Hailey Minton

Writer. Photographer. Explorer.

January 25, 2018 · 3 min read

Rock climbing near the Makapu’u Lighthouse

Soak in fantastic views while ascending cliffs above the ocean.

I put on a harness and climbing shoes for the first time at this beautiful location years ago. When you are on the wall and turn to face the ocean, you’ll remember you aren’t just 30 ft. from the ground. The ocean below you makes it look as if you are midway through a multi-pitch ascent. There are two outdoor sport climbing locations on Oahu and this is the easier one out of the two. There are twelve routes and most of them can be top roped although it can be sketchy to reach a couple of the anchors from the top.  Check out Mountain Project for the routes and ratings.

Getting to the crag

This is the view you are looking for. The Makapu’u lighthouse is about even with the horizon. Photo by Hailey Minton

To get to the crag, park at the Makapu’u Lookout. When you get out of your car, take the paved walkway towards the lookout. You will notice a man-made rock fence bordering you to the east. Climb over it and start heading up the mountain. Stay within sight of the ocean. The trail closest to the cliffs is the most direct route to get to the climbing. Be careful if you decide to hug the coastline. It’s a long way down! Trails weave their way over the mountain and it can be easy to pass it without noticing. Mountain project says, “The crag is actually located in a small saddle at the top off the first hill.”


The base of the routes can become like a wind tunnel. I’ve almost lost my hat a couple times here. It all just depends on the weather and the time of day. This spot is usually in the shade so it can get chilly. Between the combination of those two factors, I’d say it’s wise to bring a jacket.

Be responsible for your trash

Let’s all remember to take care of the land. Pack out what you pack in. And to all the people who pack out trash that isn’t theirs, YOU ROCK! The world needs more people like you!