Mahai'ula to Kua Bay is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

Length7.8 miElevation gain639 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingWalkingBeachViewswild-flowersWildlifeRocky
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Pit toilets (no water) at Mahai'ula. Toilets and sinks at Kua. NOTHING in between.

Drive in the southern entrance to Kekaha Kai State Park. It is a long windy road over "improved lava", but most vehicles can make it. Take it slow. Park where you see cars parked and take the inland trail north. Keep passing beach after beach until you reach the Pu'u (Cinder cone hill) way off in the distance. Views from the top are nice on a clear day. Walk down the trail to the paved road that takes you the rest of the way to Kua Bay. Enjoy one of the best (yet crowded) sandy beaches near Kona!

Weather
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Reviews (35)
Photos (246)
Recordings (26)
Completed (62)
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Екатерина Власова
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Danny Goldstein
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Hiking

If you’re in it for the hike, then it’s definitely not awesome. You go from rocky path to sand back to rocky path to more sand. Not pleasant. That being said we saw a couple of Monk seals on the beach and Makena Beach is absolutely stunning. We turned around at Makena though because the hiking was a slog. (We’re fit btw and hike difficult trails so the difficulty wasn’t the issue).

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Mark Verbeck
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Faren Oglesbee
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Lelania Rodda
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Hiking

we enjoyed the trail however it was not as long as it listed the trail to be. there was no way down the path to the last beach area as the trail suggested

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theo bassenne
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Stevie Burnich
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Hiking

So this is more of a dirt road than a trail. That being said, the beaches that we came across were lovely. Not a great hike but a nice long walk to the beach.

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Haley Macpherson
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Hiking

This was a fun trail that we modified a little bit (we walked along the jagged lava shoreline instead of along the path). It was a great introduction to the Big Island and we really enjoyed stopping and snorkeling at our leisure. Beaches are a great spot to relax.

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Shelby Bock
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HikingNo shade

Even though it is LONG and HOT, i would absolutely recommend. I actually reversed it and began at Kua Bay, snorkeling is great there early AM. This way I could park my car right along the road by the trailhead in the gravel and eliminate about 1 mile of the walk as well as the walk into Mahai’ula! It’s true that the rocky part between Kua and the private beaches is boring, but the rest is very interesting and payoff great. Snorkeling is good at every spot. BRING EXTRA WATER. You will need more than 1 bottle.

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craxylife .
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HikingRocky

Did this trail today and it's terrific. I did stop at each beach along the way to get some terrific snorkeling in. The initial walk from the parking lot is cake. The walk from Mahailua to the private beaches (lol i still snorkeled in the waters) is all lava rock and bad if you don't wear shoes. I actually stayed the coast and went through the sand to each beach up until I was close to the cars parked at the northwest point. I then trudged back. It was not a very difficult hike, as long as you're wearing shoes and have hydration. To be honest, the snorkeling was more of the highlight.

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Courtney Staudacher
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Scott Crosser
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Such an incredible walk. We parked at the gate walked in an extra 1.5 miles at 600 AM. Got to see Hawaiian Monk Seals and the wild goats.

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Joe Anderson
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful walk along the ocean (most of the way). When you start the accent up to the top of the cinder cone hill look to your left and you’ll see a thin walking trail (vs. the dirt road used by cars). This path will not take you to the top but will save you from a steep and slippery climb and decent. Take lots of water. We had two of our group (of 4) hail an Uber from Kua Beach back to Kona as round trip was almost 9 miles (25% of the time walking through sand). Not super easy and not kid friendly in my opinion. Highly recommended if your looking for Hawaiian beauty and you’ve got about 4 hours to spend on a walk. Kua bay was super crowded... some of the beaches near the southern end of the hike were absolutely beautiful and were empty at 11am (as we hiked north) and still uncrowned at 2pm (as we returned south). The trail is not clearly marked and having all-trails with GPS was wonderful to have.

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Chris Snider
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Hiking

One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen along this route. Bring extra water. It’s hot.

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Brent Duddles
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Hiking
First to Review

Very cool trail along coast of Kekaha Kai State Park. Start at the popular southern enterance (Mahai'ula Bay) and hike along the trail past the renowned Makalawena Beach, over Pu'u Kili, to the popular Kua Bay. Portions along this path are heavily visited, but the entire distance is seldom walked, as most people access Kua via car, or stop their hike at Makalawena for the sand. I saw no one on the trail north of Makalawena till the paved rd at Kua.

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Scott Hardin
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John Pfeifer
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Jeff Irwin
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Amanda Godon
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Tiffany Nguyen
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Susan Chiutsi
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Mike O'Connor
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Jayde Herriford
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AJ Gniewosz
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Todd Cooper
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Ian Snyder
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Mary Casey
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Rod Bien
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Axel Huck
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Christopher Linke
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