We’ve been dragging lately. The summer heat and crowds feel oppressive and it seems we only leave the house for visits to Target (air conditioning) and the library (excellent air conditioning).
For the first time in … ever? The kids asked if we could go on an easy hike. They requested something within a half-hour drive of Kailua. I racked my brain, checked the tides and surf forecast and decided on Makapuu Tide Pools. We visited the pools only once in the past after following another hiker off the main trail for the Makapuu lighthouse. At the time, we were curious about what they were up to and after a bit of scrambling, we were rewarded with views of the gleaming turquoise pools far below. On that particular day, the surf was high and anyone brave (stupid?) enough to swim in the tide pools was thrashed about like rag dolls whenever a big set rolled in. However, the weather conditions seemed more forgiving on this day, so we packed our swimsuits and set off.
Family-Friendly Hikes on Oahu
The southeast corner of the Oahu is full of rugged beauty and adventure. It’s a harsh landscape dominated by sharp lava rock and pounding waves. Even the plants pack a punch. Only the most hearty and salt-
At the Makapuu Lighthouse Trailhead, you have three options. You can hike up to the lighthouse (watch for whales in the winter!), down to quiet Alan Davis Beach or hike partially up and make the steep ascent to the tide pools.
The Makapuu Tide Pool Hike
To get to the pools follow the trail up as it weaves around the backside of the cliffs. At the third rest area, you will see two pairs of binoculars and an informational sign about whales. After that, look for a loosely defined trail allowing you zig-zag down the mountain. Go slowly to avoid slipping on loose rocks and most importantly, bring plenty of water.
You will be welcomed by a rumbling blowhole, which spits an impressive (and forceful) spray intermittently. After that, find your favorite tide pool and submerge. If possible opt for hats and shirts as a sunscreen alternative to protect marine life. If you need to use sunscreen, choose one believed to be reef safe.
Looking for More Great Family-Friends Hikes on Oahu?
Drive up the coast to Lanikai for this short hike with big ocean views. Needs more tips? Sign up for the Little Bird Post below to learn about the best family-friendly hikes, beaches, and more on Oahu.