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Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline

When researching possible activities, I knew that I wanted a hike to be one of them. While a hike can be a pretty nice affair anywhere, when you’re on a tropical island, the scenery and views are most likely going to be that much more fantastic.

I won’t distort the truth; so while I believe I’m in decent shape, I’m not ready to scale Mt. Everest by any means. So while I wanted to hike, I knew I would need to find one that wasn’t “too” intimidating.  The Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline turned out to be the perfect fit. 

This is a 1-mile hike (one-way) along a paved roadway that leads to a lookout atop a headland about the historic Makapuu lighthouse. I had read that you would be able to possibly see birds and perhaps even the stray monk seal sunning himself. Unfortunately, we didn’t see anything as cool as that but the stunning views of the coastline more than made up for it.

The hike itself, while all up hill, is nothing too terrible (we saw a couple of families who were pushing their children up the trail, one was even a double-stroller). Some younger children seemed to be struggling although it was comical when I overheard a parent speaking to his whining child that “you run and race all the time to the point where I need to tell you to stop or slow down but now here’s your chance to do so and you’re dragging your feet” (I didn’t hear the child’s response). We would take breaks occasionally but this was usually so I could take photographs. There seemed to be an even combination of locals to tourists.  Once we had reached the top we spoke to a couple who were locals and from the sound of it, seemed to do this hike fairly often. It was pleasant to speak with people who take advantage of their state’s natural beauty, although I’m sure this is more common on Hawaii than anywhere else in the country due to its just about stunning everything. 

It was a bit of a drive to get to (we were staying in Ko Olina and the shoreline is located on the far western side of the island so it took about an hour each way) but I would say it was worth it. There are lots of hikes you can do on Oahu but not all will be suited to your individual fitness level. 

Tips for visiting:
 
-There are no restrooms or water stations anywhere on the trail or even in the parking lot area. Since the trail itself is entirely in the sun you will want to have an ample supply of water with you. 
 
-We hiked the trail on a Sunday afternoon and while I was worried there wouldn’t be any parking spots, we were able to get one. There are paved spots closer to the start of the trail and  there are the spots where you just pull off the road (this is what we did). 
 
-Supposedly in the winter months, the shoreline offers great whale watching opportunities. Hawaii’s humpback whale season runs from November through May, with January through March being the peak whale-watching months. 


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