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makapuu lighthouse

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Makapuu Tide Pool Steep Cliff Hike

Oahu Hiking - Makapu`u Lighthouse Trail

If you can handle a steep descent and climb, this is for you.


Things to do on Oahu for free: the Makapuu Tide Pool Hike near the cliffs by the Lighthouse

This hike is dangerous and must be approached with great caution.

For best results, you will want to go out during low tide and if possible, calm seas.  Makapuu catches tradewind swells so that means conditions will be best when the winds are light. Carefully survey the situation before you go out.

The steep hike to the Makapuu Tide Pools

Hike along the Lighthouse trail. When you get to the whale watching place (marked by visitor information panels) look for faint signs of a trail. Look way down and you will see the tide pools. The trail is not well marked so you'll have to be quite careful.  The trail is also quite slippery with lots of crumbling rocks. Keep a low center of gravity (i.e. a crouched position) as you slowly make your way.


Oahu Weather Now

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Makapuu Lighthouse vertical graphic

  • Current Beach Information for Makapu'u Beach Park, Windward Shore (Oahu) 4/22/2014
    Beach Condition: Extreme — Shoreline activity is extremely hazardous and may lead to injury or death. Lifeguards will monitor ocean access. Avoid areas of wet sand or rock.

    Offshore Condition: Danger — Offshore conditions are very hazardous. Swimmers are advised to not enter the water. Kayakers are advised to not enter the water.

    Surf Report Timestamp: 4/22/2014 4:00:00 PM HST
    Current Wind: Not Available
    Current Weather: Not Available

Hiking Gear Guide

Experienced hikers know what to bring, and here’s a guide for the rest of us:

• Water (lots!)

• Hat, large enough to give you plenty of shade. Personally I like the large “Chinese” hats.

• Good hiking shoes. Either that or go barefoot, like I do!

• Light lunch for your reward at the end of the trail.

• Nuts and energy snacks for along the way of particularly long hikes.

• Camera

• Sunscreen

• Binoculars

• Depending on conditions, leave a change of shoes and clothes in the car.

• GPS unit.

• Walkie-talkies for the group.

• Wireless phone