Best Hawaiian Hikes: 6 Fit for the Family

Just 15 minutes from Waikiki, a short hike along the Manoa Falls Trail takes you into a lush tropical rainforest. Marco Garcia
By Pamela Wright, David Thompson and Michael Tsai

The islands, each unique and geographically diverse, boast a variety of hikes and terrain to rival anywhere in the world. The most difficult part about hiking in Hawaii is deciding which trail to take. Do you head for the summit of a 13,000-foot volcano, where you may encounter snow and blooming silversword? Do you opt to walk deep into a wet, tropical forest to discover plants and birds found nowhere else in the world?

Here we highlight six hikes from our book Best Hiking Trips in Hawaii that are suitable for most families.

Photo Caption: Just 15 minutes from Waikiki, a short hike along the Manoa Falls Trail takes you into a lush tropical rainforest.
View Next Slide
Adventurers re-energize themselves aside the soothing and spectacular Manoa Falls. Marco Garcia
Marrying easy access with a host of natural attractions, Manoa Falls is the island's most popular public trail. The trail is relatively short and aggressively managed to appeal to hikers of all ages and skill levels.

Photo Caption: Adventurers re-energize themselves aside the soothing and spectacular Manoa Falls.
View Next Slide
Kiholo Bay on the Big Island. Frommers.com Community
A dusty hike through arid South Kohola kiawe brush to the coast and a beautiful, turtle-rich, blue lagoon. Take a swim, and then continue hiking along the beach, to a lava tube and a spring-fed lava-rock pond known as Queen's Bath, where yes, queens really did bathe.

Photo Caption: Kiholo Bay on the Big Island. Photo by casey y/Frommers.com Community.
View Next Slide
Scale a 10,000-foot dormant volcano and peek into the crater at Haleakala National Park. Kristin Mills
It's not much of a hike -- you can do it up and back in less than a half-hour -- but it's a great way to take in some wonderful views of Maui's volcanic basin. The short trail goes to the summit of Pa Kaoao, one of the highest viewpoints in Haleakala National Park. You'll have great views of the stark Haleakala volcanic wilderness and, on clear days, neighboring Big Island's tallest peaks.

Photo Caption: Scale a 10,000-foot dormant volcano and peek into the crater at Haleakala National Park.
View Next Slide
Waihee Valley Swinging Bridge Trail in Maui. Ed Hart
What could be more fun on a hot Hawaiian day than hiking an impossibly lush rainforest, crossing two swinging bridges, and ending at a perfect swimming hole? Walk through misty and verdant Waihee Val-ley, with rippling streams, cascades, and waterfalls.

Photo Caption: Waihee Valley Swinging Bridge Trail in Maui. Photo by Ed Hart/Flickr.com.
View Next Slide
Hikers stopped alongside the Nakalele Blowhole Trail in Maui. Frommers.com Community
Set on Maui's northern coast, Nakalele Point is an otherworldly scene of twisted lava and hissing ocean. Water surges through a hole in the lava shelf, erupting like a geyser and sending seawater some 100 feet or more into the air. Rocky coastline and ocean views abound, and easy walking makes it a good family stop.

Photo Caption: Hikers stopped alongside the Nakalele Blowhole Trail in Maui. Photo by Yvonne Baur/Frommers.com Community.
View Next Slide
Mahaulepu Heritage Trail in Kauai. Frommers.com Community
Rugged sea cliffs, secluded coves, dunes, tide pools, sculpted lava formations, native plants, and petroglyphs are found along this ancient coastal route. The beach was also site of a legendary battle during the 1300s, has prime whale watching in the winter, and is a favorite hangout for endangered monk seals.

Photo Caption: Mahaulepu Heritage Trail in Kauai. Photo by 2eyes/Frommers.com Community.
View Next Slide
advertisement
advertisement