Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Whether you’re an adventure-seeking newbie to the beautiful Pacific island of Guam, a long time resident who wants to get outdoors more, or a daydreamer fantasizing about hiking on a tropical island, here’s your top 10 gorgeous Guam hikes. Get ready to walk through jungles, splash across rivers, and climb up mountains to some of the most breathtaking views on island. Guam is full of so many unique hikes throughout its diverse landscape that it was hard to narrow this list down to just ten (in no particular order)! These are my personal favorites, but they only begin to scratch the surface of everything our island has to offer, so look out for a deeper dive into Guam hiking in the future.
Now pull on your trail shoes, grab a spritz of bug spray, and let’s go!
10. Tinago Falls
We’ll start off simple with a quick hike perfect for the whole family. Tinago Falls, also referred to as Guam’s Garden of Eden, is the perfect place to bring a picnic and chill out for an afternoon. Parking for this hike is located at Inarajan Middle School (marked on Google Maps) and the trail begins next to the yellow fire hydrant.
You’ll follow jeep paths most of the way there, veering right any time the trail splits. It’s about a 1.5 mile walk to the falls with little shade, so make sure to wear sunscreen! Near the end of your journey you’ll cross over a small stream that feeds the first waterfall. Shortly after the stream, you’ll drop to the right down a small, rocky hill with ropes tied for assistance. Be careful - the rocks are slippery when wet.
Walking a few feet further through a bamboo grove, you’ll reach another small hill with another rope that leads down to the falls. In this beautiful spot you’ll find huge old trees rigged up with hammocks and swings to relax and play in their shade. The largest waterfall is upstream with a wide pool to cool off in. Downstream, lies another small waterfall for more adventurous hikers to jump off of.
Take a load off, have a snack, and enjoy being surrounded by tropical flowers and flowing water in this little piece of paradise. When you’re done, don’t forget to pack out everything you came in with, and follow the same trail back to your car.
9. Sella Bay
Sella Bay is a medium level hike with a little bit of everything. Chamorro artifacts, Spanish architecture, desert, jungle, and beach! The parking area for Sella Bay is in Umatac off of Route 2 and can be found on Google Maps. Once parked, you’ll see a set of wooden stairs to an overlook, and the trailhead directly to the right of them. At the beginning of the trail to the right you can spot a few latte stones among the weeds!
This hike winds downward for about 1.5 miles through desert-like areas on a well marked trail. There are several splits in the trail that come back together again, so if you find yourself in the wrong spot, don’t worry. You’ll most likely meet back up with the main trail in no time. This hike is pretty exposed most of the way, until you enter into a section of jungle toward the end. Follow the trail through the jungle and along the river until you get to the old Spanish bridge. Here, you can cross over the bridge and head straight for a short walk to an old Spanish oven, or continue down to the beach where you can either explore or park yourself in the sand.
If you choose to keep exploring, you can add about a mile onto your hike by continuing left down the beach until you reach Cetti Bay. This beautiful beach has plenty of hermit crabs, seashells, and crazy palm trees to keep you entertained for as long as you want to hang out. There’s also some good snorkeling spots in the bays if you’re willing to carry down your gear. When you’re ready to head out, just follow the same trail out and back to your car.
8. Mount LamLam
While we’re in Umatac, we might as well head on over to one of the most famous hikes on Guam, Mount LamLam! The parking for this hike is located off of Route 2 at the Cetti Bay Overlook (on Google Maps). Once parked, you’ll cross the road and start up the trail next to the sign that says Mt. LamLam.
Be prepared, LamLam is the tallest mountain on Guam with an elevation of 1,332 ft. and the tallest mountain in the world (if you measure from the bottom of the Marianas Trench, which we totally do). You’ll follow the well marked trail 640 feet up, passing small crosses along the way that represent the Stations of the Cross and are important markers during the annual procession up the mountain every Easter. As you crest the ridgeline, you’ll come to a split in the trail. Going right, you’ll reach the giant crosses atop Mount Jumullong. Jumullong is often confused for the top of LamLam, however it’s only the secondary peak.
