My favorite thing about the Makapuu Lighthouse Hike is how dog-friendly it is. There are trash cans stationed throughout the hike for the convenience of throwing poop bags away. Dogs are legally allowed on this hike (with proper leashing,) and it’s not too intense for little dogs. I do this hike at least once a week with my dog and my dad (the best hiking buddies around,) so at this point I barely bring anything with me when I’m walking up this. I bring a full water bottle and leave it in the car because I don’t like to carry it with me.
I would recommend doing this hike in the early morning or right before sunset. There will guaranteed be parking closest to the trailhead later in the day and you won’t have to worry about the heat! If you do choose this time frame, start the hike two hours prior to sunset to get just the right amount of lighting. However, if you want to hike it around noon get ready to sweat all of your sunscreen off because it’s so hot and there’s little to no shade on your ascent, especially during the summer months.
Parking is very convenient and typically abundant. The weekends can be pretty packed, just like with any other location on O’ahu, so be mindful of this. And of course, don’t leave valuables in the car. The location pulls up on Google Maps as “Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail” so follow these directions to get to the parking lot.
The hike takes an hour roundtrip. It’s not a loop-styled hike so you’ll take the same route down that you took up. The trail is paved the entire way and conveniently wide enough to host hikers. You don’t have to worry about “finding your way” or following trail markers unless you choose to go off the path. The incline is gradual and easy for practicing hikers as well as newbies.
There are lookouts stationed along the path and definitely make sure to stop and soak up the view of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean! On a clear day you can see Moloka’i in the distance. In the winter months you’ll be able to see whales so definitely be on the lookout!
My favorite aspect of this hike is the simplicity and dog-friendliness of it. I love taking my dog on hikes but most hikes don’t allow dogs or are too difficult for his short legs (he’s a toy poodle.) He loves this hike, and I do, too. It’s a mess-free walk because I don’t have to worry about him getting muddy or sandy. It’s also not too long or steep for him. It’s simple because of the ample parking and closeness to Hawaii Kai Shopping Center (which features the famous Teddy’s Bigger Burgers!) And not to forget the drive there is one of my favorite drives of the Ka’iwi Coastline passing Hanauma Bay and Sandy’s.