Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles77 reviews
Excellent
29
Very good
31
Average
14
Poor
1
Terrible
2

Daveandtammy
Washington4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
I've been here many times since 1994, peaceful yet powerful. Please show respect as the ancients still stand guard as you can see in the photo. I've heard many stories passed down in folk lore, but this photo makes me a believer, the Night Marchers guard this sacred land. If you look up the history you will see this was a temple that once sacrificed human offerings to the Gods like Ku and Lono before Kapu was broken.
Written December 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Denise M
Honolulu, HI22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2012 • Business
Off the beaten path & up the mountain on O`ahu's north shore majestically sits our largest heiau. A heiau is normally a stone structure -- from small to quite large depending on its purpose-- and was used in ancient times for ceremonies focusing on wellness, a good harvest or fishing, pro-creation, success in war, seeking peace, etc. Only a "luakini" heiau was used to offer human sacrifices...most often to the War God Ku. My understanding is that Pu`u O Mahuka Heiau, in the district of Pupukea, was not a luakini heiau until the arrival of the 10th century Samoan Chief Pa`au whose Hawaii invasion ultimately brought about the "kapu system" of law & rule which guided all society until 1819 when it was destroyed just prior to the arrival of missionaries. Kamehameha the Great took this heiau as a war heiau because it points to the Island of Kauai...where he next planned to conquer. On a very clear day, you might catch a glimpse of Kauai.
To drive there, turn onto Pupukea Rd and drive up mountain thru 2 switchbacks until reaching the forested area. There a State Park sign marks the entrance into the poorly maintained road that leads back to the Heiau. Lots of speed bumps so drive slow until the road ends. Before you lies a beautiful ocean & mountain vista and the enormous heiau. While you only see the first level, there are 3 leading down the mountain & you can walk a path around them. The lele -- or ceremonial standard -- that once stood at the head of the heiau is now gone but visitors still place gifts at a man-made sanctuary. If you choose to do so, the "gift" should be something "alive", e.g. flowers, lei (please remove ribbon), food -- things that come from the aina and still retain their sentient energy. Please: do not leave anything in packaging. I once say a bag of Fritos left there. (There's really no one who maintains this heiau so we ask you to 'malama - or care for' this site as best you can.) Heiau protocol states that you NEVER remove any of the rock nor enter a heiau unless blessed by a Kahuna w/privileges to take you in. That happens today at "some" but at this one -- no one goes in --except for a couple of Kahuna who hold responsibility there...as in the Kahuna Nui that first blessed me in my Hawaiian pursuits and placed one of the first copies of our cultural driving tour in a sacred place within the heiau. What an honor for us!
So, take your time, camera, and appropriate gift if inclined. The mound on the far side of the heiau is a good place to sit on your mat or towel and meditate. A path leads down the hillside toward Waimea Bay & "can" be a good place for photos if the bushes aren't too grown up-- but please use caution. There is no railing and if it's recently rained, the ground can be quite slippery.
Written May 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NJ-Eric
NJ441 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The ancient complex is expansive and had great views. You can get a sense of its importance from its scope and the effort it took to build. There are a couple of interpretive signs which are helpful. As a bonus, we also saw wild pigs while we were there, which is a treat as a tourist, even if a pain locally.
Written February 7, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seymour_Moose
Alaska6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A little hard to find up a winding road, but the drive was well worth it. Once there you find ancient temple ruins overlooking the North Shore, with beautiful views. While the site was quiet, it was obviously visited often as there were many flower and fruit offerings left, making a beautiful display. Over towards the bushes is a stone that likely may have been a slaughter stone and it is easy to imagine blood pooling in its crevaces. The temple walls have all fallen to the foundation, but it is refreshing nonetheless to stand in the very place that hundreds of years ago the Hawaiian Ali'i stood.

