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 and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,256 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

hiking
5 days ago

The bay and snorkeling are worth the hike down. Today the heat on the way back up was brutal, we had plenty of water and it was a hard climb out after snorkeling and enjoying the water, we hike regularly in Oregon at higher elevations with no issues. Be prepared and if you’re questioning your abilities I would recommend a boat tour over the hike.

hiking
9 days ago

Mountain goats were a huge surprise—saw maybe two dozen of them. Once at the water, I set my pack down to go for a swim and had to come back because a Mongoose was going inside my backpack. About a dozen Mongoose showed up, so I had to hang my pack from a branch. Saw some amazing yellow fish playing in the water around Captain Cooks death memorial stone. Beautiful small finch like bird with a red head was super curious about my trail food. A little strenuous going back up, but we got hit with a monsoon like downpour which was a morale boost. Loved the trail—one of
My favorite hikes of all time. Watch out for boars too. We definitely heard them around near the upper portion of the trail in the thick grass.

backpacking
9 days ago

Super overgrown at top of trail. Wouldn’t recommend for someone out of shape since the hike back is a strenuous one. Solid hike though and the bay is worth it.

hiking
19 days ago

Nice nature trail! Needed 1 hr each way

hiking
1 month ago

This was an amazing trail with the most amazing views! The hike starts in a tropical like jungle, descends through a lava field, back into the woods, and then finally you arrive at the prize! Turn left at marker 8 to find the monument and snorkel bay. Warning: The grass gets extremely thick and overgrown at times. I recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt to protect your arms. My daughter got cut in the face and neck by the blades. But this was only for maybe 1/3 of the trip. If you have hiking boots, bring them. I promise you will be glad you did. Lastly, PLEASE bring enough water to last both ways. I wouldnt dare try this hike after 7am. The hike back up in the October sun was brutal.

1 month ago

Great trail, bring a lot of water, like a lot of water. Easy to go down, super hard to go up.

1 month ago

This trail is cool if you want to access to a nice snorckelling spot, first part in the forest and second part in the stones decor with nice view on the ocean, if you go at 17:00-18:00 you can see a wonderdul sunset !!

hiking
1 month ago

Yes, bring enough water. No, it's not like Hunger Games where everything try to kill you as written down below in other review. Yes, it's really humid. No, don't skip this hike. I'm 33 years old average hiker with beer belly and took us (with my girlfriend) 35 minutes down and 43 minutes back. Interresting hiking but more than that, great for snorkeling. We saw 20 dolphins playing and jumping from water and swam with them. Don't be affraid and just enjoy the show if you are lucky. It's remain a hik, not a walk in a park.

1 month ago

Tons of fun - jungle, ocean views, crystal clear water and a historical monument.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

At the head of this trail is a sign that states and I quote “ bring plenty of water, approximate hiking time 2-4hrs”
Please take this sign literally and seriously! Do not attempt this hike as we personally witnessed today if you are +60 yrs and not in good shape, have no water with you, wearing sandals, long summer style dress or convinced to do so by someone who is into hiking and YOUR NOT! Took myself who is not a strong hiker, 3hrs 15 min to go to the bottom and come back. Top of the trail is overgrown with tall razor grass and brush. If you have ANY issues with spiders, bugs, this is NOT the hike for you. If it’s raining or you don’t have proper footwear, do not attempt! The trail at the top is smooth rock that would be slippery if wet, bottom of the trail is mainly loose rocks. Remember for every step down the trail, there is an equal number of steps out. Although I made it in and out, my hiking partner (wife) only went 3/4 of the way because she knew her limitations.

2 months ago

Bring LOTS of water and proper footwear....

2 months ago

Très beau trail, nous l'avons fait en après midi il faut compter à peu près 2h30. La remontée est sportive car plein soleil et avec une bonne montée la végétation est dense sur la deuxième partie. Ce spot permet avec de la chance, d'apercevoir voir de nager avec les dauphins. Un beau spot de snorkeling (cassdédi à bat et rom). A faire !

2 months ago

It was worth the hike to snorkel in this bay, we did get caught in the rain hiking out.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is not for the faint of heart. Enjoy the Great views and snorkeling. Save water and energy for the hike out.

