Ka'ena Point Trail


5 Reviews

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Ka'ena Point Trail Facts

States: Hawaii
Counties: Honolulu
Length: 4.75 miles
Trail end points: near Dillingham Airfield and Farrington Highway from Wai'anae
Trail surfaces: Ballast, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6449879

Ka'ena Point Trail Description

The Ka'ena Point Trail occupies the right-of-way of the old O'ahu Railway and Land Company that once transported sugar cane along the westernmost point of O'ahu. The trail leads to Ka'ena Point Natural Area Reserve, a remote area that preserves rare coastal sand dune habitat for native plants and seabirds. During the winter, look for whales off shore. Year-round the weather can be hot, and the trail is quite exposed, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Also, wear a hat. Waves batter the coast when it's windy, so stay back from the sea for safety reasons.

If you begin at the Wai'anae side, take the trailhead at the end of the paved road in the Keawaula Section of Ka'ena Point State Park. Take the dirt road for 2.4 miles to Ka'ena Point Natural Area Reserve. The shoreline will be on your left, and you'll encounter boulder-strewn beaches and tide pools; cliffs rise above to the northeast.

If you begin from the Mokule'ia side, park at the end of the paved road then follow the dirt road for 2.5 miles. This section of the trail crosses a broad, flat plain with a few limestone reefs and sand dunes. A predator-proof fence has been erected to protect Ka'ena Point's seabirds and plants, but access gates allow you to continue along the trail. Stick to the established paths to avoid trampling native flora and seabirds, some of which nest on the ground. No dogs are allowed in the reserve.

Regardless of which side you begin from, you will have to retrace your steps to return to your vehicle.

CAUTION: Some sections of this trail frequently wash out along the coast. Check with Hawai'i State Parks before setting out: 808-587-0300.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the Wai'anae end from Honolulu, take the H1 west until it turns into Farrington Highway (Route 93). Farrington Highway will become a two lane road and ends at Ka'ena Point State Park.

To access the Mokule'ia end, take H2 to Kaukonahua Road (Route 803) then to Farrington Highway (Route 930). Go past Waialua and about 1 mile past Camp Erdman. The trailhead begins where the paved road ends and a rough 4-wheel drive road begins.

Ka'ena Point Trail Reviews

spectacular Ocean &Mountain Views

This is my favorite Oahu hike. The ocean and tide pools are amazing and your walking right along the mountainside. We hiked from Ka’ena State Park and went all the way out to the western-most point of Oahu. Free, ample parking is available in the park at the end of the road. Lock you car. Closed toe shoes are a must as the trail is rocky. Bring plenty of water as it is a hot, dry hike. The trail is 99% flat with one up-and-around that is a bit challenging (see photo).

Great walk with some amazing sites

We walked from North Shore trailhead to Kaena Point. Easy walking but recommend closed toe shoes and plenty of water. We were lucky enough to see the Laysan Albatross performing their mating dance and soaring through the skies. At the Point we saw three Hawaiian Monk seals and another had just landed at 10-minute beach. With mountains on one side and big surf on the other it was a breathtaking walk, we’ll worth the effort.

Sunny, breezy good fun

Great trail for those just out for an adventurous afternoon walk. The old railroad was turned into a hiking path that varies in width from 4 to 12 feet. A little bit rugged in some places as volcanic boulders litter the path. I think the park people do that on purpose to keep trucks out. In one place the trail is washed out and a sort of billy goat trail gets you by for a hundred yards. There are no railings or ropes along the cliffs so watch where your children are running around and don’t back up to get that perfect shot. That said, I saw kids as young as 7-8 on the trail. Mainly level the whole way. From the parking lot at the end of Rt 93 it’s about 2.25 miles to the point. Bring water and wear a hat. Don’t forget your sunscreen as you’re getting the rays directly plus indirectly off the water. You’ll have fun on this walk so enjoy the day!

How can I describe this

It's my first time out mountain biking but I found this trail too difficult for a bike. At least with my level of experience. It looks easily walkable.


Ka'ena Point Trail from Mikaha

This is a 2.5 mile walk over stone and gravel trail. I would rate it as medium challenge. Closed toe shoes are recommended. The view of the Pacific Ocean is breathtaking. The surf, the volcanic rocks, the awesome beauty. There is a point on the trail where it has washed out, and you have to climb up the side of the hill on a rock path. The state of Hawaii needs to build a bridge over the area where the path is washed away. If you are afraid of heights, it is scary. This short trail is about 100 feet long. The bird sanctuary at the end makes it all worthwhile. The albatrosses are nesting and in February are mating. Go to the point to see the monk seals sunning. Magnificent!! We retraced our steps back to Makaha. Round trip, the walk is 5 miles.

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