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Hawaii Adventure: Kaena Point Trail

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Hawaii Adventure to Ka'ena Point

Ka’ena Point Trail is a perfect harmony of the mountain and ocean scenery. It is about an hour hike from the stop sign gate to the Albatross sanctuary. Upon entry to the hike you will see a stop sign gate. Once you have passed the gate your trail begins.


The first part of the trail is a long red dirt road with lots of mud pools, rocks, and ups and downs. If you want to skip the dirt trail and go straight to the Albatross sanctuary you can apply for a vehicle permit at Hawaiistateparks.org.


My first impression of this trail in one word is: continuous. While walking down this road I was constantly thinking “Where is the end?” There are plenty of places along the way that you can sit and enjoy the view of the ocean or the grandness of the mountains. On the trail you can see people fishing, dirt biking, and trucks passing you by as you slowly make your way to the sanctuary.


When you finally reach the end of the dirt trail, you will see a small sign and fence protruding out behind a blockade of large rocks. This is the start of the second trail at Ka'ena point.


At the entrance of the sanctuary you can find brushes mounted on the ground to scrub the bottoms of your shoes. These brushes are meant to remove any seeds or spores that you could be carrying on your shoes to prevent introducing non-native plants in the area. They are also convenient to use if you accidentally walked in mud.


There are two paths to take when you are in the sanctuary. The first trail; when you follow the straight path will make you feel like you are in a scene from the Hobbit. It made me feel like a hobbit going to the shire, while walking in the small valley.


The second path, when you deviate from the straight path will get you a beautiful landscape view and more chances to see the Albatross birds!


After walking on a dirt trail it magically becomes sand! I wished I had brought my slippers/flip flops to switch out of my hiking boots when I got here.


When you get to the hilltop you will be greeted with tide pools, large coral sand and If you are lucky, you will see whales swimming in the distance and monk seals sleeping on rocks! Seeing the seals sleeping was the highlight of my hike. Can you spot them in this photo?


Recommendations for Ka'ena Point

  • Pack EXTRA water/drinks
  • Pack snacks
  • Bring a towel for sweat and to dry off from the tide pool
  • Make sure to wear lots of sunscreen
  • Bring a bathing suit to wear to the tide pools
  • Wear hiking boots at the beginning of the hike
  • Pack slipper / flip flops for the sand at the end of the sanctuary
  • Get a permit to drive on the dirt pathway to the sanctuary
  • Use car with all wheel drive that you don’t mind to getting dirty
  • Best to go in addition to north shore adventures
  • Go at 4-5pm to get there before the sunset
  • Or go early morning to avoid the hot daytime sun
  • Bring flash lights for sunset time
  • Great location for kids

No time to shop for food? Check out our On-the-GO or Lunch Package that would be the perfect companion to take with you on your adventure! Happy Rambling!

For more information go to:


Kaena Point Trail

69435 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791

Phone Numbers to Call:

State Parks (808) 587 - 0300

Report Violations at (808) 643 - 3567

Division of State Parks: Ka’ena Point Trail click here.

Kaena Point Vehicle Access Permits click here.

Mahalo for reading and stay tuned for my next blog post about Hawaii Adventure to Honolulu Museum of Art!

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