29 In Hawaii

Hawaii Hikes: Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail

Checking out Hanauma Bay is often on a visitor’s list of sites to see while on Oahu. What many might not realize is that there is a great hike just above, that offers an amazing downward view of the bay and gives you a pretty decent workout. Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail is one of my go-to hikes on the island. It offers varied terrain, unique landscape views and makes you sweat.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike

The last time we hiked this trail we brought along our rhodesian ridgeback. Although this trail is dog-friendly, make sure you feel comfortable with your dog’s fitness level. Our pup is pretty active, and even he was a bit sore after this hike. Although he is kind of a baby.

We park on Nawiliwili Street, which is a side street off of Kalanianaole, and walk a short distance towards Hanauma Bay. We then take a right up an access road towards the trail. You’ll see where you can cut through some tall grass to meet up with the paved portion of the hike. Its an easy incline up the ridge, you’ll see people of all ages hiking this part of the trail.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Tall Grass  Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Paved Portion

As you hike you’ll enjoy some amazing views from all sides. Koko Head Crater is behind you and Hanauma Bay is on the left. Oh, and more beautiful coastline can be found on the right.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike View

Koko Head and Bay View

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike View

View to the right

So this is the easy part of the hike. The challenge comes when you trek down the ridge to the left. There are two main ways to make the decline. The first is a bit steeper then the second and I prefer to be hiking up a steeper part on the way back rather than down it. Here is an idea of the two options as well as where we park.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Map

Where to park and decline options (Kaihuokapua’A for an easier decline)

Take your time walking down. The landscape here is very different from up above. It’s almost like you’ve landed on mars by the time you get to the bottom of the trail.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail

Bottom of trail, Mars?

Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike Bottom

Looking to the left

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail

View towards the right

Not far from here is a spot thats known as the “Rock Bridge” Many people try to get a photo while standing on the rock bridge. I don’t really recommend it. People have been washed off of it by rogue waves.

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Rock Bridge

Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail Rock Bridge

The hike takes about 2 hours at an easy pace. Be sure to slather on the sunscreen because the hike is completely exposed. Bring lots of water and enjoy the raw beauty that is Hawaii.

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  • Jen Smith
    September 6, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    That water looks beautiful!Can’t wait to make it to Hawaii one day!

  • Kaitlin
    September 6, 2017 at 12:23 PM

    Insanely beautiful! And yes, that TOTALLY looks like Mars! My hubby and I love hiking..unfortunately, we don’t have anything that pretty in Houston!

    – Kaitlin

  • Melanie
    September 6, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    My hiking heart would be in heaven here! What a gorgeous trail! Hopefully I will get to check a Hawaiian hike off my bucket list one of these days.

  • Meli
    September 6, 2017 at 6:50 AM

    Wow! Absolute breathtaking! I have visited Hawaii lots and haven’t done this hike yet! I will be adding it to the list for sure!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      September 7, 2017 at 5:40 AM

      It’s often overlooked I think, hope you get to try it next time!

  • Bridget Roddy
    September 6, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    This looks so beautiful! I can’t believe how blue the water is in that last pic!

  • Ada
    August 21, 2017 at 11:09 PM

    wow Hanauma Bay Ridge Hike looks wonderful! I am going to Hawaii in two month and I need to make a plan soon what to go! I would definitely consider this hike ! What a view!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      August 22, 2017 at 8:41 PM

      There is so much to do, you’re gonna have a great time!

  • Hawaii Hikes: Aiea Loop Trail | Aloha Lovely
    June 5, 2017 at 5:29 AM

    […] Hawaii Hikes: Hanauma Bay Ridge Trail […]

  • Lyndsay // Lyndsay's Travel Kitchen
    May 29, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    It really does look like mars!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      May 29, 2017 at 4:45 PM

      Hawaii really has some amazing landscapes! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.
    May 29, 2017 at 6:09 AM

    Oh wow, that looks like a gorgeous hike! My family loves to hike, if we are ever in Hawaii we will have to check this trail out!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      May 29, 2017 at 6:44 AM

      Yes, definitely! It’s really beautiful. 🙂

  • Andrea
    April 26, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    The view from this trail is breathtaking! Absolutely beautiful! This is definitely going in my bucket list for when I visit Hawaii 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      April 26, 2017 at 9:23 PM

      You’re welcome! I can’t wait to hike it again!!

  • gabe
    January 15, 2017 at 8:20 PM

    Thanks for creating a virtual hike for me. All this snow is bogging me down. Now I have a new hiking destination to add to my bucket list!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 16, 2017 at 6:18 AM

      Thanks for stopping by! Happy to provide you with a little warmth 🙂

  • Cori
    January 10, 2017 at 6:06 AM

    What a gorgeous hike! Hawaii is my second to last US state to visit, so this was super helpful for figuring out what I need to see when I finally go!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 10, 2017 at 6:54 PM

      Mahalo for stopping by! Be sure to check out my other Hawaii posts for other spots to check out. Aloha!

  • Michelle - Lillian Abbey
    January 9, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    Beautiful hike! I have only visited Hawaii once but we hiked the Na Pali coast and it was an incredible experience!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 9, 2017 at 7:11 PM

      That’s awesome. I still need to hike the Na Pali. Aloha!

  • shannon
    January 9, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    Beautiful photos, sounds like a great hike. I visited Maui several years ago but sadly didn’t get any hiking in. I will keep this in mind for future travels.

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 9, 2017 at 7:11 PM

      Definitely! The possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless here!

  • Jessica
    January 9, 2017 at 6:07 AM

    This is heaven on earth! Wow!

    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 9, 2017 at 7:10 PM

      There are so many amazing places to hike here, its pretty unbelievable. 🙂

  • adele miner
    January 8, 2017 at 12:09 PM

    It looks like the most amazing place ever, I am so jealous! Your blog is really amazing by the way, you seem really lovely.. hopefully we can keep in touch, I love making new blog friends! x


    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 8, 2017 at 2:46 PM

      Thank you so much!! Heading over to check out your blog now.
      Aloha! – Julie

  • the adventurer
    January 5, 2017 at 3:58 AM

    Incredible views! I snorkeled in Hanauma bay when I first visited Hawaii but would love to go back and hike this trail! Thanks for sharing =o)


    • julie@alohalovely.com
      January 5, 2017 at 5:08 AM

      There are still so many things here I have yet to do! I hope to eventually gather my Hawaii posts into mini guides of the island. Cheers!