If you are on your way to the north shore, take an hour detour and be connected with ancient humanity.
Written January 6, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AMathews303
Aurora, CO360 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Family
I feel like I am saying this for all of my Hawai'i reviews, but this is an amazing and also unique view (as are the Halona Blowhole and the Pali Lookout). It's a crazy drive up there so be prepared for that but once you are up there, the view out over Waimea Bay is breathtaking. I have one word of warning, this is not a place with signs and people to monitor anything. There are no guardrails or ropes or anything. Keep in mind that you are high up and if you are walking out to look down on Waimea from a better angle, don't forget that it is a cliff. My 19 year old son almost fell because he was being careless. Also, be careful of that red dirt. It will stain your clothes permanently.
Written July 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kellee K
Pennsylvania144 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
We opted to hike the 7 miles up to the top, rather than drive & walk around the monument. There is a view point that shows a spectacular view of Waimea Bay State Park below & just the beauty of the foliage & hills. Also, there is an altar where people have placed all kinds of items, in addition to food & beer cans. Not sure how appropriate that is, but I guess "to each his own." There were chickens abound & some up on the altar eating the food. Nice short trail around the monument. I wouldn't call it a hiking trail, that's why we hiked up from the bottom. Overall, a nice place to get some great history.
Written May 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cedric808
Honolulu28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Friends
Just a short drive up the hill from Shark's Cove and North Shore beaches, this Hawaiian temple dates back at least to the 1700s. There are some nice views of the coast and, of course, the temple itself.

Frankly, the temple doesn't look like much - essentially it's a pile of rocks. But to me and my friends who visited with me, this site is more about what you feel than what you see. And the feeling we all got was a chickenskin shiver of terror, torment and brutality.

It's exactly the feeling my wife and I experienced at another site of human anguish -- the Colosseum in Rome. We did a little reading after the visit and learned that this temple was not only a place of joy where Hawaiian Princesses gave birth. It was also a place of human sacrifice, which was fairly common in the pre- and even post-contact Kingdom of Hawaii.
Written July 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robert j
Lake Wales, FL232 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2011 • Couples
Again, most guidebooks list this as a terrific site that I never made it to. The entrance to the park is a fair haul up a switchback filled road. at the entrance, there is a sign indicating the heaiu is another 0.7 miles up a poorly maintained tarmac "road". Approximately halfway there, I encountered a vee-shaped slab of concrete filled with water. The depth was such that I was forced to turn around (an effort in itself on this narrow road) and abandon any attempt to see the heiau. One guidebook suggested it was possible to reach the site by public transportation, but that seemed very impractical to me. The walk from any bus stop would require a major hike up the switchbacks with a more than half mile trek once entering the park. The site, if actually reached, might be terrific, but I don't know. I do know that risking damage to a rental car didn't seem worth it to me.
Written November 5, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ladurant2982
Tracy, CA386 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
Loved visiting this spiritual place however as we arrived a local was feeding some wild pigs from their car. After they were done, the pigs disappeared into the tall grass. We left our car in the parking area and headed out along the path to see the view and read the history of the site. As we were headed back, we noticed the wild pigs now along the trail searching for more food it appeared. Terrified we tried to go around the other way but there was no path. Fearful I wanted to climb up the monument but knowing that was disrespectful we waited to see if the pigs would leave. It appeared they were so we started back to the parking lot. Another couple watching waited in their car to see if we safely made it back to our car. As we got near the parking lot the pigs started approaching us, I ran past them as they started coming towards us and jumped in our car. I thanked the other visitors for watching us in case we had been harmed.
Written May 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rodman2
Decatur, IL44 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
When we got there, we saw a car with a broken window. 2 people: the young female said they took her purse. This can happen at any remote visitor spot--take all valuables with you. even better than putting in trunk or out of sight. cuz they could be watching.

You could leave somebody at the car, or stay in sight of the car.

Local guy told me he thinks they might be on dirt bikes and they ride into the forest, not using the paved road. I think they use an emergency window breaking tool--very fast. Not using a big rock.

Foodland at the bottom of the hill doesn't have public restrooms.
Written June 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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PU’U O MAHUKA HEIAU STATE MONUMENT (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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