2 months ago

easy down, hard back, but great hike. overgrown tall grasses for first half because it's not formally maintained. The monument, water, and fort rains we're excellent.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike going was easy and the snorkeling was amazing. Cool remains of an old village and lots of wildlife. Saw a school of Dolphins really close to shore.
The hike back up was a little strenuous but totally worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent snorkeling ! Easy to go down but a little more challenging on the way back since it’s 100% uphill (on the way back) and very humid at this time of the year. I would give a 4 for the hike and a 5 for the snorkeling.

hiking
3 months ago

The way down with proper shoes is fine. The snorkeling spot is fantastic even saw some dolphins. That being said we are pretty experienced hikers. We brought in 2.5L hydration packs and ate some granola bars down by the bay. I'm not sure if having a wet bathing suit on under our clothes or maybe dried salt on our skin, or even the Vog conditions, but I got really bad heat exhaustion on the hike back. You are basically walking up stairs that are made from loose gravel for about 1.5miles with no coverage whatsoever. The sun is just beating down on you and the UV index is considered extreme. We saw multiple people on the way back up in the same boat. Do not attempt the hike back up, during July/Aug btwn 12 and 3pm. I really can not stress this enough.

We were not dehydrated, we had plenty of water with us and we still experienced severe heat exhaustion. It took us 45mins to get down and over 90mins to get back out. There were a few trees around markers 5 and 4, they barely had any shade and they are covered in fire ants so you can't sit or lean. I honestly felt like we were in the hunger games and everything was trying to kill us. Again I'm from Florida and I live and hike in Colorado. I'm used to heat and high humidity. I hike in Colorado at much higher elevations and we are both in shape. We had done 6 other hikes in the past 3 weeks on Oahu and Kuawai that were double the distance and elevation gain with no issues. Be very careful attempting this hike in these conditions.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great snorkeling stop, but the hike proved to be challenging with the loose rock and uneven terrain. Bring lots of water!

Not for the faint of the heart. We are from Denver and hike weekly and I would say moderate is a good description but be ready to get your heart rate up on the incline back up. Our gps says the hike is over 2 miles each way. Bring water and snacks. View at the bottoms is gorgeous and the water is pristine. We saw lots of fish, a sea turtle and an eel. We managed to arrive in between boat tours so it wasn’t crowded. Best on an overcast day or early. I wouldn’t recommend this inexperienced hikers or be prepared to take it slow. Also wear appropriate shoes, lots of loose rock.

hiking
4 months ago

Definitely a “moderate” grade hike. Took 40 minutes down to the monument. First third is hard packed dirt, several places of good shade. Middle third gets steeper, mostly rock base and less shade spots. The final third is steepest and is mostly loose rock except the last tenth of a mile. Not much scenery until the final third. No water at the monument so pack enough for the hike back out. Long sleeves were very helpful when hiking through the tall grass areas. The snorkeling was excellent. Best spot is right off the jetty in front of the monument. Tons of sea urchins to the right so go straight off and on. There is a ladder to help you exit.

4 months ago

The snorkeling at the bottom was awesome! Didn’t see any dolphins or turtles, but the reef had lots of pretty fish. I definitely recommend going as early as you can, because the way back up is even more strenuous when it is hot out. With snorkeling included it took us about 4 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

Great spot, keep your eyes on the trail hiking down loose rocks and gravel, you might miss a step. Close shoe's highly recommend, getting down before you go to the monument take right and you will find one if the famous benches and an amazing view. Snorkeling is great although there was a lot of people in kayaks and not all respect the reef. Save the water for the way up, I'm not in bad shape and can tell was challenging with some stops to catch my breath.
Overall, do it!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike and views. The hike back is not for anyone with physical limitations. I would say it was difficult but I might just not be used to the altitude.

hiking
5 months ago

Hike down to bay took us exactly 45 mins. It’s not strenuous on the way down, just very exposed. Snorkeling in the bay was incredible. The trek back up took exactly one hour because of the incline, blazing heat, and ~8 water breaks. We live in Boulder, CO and are accustomed to hiking at 5,500 ft elevation, yet the hike back up was one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. Not for the faint-hearted!

Bring a lot of water and also I recommend long sleeves, sunglasses and a hat to shield from sun exposure.

5 months ago

Loved it! Once you start the hike and go all the way down, the only way back up is the hike. So, you have to do it! Lol.

5 months ago

The hike out is all downhill, and the hike back is all uphill. You’ll hike through some brush and then through a lava field. It’s definitely one of the most bizarre landscapes I’ve ever hiked in - pretty incredible.

You’ll end up at Kealakekua Bay where you can see the Captain Cook Monument and also jump in the bay for a swim and snorkel. There were a few tour companies and boats out there. The water is refreshing, but careful getting back out - it’s a little tricky.

hiking
5 months ago

Well worth hike down to one of the best snorkeling spots in whole island. Rocky path on the way down and about 1400 ft. elevation change from top to bottom.

5 months ago

we finally hiked this trail after coming here for 5 years. we aren't in great shape but I considered it easy.

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