If you’re an early riser like me, the popular 2-mile paved hike to Makapuu Point Lighthouse is spectacular in the morning. The trail is an excellent place to view migrating humpback whales in season and offers outstanding views of Oahu’s southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater.
According to Hawaiian legend, Makapuu was a supernatural being who took up residence on the point. This being’s defining feature was a set of eight bright eyes, which is reflected in the name Makapuu, Hawaiian for bulging eye. On October 1, 1909, the light from another bright, bulging eye was seen on the rocky point of Makapuu as the giant lens of the historic red-roofed Makapuu Lighthouse was illuminated for the first time on a 600-foot sea cliff overlooking Makapuu Beach – a stretch of sand known as one of Oahu’s best bodysurfing beaches. Beautiful to look at, but not for casual swimmers.
This moderately easy hike paid off with breathtaking views of the indigo ocean and Oahu’s Windward Coast while bypassing and rising above the off-limits path to the Lighthouse itself. This portion of the island tends to be hot and dry and the paved path is lined with cactuses and windblown brush. If you look at the photos closely you can even see Molokai in the distance. Two other smaller islands, Manana (the larger of the two, also known as Rabbit Island) and Kaohikaipu are also visible just offshore in other photos.
Why not find a path or hill to climb this week? Perhaps you’ll climb to a lighthouse. Not so the world can see you, but so that you can see the world.