Trail Hiking Tips for Oahu’s Best Trails

Trail Hiking Tips for Oahu’s Best Trails

Taking a hike during your stay on Oahu can guide you through the island’s numerous breathtaking landscapes. Before you venture out during your time in Honolulu, it is essential to remember these tips to ensure you have a safe adventure.

Even though many of the trails on Oahu are well-traveled and used, these trips take you into unknown territory. It is a best practice to bring along a first-aid kit, plenty of water, and any medications you might need if something unexpected happens.

1. Don’t Leave Valuables Behind

Hawaii isn’t a magnet for crime, but leaving valuables in your vehicle while hiking does create an opportunity for an ethically-challenged individual. Most parking options for trails on Oahu are in remote locations. Theft is not uncommon.

2. Hike with a Friend

Making a wrong turn while hiking happens more often than you may realize. Advanced hikes on Oahu require hikers to follow specific instructions that may not be posted in obvious locations. Getting disoriented gets you lost, and rescues happen throughout the year here. If you must hike alone, choose a trail you know for sure that you can handle.

3. Get Back Home Before Nightfall

Oahu sits quite close to the equator. That means we get about 12 hours of daylight each day. The sun sets quickly for people who live in more northerly or southerly climates, causing them to get stranded on a trail in the dark. Take a flashlight with you just in case, but it is better to finish your hike before the stars come out.

4. Choose Your Swimming Holes Carefully

The waterfalls and streams on Oahu (and all of Hawaii) often contain a bacterium named leptospirosis. It causes several symptoms that mimic other diseases, and some don’t exhibit any signs of infection. Without treatment, you can experience respiratory distress, liver failure, kidney problems, and meningitis. It is usually safer to go swimming at the beach or a treated pool.

5. Bring Plenty of Sunscreen

That 2-hour sunscreen isn’t going to last as long as you think because of how much you’re going to sweat during a hike. The sun is also quite harsh here on Oahu, especially for skin that doesn’t receive regular UV exposure. Apply a layer before you go hiking. Once you’ve been on the trail for about an hour, pause to add another.

6. Windbreakers Are Best Friends

It might get warm on Oahu, but the breeze can also blow fiercely throughout the day. Rainstorms can come in quickly, leaving you unprepared if you’re three miles deep into a four-mile trail. Instead of shivering on a ridge or mountain summit, pack a windbreaker or a sweatshirt so that you can stay warm.

7. Hiking Shoes Are a Necessity

The cleared trails receive proactive maintenance on Oahu, but that work may be different than what you expect. It can get muddy and slick in a hurry. You’ll also discover rocks and ridges that need climbing that sneakers or Crocs can’t manage.

Hiking in Oahu is a fantastic way to enjoy a Honolulu adventure. Please remember these tips before venturing into the unknown.

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