Hawaii is one of the best places to watch a beautiful sunset! With so much incredible nature just a stone’s throw away, you need to do these sunset hikes in Oahu. Some are popular spots that offer panoramic views, while others are a little more hidden and lesser known.
Sunset Hike Essentials
If you’re planning an Oahu hike at sunset, you’ll want to make sure that you have these items on hand before taking off!
- Flashlight/headlamp – This is a must if you’re going down a trail after the sun has gone down. You can easily hurt yourself in the dark and you’ll want to see clearly in case you wander a little too far to the edge of a cliff.
- Camera – You’re going to want to get some pictures so make sure you have a camera handy!
- Blanket/towel – It’s always best to have a comfy spot to sit, whether that’s in the sand or on the grass.
- Speaker – I love watching the sunset with my favourite music in the background. Just make sure you’re not disturbing the people around you.
- Snacks – If you’re going anywhere without snacks, what are you really doing? Bring your favourite drinks, water and a few snacks to keep you going (especially if it’s a long hike).
The Best Sunset Hikes in Oahu
Diamond Head is a classic spot for catching a sunset in Oahu. There are three different trails you can take, all of which are fairly easy to complete. You can either find a spot along Diamond Head Beach and walk along the white sand or do one of the trails.
I’d recommend doing the Diamond Head Summit trail, which is 2.9km long and only takes about an hour to complete. It has a fairly steep incline at certain points along the trail but is still relaxed and fun to do with friends or family. Keep in mind that it’s a popular spot so get there early if you want a good spot for the sunset!
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
Lanikai is about a 30 minute drive from Honolulu and offers incredible ocean views. There are two different pillboxes you can hike to, only about a few minutes apart from one another. It’s an easy hike and where you can catch some of the best sunsets in Oahu!
It’s 1.4km long and takes about 40 minutes to complete. On a clear day you’ll have the best views of palm trees lining Lanikai Beach below. Make sure you bring your camera because it’s such a beautiful spot to capture amazing content in Hawaii.
If you’re interested in a more challenging and longer hike, you can make your way over to the second pillbox. Lanikai Pillbox #2 is a 2.7km out-and-back trail that should take just over an hour to complete. It’s definitely worth going a little further to get to the end of this trail if you have the time.
Ehukai Pillbox Hike
Catch the sunset from a different part of the island with the Ehukai Pillbox hike. It’s one of the best sunset hikes in Oahu because it’s not as busy as some of the other hikes closer to Honolulu. You’ll have to drive about an hour from Honolulu to get to the start of the trailhead. It’s a 3.7km loop and takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
The trail runs through the lush forest until you reach views of the Pacific Ocean. You can also have a nice chilled evening at Ehukai Beach if you’re not feeling like a hike!
Kaena Point Hikes
Kaena Point State Park is about 1 hour from Honolulu, on the west side of the Oahu and is home to some of the best sunset hikes in Oahu! There are 6 different trails you can try out, meaning there is something for everyone.
Kaena Point Trail (from South) is a bit of a longer hike at 9.8km, taking roughly 2.5 hours to complete but is outstanding for bird watching, as well as taking in the sunset. If you’re planning on doing this hike, make sure you have a good flashlight with you for the walk back and hike with a group!
Drive half an hour east of Honolulu and you’ll reach Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. It’s a 4km out and back trail that takes just over an hour to complete. The lighthouse provides you with a unique view at sunset and if you look closely, you might even spot a few whales!
It’s one of the best spots to catch a sunset in Oahu.
Hanauma Bay Hikes
Hanauma Bay is your best bet if you’re after a short hike! There are two easy and short trails at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, both of which only take about 25-20 minutes to complete.
The Hanauma Bay Lookout has some of the best views you’ll find on this Hawaiian island! The only downside is that it can get quite busy and if you’re heading to the trailhead by car, you might want to try parking at the Koko Head parking lot instead.
Not Down for a Hike? Try These Sunset Spots in Oahu ..
If you want to have a more chill sunset experience after a long day, try out these other spots!
China Walls is without a doubt one of the busiest sunset spots in Oahu but definitely worth a visit! It was one of the first places I visited when I got to Hawaii and it blew me away. Lots of people gather on rocks overlooking the water and many people surf and do crazy stunts like backflips off the rocks, as waves crash.
It’s a great place to watch the sunset because it has an unobstructed view and it’s a quick 25-minute drive from downtown Honolulu.
Waikiki Beach is another beautiful place to watch the sun go beyond the horizon. While you won’t have the beach to yourself, it has a fun atmosphere and the colours from the sunset never disappoint!
This is definitely a great spot if you don’t want to go far and are staying around Honolulu.
If you have a car to get around Oahu, you need to catch a sunset from Tantalus Lookout in Puu Ualakaa State Park! From the viewpoint you can see Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor, offering views you won’t find anywhere else in Oahu.
There’s a small hike, known as the ‘Ualaka’a Loop Trail (1-mile loop) if you feel like moving your feet and taking in the beautiful views from another angle.
Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach Park is one of the best places for a beach sunset, especially in the summer months! It’s a short drive from Honolulu and has beautiful sand and blue water to swim in as the sun goes down.
Ko Olina Lagoons
Calling all beach lovers! Ko Olina’s man-made lagoons are the perfect place for you if you want to get cozy along a sandy beach. There are four different lagoons and it’s a more secluded spot, compared to most of the beaches you’ll get in Oahu and is on the southwest coast.
It takes about 45-50 minutes to drive there from Honolulu and parking is on a first-come first-serve basis.
Which Sunset Spot is Your Fave?
You can’t go wrong with any of the sunset hikes in Oahu! Which sunset hike in Oahu did you enjoy the most? If you’re still looking for more Hawaii content, the Stairway to Heaven hike is one of the most famous hikes in Oahu!
Make sure you check out my budget traveller’s guide to Hawaii as well and I’ll be back shortly with another blog. Feel free to connect with me on Instagram or TikTok where I share my daily travels and I’ll see you soon!
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