Captain Cook's Monument Trail

HARD 234 reviews

Captain Cook's Monument Trail is a 5.8 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Captain Cook, Hawaii, Hawaii that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.8 km Elevation Gain: 383 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

views

no shade

A short down and back up hike to the Captain Cook Monument. The monument was built in 1874 commemorating the fallen British explorer that was killed in 1779. The only way to reach the monument is by boat, kayak, or foot. It is said that the water near the monument is one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. The hike down is easy enough. The slope is not too steep but watch out for any rolling rocks. The trail is partly shaded.

hiking
4 minutes ago

This is a must, going down is easy, just be careful because of all the rocks. The snorkeling is the reward. We went really early and headed back up at 9:00 am any later it would have made it much more challenging. Take plenty of water. It is a really fun hike and snorkel adventure. Keep your packs closed while snorkeling if you have food or the mongoose will help themselves.

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Not moderate at all. This hike is HARD! Omg. Going down not bad at all. Holy cannolis going up it tested my will like no other hike has. The climate on the first half up is dry and you are on loose lava rocks adding extra resistance! Once you get to the other half is the trail climate changes drastically it’s more wet, sticky and humid. Bring water and some hiking shoes or some amazing running shoes I saw people in flip flops going up! I still pray for them.

hiking
8 days ago

Holy cow, this was a tough one! As “easy” as it feels going down, it’s a major muscle killer coming back up! As we were coming up, We passed several people going down with no water - HUGE mistake! Trust me, you will definitely need it on the way back! And sunscreen!! Overall, it really was a great hike! My advice is to go early so you won’t have to hike back in the heat of the day. Also, wear long sleeves and long pants unless you want to scrape your limbs up going through the grass! My arms & legs look like I fought a losing battle with a cat! Lastly, try taking a wrap, soak it in water and wrap it around your shoulders on the way up, it will keep you cooled down until about the half way point.

hiking
11 days ago

Hard...not moderate. this trail is completely fascinating, because the environment and climate change frequently. GO IN THE MORNING. getting there after 7:30 is pushing it, because this is a hot and humid hike especially on the way back. I'd recommend bringing at least a half gallon of water. you may think I'm crazy, since the hike is so short, but I'm speaking from experience. with that said, the views do not disappoint. kealakekua bay is said to be one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself to the history of the area before coming :)

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
17 days ago

Great hike. The trail is overgrown about 10 mins in and first timers might think theyre off the trail. Keep going, it gets better. Save water for the return. Its uphill the whole way and very HOT!! The snorkeling is excellent when you get to the bottom. Keep an eye out for mongoose near the water. They will get into your pack!

hiking
21 days ago

Hike is not that interesting through marker 4 of 8, just a bunch of grass and jungle by some country homes. After marker 4 begin some breathtaking views and many a goat. Hike ends at Captain Cook monument and a beautiful underwater snorkeling bay. Easy protected coves with lots of fish to a steep drop off from a coral reef to open water is well worth the trip if you snorkel. Hike is Grand Canyon style. Easy hike down, strenuous hike back up the mountain. Not anything that anyone from West of the Rockies won't be well acquainted with, but its good to only bring what you absolutely need (like a mask, snorkel, fins if you want to dive down underwater drop offs, and water). Hike is partially over lava rock, so it is not flip flop friendly.

hiking
no shade
rocky
24 days ago

We read the reviews of this hike before we left, but being from Alaska, we didn’t really believe them. BELIEVE THEM! 1400ft gain in 1.8 miles in the full sun is no joke. We took plenty of water and rested in the sparse shade and hiked up in about an hour. The snorkeling is well worth it. Take water shoes or fins because it’s rocky and hot walking to the water once you hike down. Along with other reviewers, we recommend going earlier or later in the day to avoid the thrash hiking out in the full son.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked back in Feb ‘19, amazing hike, definitely a hot hike, very little shade. Wild goats and pigs help with motivation. Amazing swimming/snorkeling at the monument.

hiking
28 days ago

first 4 markers are a dirt trail through tall grass and trees - the kids loved it. the last 4 markers are on steep and loose lava rock with no shade. totally doable, but tough. the snorkeling is so worth it though! we saw a pod of dolphins!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This 2 mile hike (each way) is no joke. We passed an older couple who had given up on the descent and were already heading back up. This hike is 1500 feet down and then back up. There is little to no shade along the trail. If you decide to hike, you must go early in the morning in order to make your ascent back up before the mid-day heat. ***You need a hat, water, sunscreen (reef safe!), and not too much gear. The hike down took about 1 hour (I was reading the Captain Cook wikipedia out loud lol) with a 118 average heart rate. The hike back up took 1.5 hours with a 151 average heart rate. When we arrived down at the bottom we were met with the issue of finding a way into the water. The beach at the monument is very rocky and the waves are rough. We learned later that it is best to enter the water directly at the base of the monument. We made the mistake of entering off to the side which roughed us up a bit. If you can bring water shoes - those would have been incredibly helpful. Once in the water, we were slightly disappointed with the fish and the reef. Apparently a lot of tourists have been damaging the reef by standing on it. People have reported seeing dolphins and turtles but we only saw a few fish. After speaking with more people, I wish we would have visited Hōnaunau Bay AKA Two Step. We heard that the water is calm and that the reef and fish population are much healthier there.

1 month ago

very tough hike back up. totally worth it. markers go from 1 to 8.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

This trail is difficult, so be prepared. My sister and I went down to snorkel for a couple hours and when we started back up we were surprised about how exhausted and hot we became very quickly. It’s not the trails fault, we should have brought more snacks and water. But be aware that it is very difficult coming back up from the monument during midday. The sun is beating down on you and the black lava rocks radiate the heat back up to you from the ground. We really struggled back up this due to the heat and humidity and the fact we were already tired from other activities. Learn from our mistakes, be prepared and bring lots of water and plan your journey uphill during a cooler time of day.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

The first part is not so interesting due to dense vegetation hiding the sightseeing . When you get out of it the bay view is very nice. I strongly recommend good shoes and appropriate water reserve (1 liter each). James Cook Monument is located in a forest where ruins are numerous but no indication to identify their origin. Water is crystal clear and cliffs very impressive . Not recommended with young children anyway

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

the trail itself is fairly boring, the beginning in particular. mostly overgrown, rocky trails. once that part passes, it opens up and there is no shade. the view off into the ocean is nice and the end point culminates with a nice rocky bay near the monument. nice hike overall.

hiking
no shade
over grown
1 month ago

This trail is a bit overgrown in the beginning. Be careful with the tall grass blades. Their edges are sharp enough to cut the skin. Most of the trail is lose rock. Awesome views once you pass marker 4. Bring water and protein bars.

no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Epic and stunning views. Be prepared and wear good hiking shoes and bring lots of water. Highly recommend bringing snorkeling gear but pack lightly. Hiking back out is strenuous and harder than it looks, so avoid the midday return and either wait till late afternoon but give yourself an hour at a good pace or an hour and a half at a leisurely pace heading back up.

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