Kaiholena (Sapphire Cove)
About Kaiholena (Sapphire Cove) on Kohala & North Island, Hawaii
Kaiholena Cove is in an area of North Kohala that gets little visitation, but is rich in historical sites. The shoreline here is rocky and dry yet picturesque. Hiking the trails and exploring the area is definitely worth it.
The Kaiholena ahupua’a (large land subdivision) is said to have “the most numerous, intact pre-contact archaeological and cultural sites in the state” according to an interpretive sign along the path to the cove.
The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail follows the shoreline through the Kaiholena property. Hawai’i Land Trust (HILT), Ala Kahakai Trail Association, and other groups came together to conserve this historic place starting in 2015. You can read about some of the archaeological sites and the ownership history here.
In order to protect all these ancient walls, foundations, and burial sites it’s recommended to only walk on established trails and old roads. Luckily you can still see many of the sites from the paths.
From the parking area on Highway 270 (see our map) it’s just under a half-mile to the shore if you start walking south from the lot on a rugged road. With a 4×4 rig like a Jeep Wrangler, you can drive down this road and park where it transitions to a hiking trail. The trail portion is just a couple hundred yards long. From the shore you can simply retrace your steps or create a clockwise loop that’s around a mile total or you can explore the northern shore even farther.
If the seas are calm enough, this area is known for snorkeling near the shore.
- HI-270 & Kaiholena Pl
Waimea, HI 96743
- Park Name
- Kaiholena South Conservation Easement
- Pet Details
- No signs discouraging dogs
- Free parking
- Hiking, Snorkeling, Whale Watching
- Trails, Historical Sites, Tide Pools
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