Ka‘ena (ka-en-ah) Point located on the island of Oahu provides a one-of-a-kind hiking experience that will uplift your mind body & soul.
It is known to be a spiritual place where the souls of the recently deceased are sent off to rejoin their ancestors. This spiritual feeling, or mana, can be felt as soon as you start the journey. It’s an excellent hiking experience like no other and will leave you feeling peaceful, warm and with meaning.
The hike itself is rated easy and is family friendly. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed and this is strictly enforced. You will be hiking in full sun and it will be very hot so adequate protection and water is recommended. It should take you about two to three hours to complete this trail.
I’ll be covering everything that you need to know about hiking Oahu’s Ka‘ena Point below.
A Brief History Of KA‘ENA POINT.
Ka‘ena Point is located on the northwestern most part of Oahu. It is an end of the road stop that can be hiked from either the north side or west side of Oahu (the two sides do not connect via road). The north shore trail is mostly sand and mud dunes that used to allow for off road vehicles. I prefer hiking in from the west shore because the terrain is mostly dirt plus it’s closer to the coastline where you can view tidepools and unique rock formations.
In the earlier days, the two shores did connect via freight train that was most likely carrying goods for the pineapple farms amongst other things. While hiking the trail you can still see some of the original railroad tracks.
At the end of the journey is the Ka’ena Point Bird Sanctuary which was established to protect nesting seabirds like the Laysan Albatross and marine animals such as the Hawaiian monk seal. It is fenced off to protect these birds from predators because they lay their eggs in underground nests and surrounding areas which is the reason that dogs are not allowed on this hike.
HIKING OAHU: KA‘ENA POINT.. What You’ll Need.
- Lots of water! At least one full Hydroflask or large water bottle per person.
- SPF 30 Sunscreen.
- Hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
- A phone for pictures and for emergencies.
- A swimsuit for swimming.
- Snacks such as granola bars or nuts.
- A bag to put everything in.
HIKING OAHU: KA‘ENA POINT.. Getting there.
You will need a car to get to this hike. Unfortunately there are no public transportation options and Uber and Lyft will be very expensive if they’re available at all. It is about an hour drive from town.
You’ll reach the Yokohama Beach park where there is a bathroom. The water is not potable meaning you should not be drinking this water or filling your Hydroflask with it.
Further down is where you will park. There is a lot of free parking. This is a high theft area so please do not leave any valuables in your car..
HIKING OAHU: KA‘ENA POINT.. The Hike.
The start of the trailhead has signage with a brief history of Ka‘ena point as well as some hiking tips and safety guidelines.
You will be walking on an uneven dirt path scattered with rocks.
In view on your left will be the pacific ocean with sea cliffs and tidepools throughout.
If you travel off the beaten path, you can find some interesting rock formations such as this one below.
Unfortunately, some people do careless things in this remote area like dump cars or set them on fire.
We ran into some Starfish Cactus in bloom.
Next it’s onto the Bird Sanctuary.
HIKING OAHU: KA‘ENA POINT.. the sanctuary.
As soon as you enter the sanctuary you can immediately feel a sense of peace and calm. With birds flying above you and a bright blue sky it’s the most remote part of Oahu.
The path now becomes a mixture of dirt and sand. If you look downward you will see holes in the ground. That’s where the Laysan Albatross lay their nests.
There is an area that you can wade in or at least stick your feet in at the end of the trail.
You can also explore the tidepools around here. In the picture below, this is the absolute ending of the northwestern part of Oahu which is pretty cool if you think about how you hiked to see this. Usually if there are Hawaiian Monk Seals they will be around here sunbathing on the rocks or sand.
And there are more tidepools to explore around here.
There’s a little lighthouse as well.
Finally you can spend time to relax and recharge yourself in this beautiful place.
KA‘ENA POINT.. SOME HELPFUL TIPS
- The total hike should take you two to three hours.
- There are no bathrooms on the hike only at the beach park. The water there is non potable meaning it’s not suitable for drinking.
- There are no trash cans along the hike.
- No dogs are allowed.
- Please remove all valuables from you car.
- Do not take any items such as rocks, sand or plants from this area because it’s considered sacred.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this provided you with some insight into Ka‘ena Point. This is a truly spiritual place and the experience hiking Ka‘ena Point will leave you with a lasting impression and a great memory of your time here.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!