Monday, May 26, 2014

Hiking Kaena Point on West Oahu: Tide Pools, Monk Seals, Coastal Vies and Albatross

Gorgeous, rocky coastline with blue water at Kaena Point

Kaena Point is a wide open hike that is 2.4 miles from the trail head to the tide pools and the wildlife preserve at the end.  So, that’s almost 5 miles round trip.

Actually, there are two different hikes that end at the same point.  The one I did was on the west side of the Island and starts at the end of the road (literally).

Now, some of you may not think of Kaena Point as a hike but I consider any walk that isn’t to my mailbox or on a track as a hike. 

Right from the beginning you can tell this hike is going to take a while.  Not because of the length but because of the beautiful views along the way.  You start out staring at beautiful, blue ocean and rock landscape on your let and mountain ridgeline on the right. 

Tips of Kaena Point Hike:

It's a wide-open, hot, dry hike but it sure is BEAUTIFUL!

·         It’s an open hike.  You need sunscreen, covering for your skin and lots of water.  I like to bring my Camelbak everywhere I hike.   Don’t underestimate it.  This hike wouldn’t be the same on an overcast day. You need the sun for the beauty of this hike.

·         There wildlife and bird reserve at the end of the trail (where you’ll see albatross and monk seals will is in a gated area.

·         There are monk seals and beautiful tide pools off the path that you have to climb down to get to.  Be very careful.  We did it but it isn’t right for kids or older people and if you’re not confident climbing and scrabbling.


Don’t mess with the monk seals or the albatross.  They’re endangered and you could go to jail.  Plus, it’s just not cool.
Monk Seal lounging and drinking up some sun.

Directions to Kaena Point Trail:

If you use the Wai‘anae route from Honolulu, take the H1 freeway west, it will eventually turn into Farrington Highway (Route 93). Farrington Highway will become a two lane road at it’s northern end, and terminates at Ka‘ena Point State Park. If you use the Mokule‘ia route, take H-2 to Kaukonahua Road (Route 803) to Farrington Highway (Route 930) past Waialua and go about 1 mile past Camp Erdman. The trailhead on either side of Ka‘ena Point begins where the paved road ends and a rough 4-wheel drive road begins. (directions courtesy of Hawaii State Parks)

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