Hiking Lanai

People love to go to Lanai, Hawaii, because it’s one of the more quiet Hawaiian islands. If you’ve come here for a peaceful, relaxing vacation, one of the best activities you can do is go for a hike. Taking a hike on Lanai not only allows you to explore the stunning views of the island, but it’s also a pleasantly reclusive adventure. Unlike some of the other busier islands, the trails on Lanai aren’t typically packed with crowds. To help you know where to hike, we’ve identified the top five trails in Lanai. 

1. Puu pehe Trail (Sweetheart Rock)

This iconic Lanai trail is quite easy, so it’s perfect for everyone, including families. The entire route is approximately 1.4 miles round trip and only takes 15-20 minutes each way. You make your way along rocky cliffs with views of the water. Many people choose to pack a picnic or do this hike for a calming sunrise or sunset view. It’s a beautiful calm walk to have at the start or end of your day. 

This trail is affectionately known as the Sweetheart Rock trail because of an ancient story of two lovers. A Hawaiian warrior named Makakehau fell in love with a stunning woman named Pehe. Her beauty was so magnificent it would bring tears to Makakehau’s eyes every time he looked at her. Makakehau decided to take Lahaina to his hometown of Lanai and hide her in a sea cave. One day a storm took over the sea while Makakehau was gathering supplies and he came back to his cave to find his love had drowned. Overcome by grief, Makakehau buried his wife at the top of the cliff before jumping into the ocean below. (Perhaps not the happiest ending, but a beautiful story still.) 

Sweetheart Rock trail in Lanai, Hawaii
Via @davidpugh on Instagram

2. Munro Trail Loop

If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, the Munro Trail Loop is for you. The entire trail is around 12.8 miles and takes most of the day to complete. Despite this being a relatively challenging hike, it’s the most popular trail on Lania. That’s because nothing else on the island can beat the views of Munro Loop. You’ll climb an elevation of 3,370 feet to the top of Lanaihale, where you can see ocean views and five Hawaiian islands. 

Make sure you wear the right shoes for this hike as some of the steep incline parts can be muddy and slippery. 

Munro Trail Loop
Via @gohawaii on Instagram

3. Koloiki Ridge Trail

The Koloiki Ridge Trail takes you through luscious green forests full of Lanai’s pine trees. You start with a bit of an uphill climb, but after that, you get to enjoy a lot of downhill. This hike is excellent for viewing wildlife, with lots of hikers coming across wild deer and sheep. And the top of the trail, you’re rewarded with a panoramic view of Maui and Molokai. Despite this trail being one of the most popular on the island, you’ll find that you often have the trail to yourself, giving you a wonderfully peaceful hike. 

The Kolo'iki Ridge Trail in Lanai
Via @gohawaii on Instagram

4. Fisherman’s Trail

The Fisherman’s Trail is a 4.4-mile hike that takes you hiking along Lanai’s coastline. The entire trail is relatively easy, making it appropriate for all skill levels, including kids and dogs. There are informative signs along the hike so you can learn about Hawaii’s history as you go. Fair warning, while this trail might be next to the beach, you won’t want to do it in flip-flops! Pack some proper shoes, as there are some small parts of the trail where you need to do some climbing. 

The Fisherman's Trail in Lanai
Via @naohawaii on Instagram

5. The Polihua Trail

The Polihua Trail is another fairly long hike, totaling almost 10-miles roundtrip. This trail passes the famous rock formations known as the Garden of the Gods and ends at Polihua Beach.Th Garden of the Gods is a large area of bright red rock formations. Hawaiian legend has it that two priests challenged each other to keep a fire burning on their respective islands. The Lanai priest used every piece of vegetation available to him and the rock garden is the outcome of his work. 

Most people do this hike for the benefit of going to Paolihua Beach. Not only is Polihua a wonderfully remote and isolated beach, but it’s also the largest beach on Lanai. This hike is considered moderate difficulty, so be prepared for a bit of a workout that lasts several hours. Of course, the views you get of the island make the whole experience worth it. 

Don’t feel up for a 10-mile hike but still want to take in some stunning views? Many people choose to rent a 4×4 and drive the Polihua Trail instead. 

Polihua Beach, Lanai
Via @jaspasjourney on Instagram

We know you’ll love all these hikes on Lanai; it’s truly the best way to take in the natural beauty of this island. And, if you work up an appetite after all that hiking, grab some food at one of these top restaurants in Lanai.