Ka’ena Point State Park is one of Oahu’s most beautiful coastal hiking trails. It is one that offers not only spectacular ocean views and amazing wildlife, but also has some historical significance. In my opinion, this coastal hiking trail is one of the best beach trails in Oahu. And you will find both beauty and history at Ka’ena Point. So, I hope you enjoy this hiking guide to Ka’ena Point Hawaii.

Kaena Point Hike: A Guide to Hiking this Beautiful trail
Things to do in Honolulu hiking

The railroad around Ka’ena Point is positioned along this spectacular coastal Hiking Trail in Oahu.

Ka’ena point gate code

During historical times, people needed a way to get around and transport goods. In those days, transportation of people and goods prove to be necessary between Honolulu and the sugar plantations in Kahuku and Waialua. During World War II, the U.S. Army utilize the trains to get access to Ka’ena Point Military Reservation. By the 1920’s and 1930’s, the train was used for weekend fisherman excursions.

Ka'ena Point Gate code
Hiking in Hawaii
Ka’ena Point Gate code

Ka’ena Point Bird Sanctuary

Another wonderful feature of this Hawaii state park is the wildlife. You will be impressed by a particular large sea bird called Albatross which migrate here to nest and mate. These Laysan albatross (P. immutabilis- endangered) are also known as “nomads of the ocean” and are extremely interesting to watch. It’s amazing that these birds can live up 50 years and will sometimes fly 2,000 miles in one day. The albatross can actually remain out to sea for up to five years before returning to the island of which they were born.

Layson Albatross, Kaena Point Oahu Hawaii

Birds of Ka’ena Point Hawaii

During mating and courtship, you’ll see the rendezvous dance and shenanigans of which are performed with the same mate for life. The other species of this large sea bird is the blackfooted albatross which is quite rare.

Ka’ena Point Albatross Season

Some of the other wildlife you will find here are sea mammals. The sea lions and seals find their perfect comfy spot on the beach to take a nap. The green sea turtles can be found feeding on the reefs along the coast. And the endangered native Yellow Faced Bee are in the protection program. This includes the installation of nesting blocks and they are not to be disturbed.

Kaena point gate
kaena hiking trail
hawaii

The Geology and Views of Ka’ena Point

Not only are the history and beauty both interesting and spectacular at Ka’ena Point State Park, but its geology is just as fascinating. Geological features here include the reef rocks and marine sediments along the sea level coastline make up the stunning picturesque views. Large coral and algae deposits formed slightly above sea level about 125,000 years ago. Formed 400,000 to 500,000 years ago is the Ka’ena deposits that are now seen around at the point of the Keawa’ula coastline.

hiking in Hawaii Oahu
best hikes on oahu hawaii
kaena point trail
Kaena Point Trail

The Beautiful Western Tip of Oahu

Keep in mind that there are two entry points to this trail; the first access point is via the Yokahama Bay (the Leeward Side-west side) and the Mokuleia side where the views are sensational. Other reminders are that this park, Ka’ena Point State Park, no animals are allowed here including dogs. There are some areas that you can drive through where you can go off roading, but an all terrain vehicle or 4×4 is mostly recommended here.

kaena point trail
kaena point state part hike
Credit: hidot.hawaii.gov

Hiking Areas Near Hawaii

The coastal hiking trail to Ka‘ena Point is approximately 3.5 miles and rated as moderate. It follows along an old railroad bed and former dirt road that ran along the westernmost point of O‘ahu. The trail leads to Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve, a remote and scenic protected area sheltering some of the remaining traces of coastal sand dune habitat on the island, and home to native plants and sea birds. Enjoy the sight of whales as well, nearby this shoreline during the winter months. **Please check the park website prior to visiting for all the latest safety, permits and/or covid protocols.

Best hikes in Hawaii Oahu

FitLifeTravel

Thank you for being here. I'm Shannon, founder of Fitlifeandtravel bringing you inspiration to everyday life. Helping you adventure better, no matter where you are. Hoping to inspire an active lifestyle through adventure!

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10 Comments

  1. Love this guide to hiking Ka’ena Point State Park! Would love to check out the coastal hiking trails of Oahu the next time I visit Hawaii.

    1. Oh goodness, this trail has some of the most beautiful coastal views from the trail! It’s awesome! Thanks so much!

  2. paulpassingthrough

    Great video of the albatross doing their dance! It sounds like a fun hike. Why is rated as moderate? It seems fairly straightforward.

    1. Well, I believe it is because its quite a long hike. I believe we did about 6.5 miles (round trip); through some rugged trail. Most of it is flat however. That’s what I think.. Glad you enjoyed the albatross courting and dancing for their partners.. lol

  3. Hawaii is on the bucket list, and this particular region looks stunning. Would love to see the wildlife. I’m a bit intrigued by those trains and am wondering if they are available for visitors.

    1. Hawaii is a wonderful place to experience! And that bird sanctuary is amazing. The trains have been put out of service, all that is left are the railroad tracks and small lower bunker type spots that one usually just hikes on through. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Ka’ena Point in Hawaii looks stunning Shannon and we’d definitely enjoy hiking this coastal trail. I found the history interesting but especially love your video of the albatross.

    1. Oh, yes, you and your family certainly would enjoy the Hawaii experience! So happy you enjoyed it!

  5. Looks like a beautiful area and a great walk! We went as far as Mokoleia beach but didn’t make it to this corner. So many stunning areas in Hawaii!

    1. There really are so many gorgeous areas in Hawaii. We’ve adventured on many hikes here, and hoping to do many more soon! Thank you so much for reading!

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