Our 5 Favorite Scenic Strava Routes in Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i is renowned for its natural beauty, and it's no surprise that the Islands offer some of the most sought-after Strava routes in the world. From rugged coastlines to lush forests and breathtaking mountain views, this place truly has it all. Here are some of our favorite running, hiking, and cycling routes in Hawai‘i to add to your travel bucket list. There’s something for every level of athlete and exercise intensity.
A few safety tips before you head out:
1. Hawai‘i's weather can change quickly, especially in the mountains. Always check the forecast and be prepared for rain, wind, or extreme heat. If the weather is particularly bad, it may be best to postpone your run or hike.
2. Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing into areas that are marked as off-limits or that you are not familiar with.
3. It's important to stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels up during your run or hike. It's also a good idea to carry a water purification system in case you run out of water.
4. Always let someone know where you are going, when you plan to return, and who you are with. This way, if you encounter any problems, someone will know to look for you.
5. Make sure you pack footwear that’s up for the adventure. Wear comfortable and sturdy sneakers with good traction to avoid slips and falls on uneven terrain.
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Diamond Head Loop - O‘ahu
The Diamond Head Loop on the island of O‘ahu is a popular Strava route that takes you on a scenic tour of one of the island's most iconic landmarks. Diamond Head is a volcanic cone that rises 760 feet above sea level. The loop starts at Kapiolani Park and covers a distance of approximately 6 miles, taking joggers and walkers past some of O‘ahu's popular tourist destinations, including Waikīkī Beach and the Honolulu Zoo, before ascending to the summit of Diamond Head. Once at the top, you can take a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the vistas before making your way back down.
Mauna Kea Summit - Hawai‘i Island
The Mauna Kea Summit on Hawai‘i Island is a challenging and awe-inspiring Strava route that takes runners and cyclists to the summit of one of the world's tallest mountains. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that rises to a height of 13,796 feet above sea level, and the route to its summit is one of the most challenging Strava routes in Hawai‘i. The route starts at the visitor center located at an elevation of 9,200 feet and covers a distance of approximately 6.5 miles to the summit. The climb is steep and unrelenting, with an elevation gain of over 4,500 feet. Despite the difficulty of the climb, the views from the summit are well worth the effort. It's important to note, however, that the route is not for everyone. Due to the high altitude and challenging terrain, it's recommended that only experienced athletes attempt the climb.
Wailea Beach Path - Maui
The Wailea Beach Path is a popular Strava running route that stretches along the beautiful Wailea Beach on the island of Maui. You'll be surrounded by stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, with sparkling water, swaying palms, and white sand beaches stretching out before you. Waimea Beach Path is relatively flat, making it accessible for runners of all skill levels. There are also several benches along the way, providing opportunities to take a break and enjoy the scenery.
Koko Head Trail - O‘ahu
The Koko Head Trail is a challenging hike that rewards visitors with dramatic views of O‘ahu's southeastern coast. The trail consists of over 1,000 steps made from old railway ties, which were used to transport military supplies during World War II. The steep climb can be challenging, but the dreamy ocean views from the summit make it well worth the effort. As you make your way up, you'll pass through lush vegetation, rocky outcroppings, and over wooden bridges, providing a one-of-a-kind hike.
Kalalau Trail - Kaua‘i
If you’re looking for a Strava running route in Hawai‘i or a tough hike, The Kalalau Trail is a next-level choice. The hike curves along the rugged coastline of Kaua‘i's Nā Pali Coast. The trail offers breathtaking views of the ocean, waterfalls, and lush valleys. The full trail is 22 miles long and requires a permit, but Strava users can track a shorter route to Hanakāpī‘ai Beach and back, offering a rewarding workout and some of the same stunning views.
The Best Time to Go
The winter months (December to February) are generally the best time to hike or run in Hawai‘i. The temperatures are cooler and more comfortable, ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s, and the air is less humid, making it easier to breathe. This is particularly true in the lowlands and coastal areas, where the temperatures can soar in the summer months. Additionally, the chances of rain are lower during the winter, which can be an important consideration when planning a hike or run. However, it's important to note that the higher elevations can be colder and more unpredictable during the winter months, so it's important to bring appropriate gear and check weather conditions before embarking on a high-elevation hike or run.
The Best Athletic Shoes to Bring
Wearing sneakers with proper arch support and comfort is incredibly important when hitting the trail. The arch of the foot is one of the most important structures for maintaining balance and absorbing shock during physical activity. Without proper support, you’ll likely experience discomfort, pain, and even injury. A good pair of sneakers with arch support can help distribute weight evenly across the foot, providing cushioning and stability. Additionally, comfortable sneakers can help prevent blisters and other foot injuries that can occur during long hikes or runs.
Our most comfortable shoes for trail hikes and jogs are the men’s Holo and Mio Lī, or the Pūnini for casual walks. For women, we’d recommend our Huia or ‘Imaka Trainer for active excursions and our Kīlea and Hā‘upu for leisurely days.
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