To get to the REAL peak, you’ll head left at the split, along the overgrown trail, through a small patch of jungle, and then scramble up the limestone rocks. At the top, you’ll find a concrete platform and American flag. Strike a pose and think patriotic thoughts while you watch the sun rise where America’s Day Begins™. Pro tip: sunrise and sunset are the best times to get the 360-degree-golden-hour-ocean-view of your dreams. Just make sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight for the dark portion of your trek.
7. San Carlos Falls
The trailhead for this beautiful waterfall hike can be found on Google Maps, but as many of us on Guam know, cell service isn’t always guaranteed, so here are brief directions just in case. Turn off Marine Corps Drive onto Route 6 at the Guam Veterans’ Cemetery in Piti. Take the first sharp right hand turn and then turn right again to meet back up with Route 6 at the Nimitz Fire Station. Make the third left hand turn you see and park in the field directly ahead.
The first third of this 3.75 mile hike follows a few paved and dirt access roads before you hit the trail, so bear with me while I give you a rough run down! First, from the parking area take the dirt road to your left that splits off of the road. Follow it until you reach the cleared power line, then follow the lines left and then right until you hit a second paved road. Turn left and follow that road until you hit the second transmission tower.
Whew, let the boonie stomping begin!
At the tower, follow the trail into the grasslands, along the ridge, and down into the edge of the jungle. Here you’ll find the first set of ropes to help you with the steep descent to the river. Once you reach the river, continue downstream (right) until you reach the top of San Carlos falls. If you’re not afraid of heights, take a careful peek (very slick!) down the falls and into the pool below, then continue left on the next steep, rope assisted trail that will lead you down to the bottom of the waterfall. Here you can admire the view and take a dip in the water before you continue on to the swimming hole.
To continue, head downstream until you hit the junction of two rivers and follow the right hand river upstream and around the bend to the swimming hole. There is a short waterfall that feeds into the pool which is perfect for jumping! Stay a while, eat a snack, and work on your backstroke! When you’re ready, cross over the top of the short waterfall to the next rope trail that will bring you up and connect with the trail you came in on.
6. Pagat Cave & Cliffs
I know what you’re thinking: “A cave?! NOPE. I’ll skip this one.” Well, I’m about to convince you to face your fears because this hike is worth it! This is the first northern hike on the list which means that it’s different from anything I’ve mentioned thus far. Even though Guam is a tiny island, the terrain is vastly different from one end to the other!
The trailhead (marked on Google Maps) is on Route 15, about 6 miles north of the intersection of Routes 15 and 10. It’s marked with a sign and a few large boulders. This 1.2 mile trail descends down the ridge through limestone forest until it reaches a large sinkhole. This is where Pagat Cave’s cool, fresh water is about to rejuvenate your whole damn spirit. There are two large caverns, and the water level will depend on the time of year and amount of rainfall.
Turn on your headlamp, step down into the water and make your way through the first room, then enter the hallway to the next room. This is the only part close to a squeeze within the cave, and even the most claustrophobic hikers I’ve taken breezed right through. Once you’re through, you’ll find a large cavern with a high ceiling and crystal clear pool. I recommend a myriad of activities in this cave from snorkeling with a dive light, to jumping from the rocks into the water, to drinking beer and eating cake (see: Sharon's Cave Cake).
Once you’ve had your fun, exit the cave and take a sharp left up out of the sinkhole onto the marked trail, which will take you past a series of latte stones and grinding stones to the cliffs. Make sure not to walk through or touch the ancient artifacts! When you get to the cliffs you’ll be treated with beautiful blue water and crashing waves.
Be careful as you explore the towering cliffline and please, for the love of all things holy, do not cliff jump into the water. The tide here is crazy rough. When you’re ready to leave simply retrace the trail back to the parking area.
