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About Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site on Kohala & North Island, Hawaii

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site has an excellent visitors center, two huge heiaus (Hawaiian temples), and a little-known and seldom used beach.

Located just a couple miles north of the Mauna Kea Resort and next to Spencer Beach Park, this national park should get more tourist visits than it does. It’s a great place to walk around and there’s so much to learn at the visitor center which has high-quality exhibits and is partially open-air.

The trail going north from the visitors center leads to Mailekini Heiau, Pu’ukohola Heiau, and other ancient Hawaiian structures like the Stone Leaning Post. You can’t go into or onto the heiaus but you can take pictures from outside and get an understanding of their grand scale. This trail also has great views out to the ocean and Kawaihae Harbor, and ends at a sandy beach.

The beach is small but it’s worth a visit. Palm trees shade the area behind this beach at the mouth of a gulch that empties into Kawaihae Bay.

After going to the beach you can walk along the shore on a portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic trail which goes over to Spencer Beach Park. After hanging out at that far superior beach, it’s easy to loop back to your car at the national park lot.

The visitor center and parking lot closes at 5pm sharp so remember if you are out on the trail or go over to Spencer Beach Park, your car has to be out by then. Spencer Park has abundant parking and is open later.

Kawaihae Road & Spencer Beach Park Rd
Waimea, HI 96743
808 882-7218
Park Name
Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Other Names
Pohaukole Beach, Palihae Gulch
Pet Details
Dogs allowed on leash
Free parking
Hiking, Walking, Sightseeing
Historical Structures, Visitor Center, Interpretive Trail, Restrooms, Benches, Picnic Tables, ADA Access
4:51 pm, March 2, 2024
temperature icon 74°F
L: 68° H: 79°
Feels like 75.15 °F scattered clouds
Wind gusts: 4 m/s
UV Index: 0.75
Precipitation: 0.01 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:41 am
Sunset: 6:28 pm
Humidity 84 %
Pressure1018 mb
Wind 4 m/s

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