Mokolea Point Trail

MODERATE 15 reviews

Mokolea Point Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kilauea, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and fishing and is accessible year-round.

2.8 miles
413 feet
Out & Back



trail running







over grown



washed out

no dogs

The rugged cliffs of Mokolea Point, part of the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge, is home to dramatic tide pools and the abandoned Kihili Rock Quarry, with views extending across Kilauea Bay and beyond. The hike follows an old rutted road to the quarry overlook and beyond to the tidepools. Kahili Rock Quarry sits along the rugged cliffs of Mokolea Point, part of the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge. The abandoned rock quarry overlooks the crescent-shaped Kilauea Bay from above the outlet of the Kilauea River. The views extend across the bay, which is rimmed by groves of ironwood trees, to the forested windswept cliffs along the bays southeastern edge and beyond. During the summer months, when the ocean is calmer, the lava bench also provides access to an amazing array of "breathing" tidepools, emptying and filling with each wave. The road to the promontory starts in Kilauea and runs about a mile before it's no longer maintained, and the mud-filled potholes become treacherous to cars. You will need a 4WD vehicle to go any further or you'll need to park and continue on foot or mountain bike. Half a mile further, the road opens onto a plateau overlooking Rock Quarry Beach (a.k.a. Kihili Beach) with a nice view across the bay. If you made it this far with a vehicle or bike, park there and continue on foot. Stop anywhere to take in the sunrise over the bay. (This is really the only point on the north side of Kauai where you can see the sun rise over the ocean... the lighthouse doesn't open until 10am.) From here you can see the partially submerged lava-ledge. It sits 20-feet above the sea, but the incoming tidal waves are often twice that height, drowning the rocks before receding to reveal a series of roiling tidal pools. Some are even big enough to soak in during low tide in the summer months, when the ocean is calmer. If you feel ambitious you can continue along the sharp, slick boulders for another 1/4 mile to reach a trench about the size of a hot tub which fills with thrashing sea water each time the ocean comes in, before receding back with the tide. Sea life is often caught in the strong tides being shoved up through the pools and become briefly trapped. Rock Quarry Beach (a.k.a. Kihili Beach) looks pretty appealing from Mokolea Point, and you can reach it by scrambling through the underbrush and down the cliff near the parking plateau and then fording the Kilauea River outlet, but for easier access (including a parking lot), you'll need to head back to Hwy 56.

7 days ago

This is a great hike! It’s not challenging, but offers some incredible views of the ocean and tide pools. It looked like you could even find some nice places to hang on a beach.

nature trips
1 month ago

Easy hike with cool tide pools at the end. Could be busy, could be the only ones there.

10 months ago

Agreed with previous posts, it's a muddy dirt road that most trucks can take, but, views are good. Going about high tide, you can scramble across the rocks to the west all the way around the point. There are cool tide pools, salvage and such. Just be careful of the weather and wear good non slip shoes.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Short an easy, watch out for high waves. When standing on the rock I wouldn't suggest standing within a foot of anything wet (I know you're not an idiot). I was surprised a couple times by large waves that got to close for comfort when standing on the boulders.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

This is not so much a trail as a dirt access road to the shoreline. We parked on the side of the dirt road where there were gateways for some of the houses. The walk to the shore itself is pretty uneventful and flat- you can admire some vegetation and look through the trees at the shoreline and some of the properties nearby. I would recommend either avoiding this road or using an ATV or truck with 4WD if it has recently rained. We got lucky and the road was dry and walkable. Even so there were many potholes filled with mud along the way. The view was amazing once we reached the shore. We spent a lot of time watching the powerful surf crash into the shoreline. If you plan on doing so, scout out the rocks to make sure that they won't get splashed by the waves. The first outcropping of black rocks, especially, got pounded by waves the entire time we were there. We didn't make it out to the tide pools because the surf was too unsafe, but on a calmer day, I can imagine they might be quite pleasant. All in all, on a dry day, this is a very easy walk that rewards you with a nice view of the coastline at the end.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Nice easy hike with a huge payoff at the end. The view if the coast is simply incredible!

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Very beautiful but directions to Kalili quarry road are incorrect. Take koho rd to Kilauea rd to Kalili quarry road and drive till you tech deep ruts in rd. Walk is easy and spectacular

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Saturday, June 20, 2015