Pro tip: this trail is often very busy with tourists, so if you run into a group, ask the local guide whether they’re doing the cave or the cliffs first and then do the opposite so that you give each other space. Oh, and keep an eye out for monitor lizards on your way back ;)
5. Lower Sigua Falls
You know how people say, “It’s about the journey, not the destination”? Well, that’s simply not the case for this 5 mile hike. The journey can be pretty daunting. You’re gonna be walking for what seems like forever on exposed jeep trails, crossing through a small swamp, and balancing on a log over a stream, but the destination is SO WORTH IT. So, hear me out.
Park right outside the gate for the LeoPalace Resort. The trail starts at a break in the low concrete wall with a short, steep hill. From there, you’ll follow the jeep trails toward the old Sherman tank perched on a hill in the distance. There are several trails that split off and come back together, so I suggest just choosing the one that’s the least muddy.
*If you’ve hiked with me on this trail I’m sure you’ve heard the story of my friend who lost his shoes in the mud a half mile in and did the rest of the hike barefoot - don’t be that guy.
Once you get to the bottom of the hill with the tank, turn right and cross the small swamp to get to it. This part is a bit of a “choose your own adventure”. You can try to find a route that’ll keep your feet dry, but odds are you’ll get wet, and that’s ok because the whole point of this hike is to jump in the waterfall at the end.
Once you hit the tank, take the downhill trail to the right. Follow this trail over two stream crossings until it meets a wider trail at a large boulder.
Continue past the boulder, following the trail through a field of wild orchids until it meets up with yet another jeep trail. Turn right, past an old rusted out car, to the lookout point where the waterfall finally comes into view. Drop down on the trail to your left and put on your gloves because you’re about to take on the final steep rope descent through the jungle. Personally, this is my favorite part of the hike. There’s nothing quite like seeing the bright blue water of this small piece of paradise peeking through the palms.
Take time to lounge by the falls, jump off the ledges into the water, or bring a floatie and just drift around. The water is deep enough all year round and will give you the refreshment you need to make the long trek back up through the jungle and along the same red dirt trails you came in on.
4. Mount Schroeder
Mentioning this mountain out loud sends shivers down the spines of even our most experienced hikers. Schroeder is a beast of a mountain with an 800 foot climb over a little less than a mile. But the sweeping views of the Southern Mountain range and Coco’s Island are more than worthy of the trek. There are several trails to the top, but my preferred trail begins at the Umatac Power Station. Turn off of Route 2 onto Jesus A. Quidachay St. and then continue along as it turns to a dirt road and ends at the station. Start hiking on the jeep trails which will lead you continuously upward, through a short patch of jungle and up the ridge of Mount Schroeder.
This hike is extremely exposed so I recommend bringing sun protection and doing it in the morning before the full heat of the day sets in. It also has LOTS of sword grass, so come prepared with long pants and gloves or else get ready for what we like to call a very spicy shower later. During the wet months it can also be pretty slippery, and there are points where the drop off is very steep on both sides. Take your time going up and break when you need to - to take in the views, not because you’re out of breath of course.
When you get to the top, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the dramatic views that you worked so hard for (or run out to the secondary peak and do a quick handstand #forthegram).
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention possibly the most epic hike you can undertake on Guam: the entire Southern Mountain ridgeline. It starts at Mount LamLam and has one of its few potential conclusions on Mount Schroeder. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post dedicated to the Southern Mountains in the future. In the meantime, just look at these freakin views!
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
3. Anao Point
Anao is a hike I knew nothing about before scouting, but has quickly become a fan favorite. It’s another northern hike, meaning limestone forest, rocky cliff lines, and crashing waves. The trailhead is very close to the back gate of Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo and can be found on Google Maps. Turn east off of Route 15 onto Anao Road, turn right at the second intersection onto Upi Street, and then left onto a dirt road called Chalan Gregorio Reginan Tugon. Park on the side of the road where it veers slightly right. The 1.5ish mile trail is a very straightforward walk through the limestone forest until you get to the edge of the ridgeline. You’ll be greeted with spectacular ocean views as you prepare for the switchbacks which take you the rest of the way down to the cliff.
Continue down the trail (with a spider stick in hand to relocate the webs that are sure to cross your path) until you reach the bottom. You’ll go straight through a small grove of palm trees which will open up to the cliffs.
