Ka'ena Point State Park
Relatively remote wild coastline with picnicking
opportunities and shore fishing. Large sandy beach at Keawa'ula Bay
with board surfing and bodysurfing for experts and swimming only
during completely calm conditions in the summer; lifeguard services.
Long family hike (2.7 miles one-way) along volcanic coast with tide
pools, small natural stone arches and fine views of Makua coastline.
Early morning dolphin sightings from point near Kaluakauila stream
mouth. Viewing of the large sea cave, Kaneana, legendary home of
Nanue the shark man. Hot, dry area with little shade. No drinking
Restrooms, trash cans, no
drinking water, payphone, lifeguard services.
Kaʻena or Kaena Point is the westernmost tip of land on the island
of Oʻahu. The point can be reached by foot from both the West (Waiʻanae
Coast) and the East (Mokulēʻia) coastlines; walking in from the
north side is recommended. An unimproved track extends some 3 miles
(4.8 km) along the coast from the end of the paved road on the north
side, where a gate prevents entry of all except authorized vehicles.
On the south side, at Kaʻena State Park, a paved road passes a beach
before terminating into an unpaved road. It continues for a few
miles, after which the road is washed out, and further travel must
be on foot. It is not possible to travel around the point in a
vehicle as the route is better described as a "path" in most places,
and is lined on one side with a cliff and on the other with basalt
rocks which are quite capable of damaging vehicles. The path is
completely washed out in one place on the South side of the point
and a rope helps hikers traverse the gap.
In Hawaiian, kaʻena
means 'the heat'. The area was named after a brother or cousin of
Pele who accompanied her from Kahiki. The State of Hawaiʻi has
designated the point as a Natural Area Reserve to protect and
encourage the nesting of the almost extinct Nene birds (the hawaiian
state bird) and the fragile (to vehicular traffic), native strand
vegetation still abundant there.
Some ancient Hawaiian folklore
states that Kaʻena Point is the "jumping-off" point for souls
leaving this world.
During the winter months, Oʻahu's North Shore
is typically bombarded by large, powerful waves that attract surfers
from around the world. It is rumored that Kaʻena Point typically has
waves (up to 15 metres / 49 feet in height) larger than those at
Waimea Bay, one of Oʻahu's world-famous surfing locations. This has
not been confirmed; however, during the famous "Swell Of The
Century" in 1969 and on the day of Greg Noll's famous wave at Mākaha,
Greg himself took a picture of a gigantic wave breaking at Kaʻena
Point. Until "Biggest Wednesday" on 28 January 1998, when
professional surfer Ken Bradshaw was photographed riding a wave with
a reported 85-foot (26 m) face, it was believed that Noll's picture
showed the largest wave ever photographed. During that famous swell
in January 1998, several persons reported seeing waves with
60–80-foot faces at Kaʻena Point.
Despite these reports, Kaʻena
Point does not have the popularity with surfers of other North Shore
locations. Kaʻena Point is located in a very remote area with no
direct paved road access and no rescue capabilities. Additionally,
the Point's geography results in undertows, dangerous rip currents
and other hazardous ocean conditions that make any water activity