To Main Map

Pali Lookout

Oahu, HI
Print   Leave a comment
Pali Lookout, Oahu Hawaii


Mystery surrounds the Pali Hwy. Growing up in high school in Hawaii, we would tell each other stories of how night marchers lurked in the shadowy forests near the Old Pali Hwy. We would dare each other to drive there with raw meat in the car- for the night marchers would surely stop the car and GET YOU if you did! I don't think any of us worked up the guts to follow through on this dare!
The Pali Lookout is a popular place to take in a magnificent view. I'm sure the night marchers don't hang out there anymore- there's just too many tourists to get in the way of any troublemaking! But the misty peaks that surround you at the lookout still speak of something hidden and scary.
Myth has it that it was from the Pali that hundreds of ancient Hawaiian warriors jumped to their death while being pursued by Kamehameha the Great's army. The wind howls wildly in this place- don't come with a wet swimsuit on or you'll regret it! People tell you to throw a penny out over the lookout and watch how the wind scoops it up and wisks it 90 degrees above you. I've done this many times and it's amazing to watch. But I don't suggest trying this anymore- last time I did it, I guess the wind wasn't right, and instead of the penny going up vertically, it went backwards into the eye of a child- I felt like the lowest rotten scum ever to walk the planet! Never attempt activities that might result in this feeling...
A nice hike is a walk down Old Pali Hwy, to the right of the lookout. You get even better views of the rugged mountain peaks and the spooky soupy clouds that gather on top. You can go a short way down for good views of the mountains above, or you can go all the way down, 1 1/3 miles. You may regret this when you have to turn and go back up the incredibly steep road! It's neat to see the plants growing over the old road and guardrails on this hike.
The drive up to the Pali Lookout is amazing from both sides. Coming up from Kailua side, the guardrail and a huge drop is right next to you- it can make those with fear of heights jittery! Coming from the Honolulu side, the cliffs above you can be striking in their beauty. I can't remember if it was morning or early evening, but once when I drove up there I could hardly believe how wonderful it looked, with the sun casting shadows into the ridges of the cliffs. The key is to drive up when the sun is creating shadows, not when it's straight overhead.
If you're dying to jump in that blue blue ocean below, head over to Lanikai Beach after. Or, to look up at the mountains rather than down from them, head to Ho'omaluhia Gardens. For a lovely place with stunning mountain views (pretty much one of the most beautiful places on earth), at the base of the H3, check out Hawaii Pacific University's windward campus. After 2020, it will become a part of Castle Medical Center. For Oahu's best kid's playground, check out Aikahi Playground.


Photo Gallery

Click on photo to see large version
Cliffs as seen from the lookout.
Cliffs as seen from the lookout.
Misty mountain peaks.
Misty mountain peaks.
Views of valleys.
Views of valleys.
A needle peak as seen from Pali Lookout.
A needle peak as seen from Pali Lookout.


From the Pali Hwy, follow signs to the Pali Lookout. There is plenty of parking there. You will know you have arrived because of all the tour buses.

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

04/08/2008 09:14
Hawaii's mountains are indeed magnificent, rating a close second to the beauty of the ocean. This is a popular, convenient tourist destination, accurately portrayed in this article.

Your Comment


Last Updated: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 20:32:29 GMT