Makapu’u Lighthouse


About Makapu’u Lighthouse


Offering breathtaking panoramic views, the Makapu’u Lookout also offers a look at the lighthouse that warns boats of the island. Many visitors enjoy the 1-mile hike to the lookout, where the lighthouse is easily seen. The lighthouse can be seen from Waimanalo Beach Park, Makapu’u Beach, and is one of South Shore Oahu’s most notable landmarks. Off-shore island Rabbit Island can be seen from the top of the lookout. Photo courtesy: pmarkham


The Makapu’u Lighthouse was built in 1909, and was automated in 1974. The lighthouse features the largest lens in the United States, standing 12 feet tall and with over 1,000 prisms. The large size of the lens helps the range of the light. The 115,000 candlepower light can be seen over 19 miles out to sea.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Amenities: No amenities. Those hiking to the lookout should bring water and sunscreen.
  • Insider Tip: From the Makapu'u Lookout between December and May, Humpback Whales can often be seen navigating the channel off of the South Shore of the island. Keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales!
  • Fun Fact: The lighthouse was once the second highest focal point of all US lighthouses. It is currently third at 420-feet, only behind the Old Point Loma Lighthouse (462-feet) in California, and the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse (422-feet).
  • What to Expect: Breathtaking views, seasonal humpback whales, and a 1-mile hike.
  • Pop Culture: Though it is red now, the lighthouse was once black. The rocky cliffs from the lookout are popular with hang gliders.