Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail: Shipwreck Beach to Punahoa Point

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Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii

Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail: Shipwreck Beach to Punahoa Point is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.7 miElevation gain318 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingWalkingBeachViewsWildlife
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Getting There

This seaside trail travels Kauai's southern coastline from Shipwreck's Beach on Keoneloa Bay to remote and stunning Mahaulepu Beach near Kawailoa Bay. Along the trail discover rugged sea cliffs, secluded coves, dunes, tide pools, sculpted lava formations, native plants, and petroglyphs. The beach has prime whale watching in the winter, and is a favorite hangout for endangered monk seals.

Public parking available but limited at Poipu Beach; porta potty available.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290 Colored brochures marking points of interest along the path are available from the Poipu Beach Foundation (808-742-7444) and at several major Poipu Beach hotels and resorts.

Directions from Lihue: Drive westward on Kaumualii Highway (50). Turn left on to Maluhia Road and follow it to Poipu Road. Follow Poipu Road passed Poipu Beach Park. Shipwreck Beach lies between Poipu Beach Park and the Hyatt Regency Kauai. Take Hwy. 50 to Koloa Rd. (Hwy. 530) and follow to Poipu Rd.; turn right. Take the left fork toward the ocean. Shipwreck's Beach. where this hike begins, is in front of the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Take the public access walkway between the Hyatt and Poipu Bay Golf Course.

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Reviews (489)
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Dalia Frasca
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HikingGreat!

Excellent hike, enjoyed with my 16 year old

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Travel Bug Luv
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Great!

Gorgeous hike!!

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Teddy Jones
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HikingGreat!
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Jayme Hofer
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Hiking

Looked cool - but rained out

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Rachael McKenzie
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Hiking

Great hike with a lot of variety in the landscape. More sand than I imagined. Beginning has a lot of forks in the trail but almost all of them take you to the coast. We continued down to the cave and visited the tortoises that are near the footbridge and cave entrance. Round trip was about 5.5 miles. If you continue through the golf course just stay near the fence and you will find the trail again eventually. Trail offers a lot of flexibility so you can choose your own route and turnaround spot. Great views!

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Haley Prasad
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Hiking

Pretty walk along the shore. Similar to California landscape. It’s not a must do but it’s a nice afternoon walk if you’re in the area and want to get some steps.

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Stef MA
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. You can go off trail to walk along the coast. The suggested trail is shaded and great for the return

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Lance Tomooka
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Hiking

Great hike for the family! Not terribly strenuous. Nice ocean breezes. Fantastic spectacular views with the ocean in view most of the time along the way!

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Anonymous Anonymous
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Hiking

Very scenic and pleasant walk - takes about 1.5-2 hrs. The breeze (wind) from the ocean helps not feel hot

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Steve Seeger
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Hiking

Leisurely late hike. Beautiful day.

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Nicola Bond
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HikingGreat!

We hiked here this morning, and loved it. Views and terrain change constantly, from coastline cliffs to lush vegetation and beautiful native plants. We arrived 8.40am and the trail was pretty empty but as we finished at 10.20 am there were a lot more people setting off. It was hot and mostly in the sun so that is another reason to set off earlier in the day if you can.

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Dara Nikolova
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WalkingGreat!

Great views. A little muddy but not too bad. It rained off and on throughout for us. A little odd because you have to walk on a golf course for part of the hike.

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Marc Pardy
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Hiking

Muddy after the rain but gorgeous

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Debbie Maxcy
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HikingGreat!

Spectacular, varied, not too difficult, surprise views around every turn. Did this trail from Shipwrecks Beach to CJM stables and back, about 2 miles one way. At CJM stables you get a great view of the beach, so this is a good turning around point, which winds along the cliffs and through the golf course. Trail was not muddy despite days of rain, first part of the trail there are some shady spots but once you come to the golf course, it’s pretty exposed and hot and sunny. Bring lots of water. Hiked 3/11/2021.

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Tom Davis
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Hiking

Super handy to have this app; lots of windy options.

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Sarah Rudloff
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Hiking
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Daisy Sheng
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Hiking
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Lauren G
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Hiking

Hiked 2/2020. Easy trail that follows coastline so plenty of beautiful color saturated views for excellent photos the whole way! some interesting sites encountered along this easy walk- we went to cave and tortoise rescue which were both unique but not necessarily must do

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Jerry Hunter
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Hiking

Awesome. Go al the way past the bridge to the beach

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Cassandra Styczynski
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WalkingGreat!

Spectacular views the whole hike! It was such a pleasant surprise! We expected a couple views here and there but you’re along the cliffs and beach the whole time. Loved it! Very windy though!

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Anne Schouw
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HikingGreat!

Many parallel paths so you can take one route out and another one back. Make sure you download the map, because there are no signs.

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Kimberly Schaub
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WalkingNo shadeRocky

Great trail! Definitely download a map. No signage and very easy to get off track. There are some trails right along the cliff that I would not recommend for children as they are narrow and dangerous. We followed the trail all the way to the cave and lucked out as the cave was just being opened.

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Justin Tucker
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views, easy hike. Mostly flat. Go along the shore and it is great. Was about 4+ miles depending on the routes you take

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Brandon Brady
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Mountain biking

Amazing and awesome

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Kathleen Ocampo
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HikingMuddy

Frustrating!!! Got to the Hyatt and couldn’t find the trail- took the road to the stables then turned around. Might drive back to find the trail or cave.

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Kevin Ferret
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Hiking
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Zachary Wand
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HikingGreat!

Simple hike but nice views. Great for what it is, but head up the mountain for some real hikes.

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Willow Volkert
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HikingGreat!

super pretty! definitely a little harder than easy if you follow the path next to the beach, open toed shoes work best because of sand but there are also lots of rocks! just stay next to the beach the whole time, it’s the prettiest view. there will be lots of times where you’re not sure if you’re on the right trail or not but just keep going! they all lead to the same place

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Quinn Leary
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful walk along the cliffs. There aren’t any signs and multiple trials but basically they all run parallel to each other. I’d stay on the ones closest to the water as they’ve got the best views naturally!

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