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Puukohola Trail at Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site

Hawaii > The Big Island > Kohala Coast
Length1.5 mi
Elev. Gain100 ft
Difficulty1 / 5
Rating8 / 10
The Puukohola Trail is located in the dry North Kohala Coast. The trail allows you to see a number of historically significant sites, including the war heiau that was built by King Kamehameha.

The trail head branches both left and right - you should take right, towards the Heiau at the hilltop. Stop at the visitor's centre to read about the interesting history behind the heiau. The asphalt trail leads you to the base of the temple.

Almost, 200 feet below, you will find the Mailekini Heiau, which was transformed into a fort later by King Kamehameha. There is yet another heiau, called the Hele o Kepuni, which lies underwater and in ruins. It was dedicated to sharks, which were often offered human flesh.

At the bottom of the hill, the trail loops back to the starting point. You should leave the asphalt path and follow the dirt road, which will bring you to the site of the ancient royal compound, Pelekane.

From Pelekane, follow an unpaved service road till you reach a 'T' and take a right hike uphill. As you approach the Highway, cross it and take a left and walk about 600 feet and you will find a well-worn trail to the right leading to the John Young's Homestead. After completing your trail, retrace your path to the asphalt trail and follow the loop.

Best time to go
February is the best time, when you can see the sharks.


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Hike Featured In...
Best Hiking Trips in Hawaii
By Pamela Wright
Trailhead Location
GPS Coordinates:
19° 1.525' N
155° 49.3' W

Driving Directions:
Drive along Highway 270, for a mile. The trail head will be located south of Kawaihae in North Kohala.
Hiking In Paradise
Weather Report for Ocean View, HI
Mostly clear. Haze. Lows 53 to 70. West winds up to 10 mph.
Temperature: 63.3° F
Relative Humidity: 84%
Pressure: 29.97"
Dew Point: 58.4° F

Winds from the NW at 4.2 mph gusting to -999.0 mph

Today: 0.00"

Sunrise: 6:47 AM
Sunset: 5:47 PM
Weather reported from Drying Plant, Pahala, HI (KHIPAHAL4)
Mostly sunny. Haze through the day. A 20 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs 65 to 84. South winds up to 10 mph.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear with isolated showers. Lows 46 to 68. Light winds. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Sunny with isolated showers in the morning, then mostly cloudy with scattered showers in the afternoon. Haze through the day. Highs 63 to 82. Light winds becoming south up to 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. Isolated showers. Haze. Lows 46 to 68. Light winds becoming northeast up to 10 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Weather information provided by Weather Underground. Current as of 12/12/2017 0:00 AM
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