Once there, you can wander left or right to explore everything Anao has to offer. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a spot to get splashed by some waves to cool you down before you start the steep ascent back to the top. As always, be extra careful when climbing around on the cliffs and bring gloves to protect your hands from the sharp limestone rocks.
2. Tanguisson Beach to Shark’s Cove
Tanguisson Beach is one of my favorite beaches on Guam and a great hike for the whole family, along with your water confident pups! To get to the parking area, turn off Route 1 onto Puntan dos Amantes, drive past the sewage plant, and down the hill to the beach. You can either begin the hike along the beach or by going right through the gated jungle trail until you get to the iconic mushroom rocks.
Continue walking along the beach, wading through a little water when the large rocks divert you from the beach. I recommend wearing water shoes or any shoes you don’t mind getting wet.
You’ll walk about a mile down the beach and through a short portion of jungle which opens to a small cove. Shark’s cove is the third beach over and you’ll know it by the bright, electric blue patch of water in the middle of the bay and the large rocks and cliff edge at the end.
This is the perfect spot to sunbathe on the white sand, cool off in the water, and admire the hundreds of King Crow butterflies riding the breeze. When you’ve had enough of this little slice of paradise, just follow the beach back to your car - and make sure to collect any beverage cans or bottles you may have emptied along the way!
Pro tip: Tanguisson is one of the best beaches on Guam to catch a gorgeous sunset, and the mushroom rocks in the foreground will make your pics totally #instaworthy.
1. Cetti Seven
This is the big boy. The hike that’s the final one to check off on many a Guam bucket list. Cetti 7 is a challenging descent down the steep ridge of Cetti Bay and an adrenaline pumping rope climb up 7 waterfalls back to the top. Do not attempt this hike if you are afraid of heights, are not comfortable with rope climbs and rock scrambling, or if you don’t have gloves and good hiking shoes. I suggest reading as much material on this hike as you can before attempting, and doing it in a group, preferably with people who have conquered it before. If you’re still up for the challenge, read on!
The parking for this hike is at Cetti Bay Overlook along Route 2, just a little down the road from Sella Bay. The trail starts downhill just to the right of the parking area, next to a light pole on the other side of the guard rail. It’s steep from the get go and will remain steep for the almost mile trek down. You’ll be on lots of eroded slopes with loose dirt, so take it at a slow pace, and don’t be afraid to take fun but controlled slides as needed. As the ridgeline splits down and to the left, you’ll follow it until you reach the river. Then, begin your creek stomp upstream.
At the first waterfall, you’ve got two options. Climb the rope straight up or take the steep trail to the right. This is by far the toughest climb on the hike. It requires more upper body strength and climbing skills than any of the others. If you’re not feeling completely confident in your ability to get to the top without freaking out, take the trail. Safety should always be a top priority when hiking and knowing your own abilities is a huge part in that! If you do decide to brave the climb, make sure to test the ropes with your body weight before you use them.
For the rest of the hike there are no alternative trails, so you’ll have to brave the waterfalls. This is where it’s important to do this hike in a group, with at least a few people who have done it several times before. The more experienced hikers can help the first timers maneuver tough spots and aid in spotting when needed. Turning around is not really an option, as attempting to go down the falls is much harder and more dangerous than continuing forward.
For your efforts you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views at the top of the falls, incredible memories, and a well earned sense of bad-assery.
When you reach the portion where the river splits, take the trail to the left and continue upwards until you reach the top of the hill. The road will be a short walk as you curve to your right (be on the lookout for a sweet carabao!) and from there you can turn left and walk along the road back to your car.
Pro tip: start this hike around 4:30-5:00 pm to catch the sunset on your way out. But make sure to bring headlamps just in case you’re out later than expected.
And that’s everything you need to know about hiking on Guam.
If I’ve learned one thing in my short time on this island it’s that she will always surprise you. The more I see of Guam, the more I realize how much more there is to explore and discover. But don’t take my word for it - get out there yourself and share what you find!