Warning: Before embarking on any outdoor activity, make sure to check with lifeguards for current conditions!
Hiking in Kona is an unparalleled experience. Numerous hiking trails in Kona, Hawaii lace the coast and the mountains, many of them being restored pathways originally used by ancient Hawaiians. The Kona Coast is the most historic, naturally diverse, and archaeologically rich place on the island and has a huge concentration of endemic plant and avian species. Whether you are looking for an easy stroll or a grueling trek, you are sure to find a fascinating, enriching trail that meets or exceeds you every expectation.
Kekaha Kai State Park
Located just north of Kona, Kekaha Kai State Park offers five coastal Kona hikes: Kua Bay (Manini‘owali), Makalawena Beach, Mahai‘ula Bay, Pu‘u Ku‘ili, and Makole‘a Black Sand Beach. The entire loop is 8.5 miles with an elevation gain of 342 feet, and encompasses three stunning white sand beaches, a black sand beach, two inland ponds, and a cinder cone.
Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Cinder Cone Trail
Located within Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Cinder Cone State Park, this moderately difficult hiking trail in Kona, Hawaii finalizes with rewarding views of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Hualālai, the North Kohala Range, and Maui. Numerous endemic bird and plant species inhabit the flanks of Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and there is a unique geological feature along the trail – an ancient obsidian mine.
Cook’s Monument Trail
The Cook Monument Trail is the most historically significant trail in the state. This moderately difficult trek begins at 1,300 feet in elevation and winds down to the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay, the first landing site in Hawai‘i of Capt. James Cook, and an event which marked the beginning of irrevocable change for the Native Hawaiian culture and people. Along the trail, you will encounter Puhina o Lono Heiau. This heiau (Hawaiian temple), which is very eroded, is where Cook’s body was brought for ritual desecration after he was slain on the beach below.
Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve
The Puakō Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve is the largest concentration of Hawaiian petroglyphs in Hawai‘i, boasting over 3,000 ancient carvings. The preserve is located along the Mālama-Puakō Trail, an easy, albeit very arid, coastal path which begins at Holoholokai Beach by the Mauna Lani Resort.
Most Kona hikes are over rough basaltic terrain with little shade; on all trails, it is advisable to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and bring sunscreen, a first aid kit, trail mix, snacks and plenty of water. For trails going through dense forest, be sure to bring mosquito repellant. Be aware that many hiking trails in Kona, Hawaii have significant elevation gains and weather can change dramatically without warning. Please check with the State of Hawaii, DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife before attempting any Hikes. Please visit: https://portal.ehawaii.gov/visitors/parks-and-recreation/, then click on Hiking & Trails.
Get Ready for Hiking in Kona
Hit the trail and experience firsthand Kona Coast’s unmatched scenery, rich and colorful history, and fascinating plant and animal life. We’re here to answer any general questions you may have about putting your boots on Kona Coast trails, so contact our team today at Kona Coast Vacations, and don’t forget to check out our vacation rentals!