Parking for the Ka’ena Point Trail is located at:
Harrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791
Note: NO PETS. They will harm the wildlife/ecosystem.
This might be one of the most beautiful views I have seen on Oahu. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s amazing. Like most Oahu hikes, or just hiking in general, you have to walk a bit to get to the beauty. Note: if you have a Jeep, 4-wheel drive, or any lifted vehicle, you can get a permit to drive past the regular parking and two miles closer to Ka’ena Point. We haven’t done this with our Jeep yet, but if you do be prepared for an extremely dirty car and a very bumpy ride. It is one of the main spots for off-roading and trail riding. It was also a good run on foot from the parking lot to the gate (almost exactly 2 miles). Two miles of avoiding puddles and muddy spots, but the distance was definitely worth the view.
There are two ways to the point, the Mokuleia Side (which we took), and the Waianae side on the South-West coast. The Mokuleia side trail to Ka’ena Point is along the beautiful Northern coast. As you can walk along, you might try to look in the tide pools and maybe stop to watch people fish and crab. The water is such a deep blue you cannot help yourself from staring out into the distance and becoming mesmerized by each wave.
Once we finally made it to the gate, the signs reminded us that dogs are not allowed. We walked through a heavy metal gate (the fence approx. 2,133 feet long)–placed there to keep the wildlife protected from predators. Ka’ena Point sustains an ecosystem that is home to many native Hawaiian plants and animals. We watched many Albatross nesting their eggs in the sand and observed a Hawaiian Monk Seal beached on the shore soaking up the sun. Many viewers took pictures of the seal while he occasionally rolled in the sand.
We tip-toed around on the lava rock and felt the mist of the waves as they crashed against the dark, pointed rocks. The beach was completely covered with white, sandy coral–and I wondered how it all got there. The crabs scuttled their way around the rocks, and small fish rushed around the tide pools as the waves rolled in. I had to climb down a little ways to the furthest point to observe my beautiful surroundings.
While Abby and I walked around the point, we looked back toward the giant mountain and wondered if we could climb it. While I definitely suggest eating/drinking water before hiking up a giant hill, it can be done without. We found a trail outside of the giant fence and began to climb. The trail is well traveled, but we were still poked by some of the bushes as we walked up. A little ways up there are a few old cement structures to sit down on to take a break and observe the extended view.
The intensity of the hike increased as we continued to conquer the mountain. We had to put our phones away in order to use both our hands to remain steady and pull ourselves up onto the rocks. The view at the top was absolutely stunning.
We sat up there for a while and attempted to keep the wind from blowing our hats off. We watched the whales on the South-Western side (to the left of Abby in the pano). While I didn’t see them breach completely out of the water, it was still beautiful to watch them peek out of the blue and continue their travels South.
This experience made me think of the Little River Band’s song Cool Change. As soon as I saw the first goofy looking bird (a.k.a. Albatross) I started singing in my head, and once I saw the whales I thought that this might be the exact spot where they wrote the song–or maybe albatross and whales always go together.
“Now that my life is so prearranged, I know it’s time for a cool change. Well I was born in the sign of water and it’s there that I feel my best, the Albatross and the Whales they are my brothers. There’s lots of those friendly people and they’re showing me ways to go and I never want to lose their inspiration. Time for a cool change.”
I’m looking forward to many more adventures around this beautiful island!