Hawaiian Monk Seal Spotting – Kaena Point Oahu

The eastern most tip of Oahu can be visited in two ways via foot paths from the East (via Oʻahu’s North Shore)  or or Southeast side of the island (via Ka’ena State Park).  We visit from the East side after snorkeling with sharks in North Shore.  The tip of this area is a protected Nature Reserve to many of Hawaii’s endangered species of birds and wildlife.

The trail begins at the end of the paved road.  You’ll want to go when it’s sunny out since the track is dirt the whole way until you reach the reserve where it turns into sand.  We tried to visit one morning with light showers and our flip flops could not handle the mud.


The trail hugs the ocean and the strong sea breeze is a welcoming relief from the hot sun.


30 minutes in and we’re still walking…


We reach an iron gate at around 2 miles with more warning signs. Dogs are not allowed on this trail because they may disturb the birds.


The gorgeous view from the other side of the gate.


Eventually you’ll reach a 2nd gate which is specifically designed to keep predators out.  It’s also the first opportunity for shade since we left our car.


Amazing shot with ocean views on both sides.


Rocks and tide pools help to break the surf and extend the island tip.


The Hawaiian Monk Seals can bask peacefully here on the beach without disturbance.  The big blobs of brown almost blend perfectly with the sand and rocks around.

Hike Details:
Total length:~ 6 mi (9.6 km)
Terrain: Flat dirt path, sandy once you reach the reserve, no shade (bring a hat & wear lots of sunblock
Time: ~ 2.5 – 3 hours


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