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.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 318 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

walking

beach

views

wildlife

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.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an epic trail! So beautiful the whole way. It was quite windy along the trail. We had the beach to ourselves and saw a turtle. There are several trails which all take you to the same place. We came back along a different trail - one that was more shaded. Highly recommend!

2 months ago

I completely underestimated the epicness of these easy hike! I did this hike at sunset and it was absolutely breathtaking with the ocean and cliff views! There are several meanderings trails but I highly reccomend you stay on the cliffs at the ocean for non stop gorgeous views and crashing wave sounds. Easy enough anyone could do it with absolute beauty at every turn!

There are initially a lot of different trails to get to this beach; they all eventually combine into the main trail to the cliff side and the secret beach. Great easy hike for anybody and some beautiful views along the way. Aloha

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve done a lot of hikes and I can honestly say this one was one of my faves! Incredible views the entire way. Just be aware there are not really any trail signs and I did get a little lost on the way back. But there are multiple different paths you can take.

Epic. Saw turtles swimming. Saw beauty everywhere we looked. Relaxed along the way. Epic! Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

Stunning views, and you can take a variety of different paths; it seems everyone has made their own. I strongly suggest sticking as close to the water as possible even though it has more elevation change; it also has an amazing sea breeze. The end-ish part walks on the golf course green which felt a bit weird, but the wear patterns on the grass made it clear that’s the way to go. You will get great pictures and the most amazing vistas I’ve seen in the island. Even saw a pod of whales!

hiking
3 months ago

Wow. Amazing views from this trail. Parking pretty available off little road between Hyatt and golf course. Beginning of trail had many options that are not well marked but all head you to same place. We chose to walk more along the coast and it can be rocky but the views are incredible. Waves crashed on the coast and gave us a quick shower. We went past the stables to a quiet little beach and turned back after about 2.4 miles. Saw a sea turtle but we missed the pod of whales our friends saw. Maybe we need to go back! Put this hike on your to do list

hiking
3 months ago

The views are breathtaking!! We saw a sea turtle and took some awesome pics. My boyfriend also really enjoyed that a portion was on the golf course! The breeze from the water kept us perfect temperature during the hike. At the cave there are picnic tables and benches to rest!

I took a different routing this time and it was a little bit more challenging/technical. My friend still managed to complete it in flip flops though

Beautiful hike, sunny day and no mud. Little wind so really hot, limited shade. But vistas are unreal. Saw lots of sea turtles and whales.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice shoreline trail, with plenty of fauna. Offers spectacular rocky coastline views

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
3 months ago

Awesome views of the coast. Lots of trail options and not marked, make you wonder what way to take. Sone shade but can be open. Can be a long walk if you have a little one.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice, easy seaside trail. Lots of whales just off the coast. Of note - the cave is only open 10-4 and requests a $10 donation.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing vistas! Easy to navigate, make sure to go all the way to end to see the caves (technically labeled as Makauwahi Caves)!

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful hike in July 2019. Easy, great views. We went on along the beach Till the far end. Was worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Kind of boring. Shoes wouldn’t be great cuz the trail is sandy, but slippas weren’t great footwear for the same reason. The views were nice, but there are far better trails with far better views. It’s an ok trail if you just want to waste time, but this one was just ‘meh’. If you walk through the heiau, don’t forget to leave an offering of flowers or shells and give thanks.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

easy hike with gorgeous shoreline views the whole way! sandy and rocky most of the way- suggest hiking or tennis shoes. definitely check out the cave! we relaxed at the beach at the end of the trail before heading back.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike along the rugged coast. Sandy, hot and windy. Wear sunscreen and take water. Very easy hike in my opinion just plan your steps and wear appropriate shoes.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Dry and sunny even when it's raining elsewhere on Kauai, really spectacular coastal hike. Stop at the cave for a break. So much to see on this hike... cliffs, heiau, golf course with mountain views (a nice break in the middle to walk on flat grass!), beaches, streams, horse ranch. Bring water, it was hot and dry even in Jan on a cloudy day.

hiking
4 months ago

Great little hike along the shore. Perfect for a day with less than perfect weather conditions. A good bit of up and down and the parts right above the ocean are rocky and uneven. We wore hiking boots and were glad we did, but most people were in sneakers and a few were in flip flops.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing day hike! We started at the western end near the resort area. We were able to park without any issue. The initial section is sandy. It was also really windy the day we went. Beautiful views from the cliff tops, just be cautious and heed the warning signs. As we moved along the surface changed to red dirt. Follow the golf course and respect the signs to stay on the trail as you walk through a respected, ancient area. Towards the end we decided to continue on to the cave and explore further. This was also very beautiful! We rested for a bit on the beach but didn’t swim due to water conditions (currents and bacteria levels). Beautiful day on the South Shore!

hiking
4 months ago

We did not have time to do this entire trail so we decided to start at the cave and do that first and then walk a little bit of this trail from that side. It was gorgeous! The views of the water are phenomenal. It’s so amazing to stand there and watch the ocean roar. Would love to do the entire trail next time.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. We did it twice. Fantastically beautiful views. Take water. Closer to “the edge” there are beautiful views of large rock structures surrounded completely by the water and waves. Also holes in the cliffs looking to the water. Look for whale spouts also. Will do it again and again given the chance.

running
no shade
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

12/21. Trail was fine. But super-windy

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