Kaena Point… If you are looking for a challenging hike on the west side then head all the way up to Kaena Point. This northwest tip of Oahu is a wild and rugged terrain! Kaena Point is a Natural Area Reserve. There are no roads in, no cars, nothing but some clearly marked trails and the raw beauty of the island. Here you will see tall cliffs, sand dunes, tidepools, lots of seabirds (such as the Laysan Albatross which nests here), and many native plants (like the pohinahina with its purple flowers and the rare ohai with its beautiful orange-red blossoms). As you hike please be careful of bird nesting areas and if you see piles of neatly stacked rocks, be respectful since they are actually small shrines erected by native Hawaiians who consider this area sacred!
This is a rocky coastline with some of the biggest waves on Oahu, dangerous rip currents, and no lifeguards, so do not attempt to swim in these waters! While no permit is required, this is not a place for overnight camping, so allow yourself time to get in and out before dark. The 5 ½ mile round trip is strenuous and will take at least 3-4 hours. Go early in the morning and you might be treated to the sight of a school of dolphins that frequent this area!
Remember to take plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and bring a hat since Kaena Point is very hot and dry! Also, be sure you wear hiking shoes to protect your feet from the sharp rocks of the coastline. You can park at the Kaena Point State Park, where the pavement, and Highway 93, ends.
Kuilioloa Heiau at Kaneilio Point… Pokai Bay is separated from Lualualei Beach by a coconut tree lined peninsula which juts out into the sea, and at the end of this peninsula you will find the ruins of a sacred heiau (Hawaiian temple). It is an easy hike of a half mile out and back so only takes about thirty minutes but, if you are out and about enjoying the beaches and gorgeous coastline of West Oahu, this is a beautiful and interesting little hike. The multi-tiered Kuilioloa Heiau is situated with panoramic views both north and south! The peninsula is easily accessed by turning off Farrington Highway onto Lualualei Road which leads to the parking lot. Park and lock your car (please don’t ever leave any valuables in your car as an easy target for thieves!). Follow the tree lined path to the point, explore the ruins, and enjoy the views. After your walk you can take a swim in the calm waters of Pokai Bay!