Along the Tantalus–Round Top scenic drive, a network of hiking trails littered with fragrant lilikoʻi (passion fruit) encircles, offering contemplative forest hikes combined with city views. The hardy Puʻu ʻOhiʻa Trail, in conjunction with the Pauoa Flats Trail, leads up to Nuʻuanu Valley Lookout, traveling almost 2 miles each way.
The trailhead hides at the very top of Tantalus Dr, about 3.6 miles up from Makiki Heights Dr. There's a parking turnoff opposite the trailhead, on the makai (seaward) side of the road.
The trail begins with reinforced log steps, leading past fragrant ginger, musical bamboo groves and lots of eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree planted to protect the watershed. After 0.5 miles, the trail summits Mt Tantalus (2013ft), aka Puʻu ʻOhiʻa, then leads back onto a service road ending at a telephone relay station. Behind that building, the trail continues until it reaches the Manoa Cliff Trail, where you'll turn left. At the next intersection, turn right onto the muddy Pauoa Flats Trail, which leads up to the Nuʻuanu Valley Lookout, high in the Koʻolau Range.
You'll pass two trailheads before reaching the lookout. The first is the Nuʻuanu Trail, on the left, which runs 0.75 miles along the western side of the upper Pauoa Valley, offering broad views of Honolulu and the Waiʻanae Range. The second is the ʻAihualama Trail, a bit further along on the right, which heads 1.3 miles through tranquil bamboo groves and past huge old banyan trees to Manoa Falls.