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Ka'ena Point State Park


Location:

End of Farrington Highway (Highway 930), Makua.

Hours:
Daily During Daylight Hours

Entrance Fee:
None.

Trail Name:
Ka‘ena Point Trail


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Ka'ena Point State Park Description:
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 water.

Services:
Restrooms, trash cans, no drinking water, payphone, lifeguard services.

Kaena Point
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 highly dangerous.

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