Oahu, Hawaii: Top 5 Kid Friendly Hikes

Ever wanted to sample the incredible nature of Hawaii? Then you’re in the right place! Jessica from The Walking Mermaid has given us her top 5 hikes on the island that you can do with your little ones…
A beautiful day such as today, where the sky is bright and sunny, full of life and not too hot… is the kind of day where if I was living back in Hawaii I would grab my girls, some snacks, our water bottles, hiking shoes, and camera, and go on a beautiful hike. Now hiking with littles ones is not easy so sometimes choosing a hike that is good for the kids can be a little challenging. Here is a list of my top five favorite hikes to do with my little girls that have either beautiful views or gorgeous waterfalls.
I love hiking and taking my little ones on new adventures all the time but finding the right ones for their little-selves can be a little challenging at times. There’s been plenty of times that I go to a hike and turn back around to find something else to do cause I don’t want to push my kids limits or put them in any sort of danger. All the hikes listed below I have done with my two girls (at the time they were age 1 and 3) and we managed to do the whole hike and enjoy ourselves. In most of the hikes I did carry my 1 year old but there were areas where she can still go around and play and my back can get a break.

1. Manoa Falls

This beautiful hike will take you through the jungle in Honolulu all the way to a beautiful waterfall. It was a pretty easy hike with tons of flowers and gorgeous trees to make you want to never get off the trail. I would do potty breaks right before going on the hike cause there will be no place to go to the bathroom at on your way up. Once you reach the end you can find your perfect rock and just chill and admire the waterfall. The best time to go is in the morning and a day or two after a strong rainfall has passed. It will bring the waterfall to a full life that will keep you wondering why you would ever want to leave the island. This hike is fairly easy for kids and tons of fun. Read more about it here.

Hawaii 4Length: 1.5 miles round trip

Waterfall: 150 foot fall.

Elevation: 784 feet

Cost: Parking – $3
Small shop by the parking area to refresh at after the hike.


3860 Manoa Rd.,

Honolulu, HI 96822


2. Diamond Head Crater Trail

Diamond Head was a fairly easy hike with gorgeous views of Waikiki, Honolulu, and all the way around to Hanauma Bay. The view is absolutely breathtaking.  The path is rugged most of the way but has some paved areas as well as tons of stairs towards the top. There’s several pillboxes where you can go to to get the best views. There are no restrooms on the top so potty breaks before starting and once arriving to the parking lot is definitely a must for the little ones. I highly recommend arriving early when the park opens so you can take advantage of the cool morning weather. Read more about our Diamond Head Crater Trail here.

Cost: Parking – $5 per vehicle.
Small gift shop by the parking area for souveniers as well as food trucks and shaved ice. Leonard’s Bakery is not to far away from here. They have very delicious treats. Read more about it here.

Length: 1.6 miles round trip

Elevation: 521 ft


Diamond Head Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815
(800) 464-2924




Hawaii 3

3. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

This hike is fully paved. The way up and down is absolutely breathtaking. When starting the hike you will see Sandy Beach and Koko Head Crater to the right and then it’ll loop around the mountain to where you can see the ocean and the whales splashing around as well as the Makapu’u Tidepools down below. Once you reach the end of the trail you will see two small islands (pictured above) making the end even more amazing then ever imagined. You will also see the small lighthouse right below this scenic point. On your way back down you will see a small rugged trail on the left leading to the lighthouse. It’s best to arrive early to get good parking or else you’ll have to walk quiet a ways. There’s no restrooms here so I would take napkins or baby wipes in case your little ones can’t hold it. There’s a few good bushes to hide in. Don’t forget to always have hand sanitizer and to always clean up after yourself. Read more about the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike here.
Cost: free
No shops or restroom. They had an area under construction for restrooms and a lookout so it may be open at this time.

Length: 3.3 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 1220 feet

Location:  Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795


4. Ehukai Pillbox Hike  

This hike was so much fun. One of my favorites. When you arrive you will go through the mountain and work your way up to two different pillboxes, each with breathtaking views overlooking the North Shore of Oahu and the beautiful Banzai Pipeline beach area. You will also see the beautiful tidepools down below. This is the popular hike that we all see on social media with the peace sign. Yes that one. It’s so beutiful. Definitely bring wipes or toilet paper as there’s no restrooms here. There’s shops and food trucks a little ways down the road closer to the Banzai Pipeline as well as restrooms which is a short driving distance from the parking area. Don’t miss out on the fish tacos there. They’re amazing. Best on the island. Hawaii 2

Cost: free
No shops or restrooms on trail but there is a few food trucks and local shops on Kamehameha Hwy right down the road from the trail point.

Length: 2.4 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 912 feet

Location: 59-178 Ke Nui Rd, Haleiwa, HI 96712

5. Waimea Falls

Waimea is another gorgeous hike found on the North Shore of Oahu. This gorgeous hike has a small creek running from the waterfall all the way to Waimea Bay. The whole trail is paved and sorrounded by gorgeous botanical gardens and historical buildings such as huts. This trail was fairly easy and has a beautiful waterfall at the end where you can swim at. There’s lifeguards present there and lifejackets available to use. This trail requires an admission ticket to do but it’s worth it. It’s beautiful. This trail is also handicapped accesible which is awesome cause you can take your senior family members on this trail with no problems whatsoever. They even have a small tram that will take them up to the waterfall and back down. There are restrooms located at both ends of the trail which is awesome for the little ones and there’s also changing rooms by the waterfall as well. Hawaii 5.jpg

Cost: Adults $16, Seniors $12, Children $8 (military discounts available.)
Shops and restrooms available.

Length: 2 miles roundtrip

Elevation: 429 feet

Location: 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

Phone: (808) 638-7766




There’s so much beauty out there. May this post help you and your little ones go on some awesome adventures while exploring the beautiful island of Oahu.

To sample more of The Walking Mermaid’s adventures check out her blog and Instagram!



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