About 1871 Trail to Ki'ilae Village on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
Hiking the 1871 Trail is how you get to the southern shoreline of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park. This trail, which is part of the much longer Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, leads to a couple small bays and many historic sites in a remote setting.
After spending time walking and reading about the historical sites in the main part of the national park, you should consider this hike. It’s about a mile long from the visitor center. On the way back you can loop back along a coastal trail to make it more interesting.
Starting at the visitor center follow this straight trail as it heads southward. At 2/5 of a mile look for the F marker where you can look uphill and see the Keokea Holua, an ancient rock slide where Hawaiians would compete by sliding down on wooden sleds. At the half-mile point you’ll pass by rock walls that were a goat pen (marker H) and then you’ll come to Alahaka Heiau, a religious temple made of rocks (marker I). Note that goats are usually roaming all over the southern section of the 1871 Trail.
During the next section of trail you’ll go up the Alahaka Ramp and be following the shore of Alahaka Bay and then Ki’ilae Bay. Between these small bays is Ahinahina Point which has an old burial site and offers excellent views. What barely remains of Ki’ilae Village is on the shore of Ki’ilae Bay. Beyond the second bay this trail stays inland a bit before going through a pedestrian gate and finally an out-of-nowhere restroom. From there you can turn around or continue to explore beyond the national park boundary.
On your way back, turn onto the trail on the left just past the goat pen (signed “Picnic Area”). This will take you through another part of the national park (you could also park there to shorten the 1871 Trail hike). Along this last stretch which follows the Coastal Trail look for more rock walls, building foundations, another heiau, and excellent tidepools in the lava rocks.
The 1871 Trail is just for day hiking as camping is not allowed. Dogs can be taken on these trails if they are on a leash, but they are not allowed in the main parts of the national park (Pu’uhonua and the Royal Grounds). The park trails open at 8:15am every day (including holidays) and the park gate closes at the end of the day (note the hours when you enter the park).
- Honaunau Beach Rd
Captain Cook, HI 96704
- Park Name
- Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park
- Other Names
- Kiilae Bay, Alahaka Bay, Ahinahina Point
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed on leash in the picnic areas and on the 1871 & Coastal Trails
- Fees charged for entrance by vehicle or on foot
- Hiking, Sightseeing
- Trails, Historical Structures, Lava Tubes, Viewpoints, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Goats, Self-Guided Walking Tour
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