea/tick protection if necessary. You’ll also want to bring waste bags!
Make sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times, avoid areas that could be dangerous (like high cliffs or rushing rivers) and watch out for snakes or other wildlife that could put your pup in harm’s way. Additionally, if you’re visiting Oahu during hot months make sure to stick to trails with plenty of shade and water breaks along the way – you don’t want to overheat yourselves!
Understanding dog behavior
Understanding dog behavior is crucial for making sure everyone has a fun and safe adventure together! Make sure you know the signs of fear, aggression or fatigue in your pup so that you can respond accordingly if needed. If things start getting too tough for them then it might be time for a break – remember that their safety comes first! Also remember that not all dogs enjoy being around other animals (or people) so always give them space if needed.
With so many dog-friendly hikes in Oahu, you and your pup will definitely be able to find an adventure that best suits you. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll along the beach or a challenging hike up steep hills for stunning views, there is something for everyone on this list of top 10 dog-friendly hikes in Oahu! So grab your leash, lace up your shoes and head out on an amazing adventure with your furry best friend – you won’t regret it!