As you breath in the warm sea air from the top of Chinaman’s Hat, spread your arms wide open as to welcome all of your world problems, because at that moment you’ll have absolutely none. Every new experience on Oahu seems to be a spiritual one and this hike will be nothing less.
This short and refreshing workout adventure is perfect for those with an active lifestyle or even beginners. At the top of Chinaman’s hat hike you’ll look straight ahead and see breathtaking Oahu mountainside and the gorgeous coastline. When you look down you’ll have a bird eye view of the reef peering through aqua clear waters directly below. Usually views like this are only seen from a helicopter tour. However, kayaking and hiking Chinaman’s hat is much more adventurous and affordable experience I won’t forget.
We linked up with Active Oahu Tours to give us the ultimate Chinaman’s hat tour! Mike showed up with all the kayaks & gear we needed and made sure our adventure was safe and exciting. He shared some Hawaiian stories about Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoliʻi islet) and thanks to him our group had such a blast.
The only way to hike to the top of Chinaman’s hat is to cross the shallow reef to the secluded island. The distance from the Oahu shore is about 2000 ft / 610 meters.
The best way to cross the shallow and sharp reef to Chinaman’s Hat is by kayak or stand up paddle board. This will also make it easier for you to bring shoes for the hike. If you’re stand up paddle boarding it might be a good idea to remove your fin so it doesn’t catch the reef on low tide.
Some people do use a flotation device like a body board to swim out, but with the shallow reef and changing tide conditions, it’s not ideal.
You can kayak to Chinaman’s hat in about 15-20 min. and the hike to the top only takes about 10-15 min.
There is a small beach docking area and you’ll want to make sure your stuff is secured high enough in case of a rising tide while you’re on the hike.
The trail is easy to find and on your way up there is a great photo opportunity with beautiful palm trees and landscape views.
The trail gets a little steep towards the top, where you’ll have to climb with your hands and feet. It’s a smart idea to bring hiking shoes with you as it can be slippery or even muddy.
When you get to the top you’ll have amazing 360 degree views of clear ocean waters and Hawaiian mountain views.
Breath in the air, spread your arms, and live Aloha.
Where is it Located:
Chinaman’s hat is a small isle right off the coast of Kualoa Regional Park located on the east side of Oahu. There is plenty of parking at the park. Park hours are from 7am-8pm.
Kualoa Regional park
49-479 Kamehameha Hwy,
Kahaluu, HI 96744
Who is this hike for?
This hike is great for all ages and experience levels!
For families, children, and elderly I would recommend doing the Chinaman’s Hat Adventure tour with Active Oahu Tours.
Get the best experience with Chinaman’s Hat Adventure tour:
I would highly recommend doing the Chinaman’s Hat Adventure tour with Active Oahu Tours. You can even make a day of it by adding on additional activities to your customized tour.
I would pair this tour with a surf lesson or snorkel adventure. If you really enjoy kayaking, then you could also pair it with the Rainforest Kayak Adventure.