Captain Cook's Monument Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Captain Cook, Hawaii. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.
Agree with most other reviews - easy downhill, moderate to hard uphill; would add that going later in the day (starting at 2 pm like we did) helps a lot. You start to get some benefit of shade downhill and get some breezes on the way up without the relentless heat and sunshine. At the end of the trail you can drop right in to snorkel - just keep and eye out for sea urchins and kayak companies launching in and out - otherwise perfect for kids and beginners. Lots of fish to see. If you head to the trail on the left it's a short few steps to Captain Cook's monument and the inner bay. We saw dolphins out further and it was definitely not overloaded with other snorkelers, tour boats or kayakers in later afternoon.
awesome trail highly recommend it going down was easy but coming up was a bit difficult and some parts are unstable and slippery due to small pebbles. All in all great hike go and do it if u take kids younger than 10 it may be tough for them
This hike leads to a wonderful area great for snorkeling and excellent fish viewing!
This is a fairly easy 3.5 mile round trip hike. About 1200 ft elevation coming back up. Park right off Napoopoo Rd near the intersection of Mamalahoa Rd and the trailhead is on the west side of the road. The first half of the trail will bring you through tall grass where u may encounter some grazing cows and horses right along the trail. Be wary of the bulls with horns but I didn't provoke them and they let me pass. A lot of small to medium sized loose rocks the second half of the way but no big deal compared to someplace like Yosemite. The 5 star review is not really for the trail but for the snorkeling once you hit the ocean at the end of the trail. Amazing snorkeling, some say the best spot on the Big Island because of the crystal clear warm water and vast assortment of tropical fish that aren't even spooked by you. And since it takes the hike to get there, it isn't crowded unlike most of the beaches on this side of Kona. I hesitate to post this because I don't want it to get too popular but also wanting to share.
Grass and rocks... but I got engaged so that made it way better!!!!!!!
I did this hike early morning in October 2016. I was 6 months pregnant (walked 4 miles 4x week) and found this hike enjoyable. Going down was fun, Beautiful, and easy. It took about an hour or so to get down but we kept stopping for selfies because it's so beautiful. Getting back up was the tough part but I enjoyed the challenge. My group consisted of my 15 year old son who plays football and he was the first to make it back out in just over an hour and 45 min.
My 40 yr old BIL (in fair shape) was 10 min behind him, my 40 yr old SIL (out of shape) 30min behind him and then my 68 yr old mom (in fair shape) took her 5 HOURS to get out!! She couldn't keep her heart rate down and struggled the entire way making it only 20 yards at a time then having to sit. She isn't over weight and doesn't have any health problems that we are aware of (but after this experience she said she was going to go get her heart checked.)
I had to hike out without her because I had the keys to the car and everyone was waiting. I drove them to our condo and returned to help her out while she took her time. I felt great but it was a challenge.
So be very aware of your condition level if you do this hike. It's very strenuous. If it were mid summer we would've had to call for rescue team because of the heat.
Go early in the morning. We had the snorkeling to ourselves. Right as we got out of the water the boats showed up with all the tourists and the sun wasn't too hot by that time.
I enjoyed this hike enough that I wanted to return the next day with my husband but time didn't allow.
Finding the trail was hard. It's not marked by name. It just has a warning sign at the head of the trail telling you to think twice about following the trail. We found that funny in the beginning but by the time my mom mAde it out it made more sense. She says you should think three times before going on it. :)
It was a really hard trail but totally worth doing it. Great spot for snorkeling and swimming.
Nice trail ! You need to be prepare to walk into a very big tall grass forest during the half of the trail ! The grass was taller than us and the trail was really tiny so no air ! It is easy to go to the ocean bay, really harder to go back !! It totally worth the time and the effort ! You need to have plenty of water. It's a beautiful snorkeling place, probably one of the better on this island !
on a hot, sunny, voggy, muggy day running this just before sunset (or at first light) is key. because it was only mildly uncomfortably hot I was able to run the full distance pretty hard (the 7+miles out and back in well under an hour, including a few minute stop at the bottom to enjoy the rewarding view of the gorgeous bay). i found the climb out fairly technical trail running, but totally runnable (I heart running hills - the longer, steeper, and more technical the better!)