Spot Whales from Shore
The Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail is a popular hike any time of the year, but from December through April, when humpback whales are in residence, it's amazing. The trail, leading to a picturesque lighthouse, offers great views and in the winter wild whales will be playing in near-shore waters.Located on the south shore of Oahu between Sandy Beach and Sea Life Park, the short, paved trail is a relatively easy hike with good views of Koko Head Crater, the windward Oahu coast and Molokai on the far horizon.
The second half of the hike faces east and brings you to a whalewatching lookout where high-power binoculars are available. Humpbacks are known to frequent the waters off Makapu'u Point. But it's not always easy to spot these enormous 45-foot creatures. Watch for the spray as the whale breathes. If you're lucky you'll get a show when the humpback starts flipping its fins, slapping its tail and sometimes leaping from the water in a full breach.
The trail leads along the access road to the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse, built in 1909 and one of Oahu's most familiar landmarks. Guarded by three locked gates, the lighthouse is off limits to the public. The gates are there to prevent vehicles from accessing the trail. Hikers are welcome.
Not too far from the trailhead, a grassy trail branches off the main paved trail. That trail is what is left of an ancient Hawaiian path around the island called the "Kings Highway". It leads out to a rock formation called Pele's Chair and a lookout that is close to sea level.
There is another unpaved rocky path leading from near the whalewatching lookout down to a rocky peninsula at sea level. At the bottom, there are large tide pools and a mini blow hole that shoots sea spray up into the air like a whale's spout.
To get to Makapu'u Point, go east past Sandy Beach Park on Kalaniana'ole Highway. Park along the road just beyond the Hawaii Kai golf course.
- Make a Play Date with a Dolphin at Dolphin Quest Hawaii or Oahu
- See the most popular activities on Oahu.
- Oahu kayaking tours!
- Oahu sportfishing tours
- From $989 - Oahu & Kauai Island Hopping 6 Nights Incl. Air, Transfers & Daily Breakfast. Choose your favorite hotel for your stay!
- Compact car rentals on Oahu from $261/wk
- From $1,375 - 9 Nights Island Hopping: Oahu, Kauai & Maui w/Air, Hotel & Breakfast. Spend 3 Nights in each island.
- Make some new friends at Dolphin Quest Hawaii or Oahu
- Soar over the Oahu coast on a Parasailing adventure.
- Midsize car rental on Oahu from $269/wk
Hawaiian Airlines: Special Offers
- 5th Night FREE at Maui and Kauai condos. Book Now!
- Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and "Jurassic Park Falls" views with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters!
- Secluded Maui beach resort, free car, dining credits & more
- Over 35 Oahu attractions & activities, 1 LOW PRICE! Save up to 55% now!
- $785+ Hawaii Trips w/Air & FREE Convertible, SUV or Minivan