Makapu'u Tom Tom to Dead Man's Catwalk


"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

Updated: December 11, 2015

Location: This hike is located across from the Makapu'u Lighthouse hike. It includes great views of the windward side during the whole hike as you are just following the ridge line.

Type: Ridge hike

Hike Difficulty: Intermediate

Total Time: 3 to 4 hours

Distance: About 4 miles


Things to Consider

  • Kid friendly: no
  • Pet Friendly: maybe
  • This hike is closed to the public and there are no trespassing signs on both sides of the hike. Hike at your own risk.
  • Bring lots of sunscreen. This hike is out in the open the whole way with no shade.
  • This hike doesn't have trail markers, except for the incline after the puka. However, just follow the ridge line, and you shouldn't get lost.
  • Preferred long sleeve shirt and long pants. You will get scratched from the overgrown parts of the trail.
  • Find a ride home, stage a car, or catch the taxi. Plan to have a friend stage a car at the bottom of the Dead Man's Catwalk trail so you don't have to hike all the way back to Makapu'u.

Your hiking backpack

  • Sunscreen
  • 2 Liters of water
  • Snacks (I packed some Cliff Bars and granola bars)
  • GoPro/Camera (Lots of beautiful scenery on this hike)


Take Kalanianaole Hwy from Hawaii Kai or from Windward side to the Ka Iwi State Shoreline Park. This is where the Makapu'u Lighthouse trail starts. Come early because it is hard to find parking here. Cross the street to the other side to see some "No trespassing" signs and this is where the trail begins.

The other car will be staged at the bottom of the Dead Man's Catwalk trail. Drive all the way up Kamehame Drive to the end until you see a metal fence. This marks the end of your hike so leave a car here for the return trip.

Our Journey

We departed off to the top of Kamehame Drive to park one car. Then we drove to the Ka Iwi Shoreline Park and parked our other car. We started off about 11am. This was a bad idea because noon time would be the hottest time of the day so we got sun burnt. However, it was a beautiful hike, and we saw 3 or 4 people along the way, throughout the hike. The trail is pretty straight forward and at times, it can be a little faint. There are no trail markers the whole way to the Puka, and we only saw a couple markers heading up the mountain past it. As long as you follow the ridge line the whole way, you can't get lost. You will know you reached the puka after a downhill climb and a bunch of rocks will appear in front of you. The trail is really overgrown as of now, so be careful of getting scratches on your arms and legs from the branches.





























Up a short 20 minute uphill climb, across the street from the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, we see these gorgeous views. The water is so blue and beautiful!






















See the cars driving by on the road below.





























I had to take a seat and soak it all in.





























Amazing views of Sea Life park below.





























We drank a Rockstarr to pull us through this hike.





























And now heading down to the Puka!





























The view looking back at what we just descended.





























We made it to the Makapuu Puka! It was a good place to take a nap.





























You can even go inside the Puka although it is a little dangerous.





























We decided to bring a Chicken Sandwich from Burger King

for our lunch and I got the first bite.





























Continuing on past the Puka is another hill.





























Looking back at how far we've gone so far.





























We found one of those markers that are in the mountain along the KST.





























We saw an old, abandoned launching pad.





























And another one, probably still being used. After this launching pad, head down the stairs directly below until you reach the paved road.





























After what seemed like forever (actually just 3 hours or so), we made it to the Dead Man's Catwalk trail. However, we we're beat, so decided not to go visit and headed back down to our car.





















Here's a picture of Dead Man's Catwalk the last time I went. Beautiful view!!

























Allison's Hidden Stairs is also located near here, through the fenced off area.

Post-Hike Grinds

After the hike we ate at Paina Cafe in the Koko Marina Center. You have to try the Hawaiian Poke Bowl. It's the best thing on the menu!



























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