A hike a day keeps the doctor away. I know that’s not the actual saying, but it still holds some truth. Hiking is an excellent way to get outside with the family and release some stress. If you are looking for the perfect kid friendly hike on O’ahu, look no further the Pu’u Ohia trail.
Why Choose Pu’u Ohia For Your Family Adventure
Pu’u Ohia is truly the definition of a kid friendly hike. This out and back style trail is a quick one mile so the kids won’t lose interest halfway through. There is a slight incline and some mud, but nothing even the smallest legs can’t conquer. Both of our kids, 2 and 5, were able to complete Pu’u Ohia with minimal assistance.
Getting To The Trail
Pu’u Ohia is located off Mount Tantalus near downtown Honolulu. The easiest way to find the trail is to go to alltrails.com and select the directions button. This will pull up Google Maps and take you right to the trail head based on your location. There is a small parking lot on the right hand side of the road directly across the street from the trail head.
Be sure to take your time driving up Mount Tantalus. The road is windy and frequented by pedestrians. There are also some incredible views of the city and Diamond Head that you don’t want to miss! There are stopping points along the way so you can get out and take some photos.
What To Pack
Pu’u Ohia is a nicely shaded trail so you don’t really have to worry about sunscreen for this one, but still pack plenty of water. The nice shade translates to a s***ton of mosquitoes. Pack some bug spray aaaand a back up bug spray just in case. Even with covering our entire bodies, we still walked away with a few bites so I couldn’t imagine going without.
Pu’u Ohia isn’t the worst in terms of mud. If it rained recently it would be wise to pack some backup shoes for the car ride home and plastic bags for muddy shoes. It’s always a good idea to have a change of clothes for the little’s in case. An extra pack of baby wipes could also be helpful to get mud off of arms and legs.
Highlights Of The Trail
When you first begin Pu’u Ohia, there are stairs to help you ascend the mountain. Once you get past that, take a peek through the trees and wildflowers to get another breathtaking view of the city and Diamond Head. The biggest highlight of this trail is the dense bamboo forest about halfway through. It is a really unique experience that the kids are sure to love.
At the end of the trail, there is a side trail that branches off right before the stairs. We took the side trail and found it leads you to the same service road the stairs do. If you want to do a loop instead of just walking up then right back down the stairs, take the side trail to the end then hang a left on the service road. You will see a clearly marked sign at the top of the hill to get back on the Pu’u Ohia trail.
Between the bamboo forest and the fact that my usually cranky 2 year old completed this trail without a fuss, Pu’u Ohia comes with a high recommendation from me. Of the almost 20 hikes we have completed on O’ahu, Pu’u Ohia easily ranks in the top 2. I’m still giving Likeke Falls the number 1 spot because I am a sucker for waterfalls.
If you have hiked this trail before, I would love to hear about your experience! If you took the service road further than we did, I would love to know about any other trails it connects to. As always, please share this post if you love what you read and subscribe if you want to stay in the loop. Follow me on social for some fun behind the scenes and extra photos of our adventures. Thank you so much for reading about our adventures out in Our Happy Place 🙂