Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail
Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail
4.5
About
This two-mile coastal trail across the cliffs of southern Kauai starts from Shipwreck Beach on Keoneloa Bay to the quiet Mahaulepu Beach near Kawailoa Bay.
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  • TnJAdvents
    724 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trail with great views
    Great trail with all sorts of different terrain and views along the way. You can hike as little or as much as you like. We started at the Grand Hyatt and headed east for 3 miles so it was a good hike. To start if you want the easier route stay higher up. Not overly challenging but a very nice way to spend a morning before it gets too hot.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 14, 2023
  • Yoko S
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Easy short trail with great view!
    It's a short and easy trail but you can enjoy great view of pacific ocean and cliff. You can bring your lunch and have a picnic overlooking beautiful ocean. I saw many turtles and fish from top of trail. If you go Maha'ulepu beach, you should try this trail!
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Venture637373
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Shipwreck to Caves
    Beautiful views of the cliff side/ocean. Multiple trails side by side so you can be closer or further from the edge. Part of the trail walks through the golf course which is minimally awkward. Starts or ends at Shipwreck beach depending on where you come from. End parking is towards a ranch with caves near by.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2023
  • outdoortrippers
    367 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This Is The One Above All Others
    This is the hike that is a must-do for anybody and eveybody. Excellent coastal views the entire trip with minimal effort. It is a 2 mile out-and-back trail from Shipwreck Beach to the caves but going just half the direction gives you a superb view of the full trail. The caves just add a little more adventure to it. You can take the trail on the sunny side closer to the jagged coastline cliffs or go inner through the shade (consider on route back). Take advantage of this coastal trail you can't find in every seaside town in U.S.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 18, 2023
  • Wsb01
    Toronto, Canada44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful trail
    While this is not quite as easy as everyone says - at least if you take the path along the coast, it is incredibly beautiful and worthwhile. On a hot day it can feel longer than 2 miles. On the way back, I took the inner trail which was very easy and much quicker. But the coastal trail is stunning and highly recommended.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 26, 2023
  • Kathleen S
    186 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hard to find but worth the search
    The Mahaulepu Heritage Trail is hard to find because there is little to no signage, that we saw. Nor are there trail markings along the way. You basically just follow the beaten path. We ended up doing this trail from two different approaches. The first time we drove down a long dirt road with lots of potholes and the trail was rugged and through lots of prickly shrubbery. The second time we started from Shipwreck Beach, which I think if the official starting point, and the trek was much more enjoyable and picturesque. I would definitely encourage the hike starting from Shipwreck Beach. Lots of views and stopping points along the rugged coastline with the pounding waves of the ocean below. It was definitely the highlight. Shipwreck Beach was a great place to sit and relax in the shade and enjoy the Hawaiian atmosphere. The highlight of our first attempt was walking to the cave and seeing into that amazing site. We missed the opening hours of the cave, but the views from the outside were impressive. At that point we were also able to cross over a small bridge to visit a turtle refuge. The turtles are in enclosures and there wasn't any signage to explain why, or what type of turtles that they were.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 1, 2024
  • Lee G
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania234 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small Cave- if you have extra time
    We drove a heavily wash-boarded road to park near the entrance of the Maha'ulepu Cave. There are no signs from the main road until you pass the stables on the dirt road past the Grand Hyatt. There weren't any signs from the beach area either! From facing the ocean you go left (north) on a path that goes into a treed area. There's shade, but the walk is still very hot and humid. The entrance to the cave was muddy and wet from rain earlier in the day, and two members of our group decided not to crawl through. Being short, I went through in a squatted position. Have someone watch your progress so you don't stand up too early and bonk your head! A gentleman inside gave a short (15 minute) tour/talk about the cave over the years. Another example of the force of water over time! The tortoise area being used for reforestation is interesting. We were able to find four. It's harder to find the restrooms that are hidden past the tortoises and down a dirt road on the left. A donation box asked for $10/per person for the visit.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 22, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Lee G
Philadelphia, PA234 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We drove a heavily wash-boarded road to park near the entrance of the Maha'ulepu Cave. There are no signs from the main road until you pass the stables on the dirt road past the Grand Hyatt. There weren't any signs from the beach area either! From facing the ocean you go left (north) on a path that goes into a treed area. There's shade, but the walk is still very hot and humid.
The entrance to the cave was muddy and wet from rain earlier in the day, and two members of our group decided not to crawl through. Being short, I went through in a squatted position. Have someone watch your progress so you don't stand up too early and bonk your head!
A gentleman inside gave a short (15 minute) tour/talk about the cave over the years. Another example of the force of water over time!
The tortoise area being used for reforestation is interesting. We were able to find four. It's harder to find the restrooms that are hidden past the tortoises and down a dirt road on the left.
A donation box asked for $10/per person for the visit.
Written May 22, 2024
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.

ConsultantSF
San Francisco, CA16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Super fun and beautiful. We did this hike with 9, 11 and 13 year-olds. They did great. It can get hot so wear hats and bring water. As others have said, it's not really a marked trail so just follow the beaten path from Shipwreck beach.
Written April 8, 2024
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.

Paripatetico
Prince Albert, Canada150 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
This gets you away somewhat from the carefully manicured and curated Kauai into something more natural. The signage is poor to non-existent but the path is easy enough to find and follow (it’s actually more of a network of trails, except at the eastern end and along the golf course, where it’s a footpath).

The views from this mostly elevated trail are terrific; we watched sea turtles playing and humpback whales breaching along the way, as well as the usual endless - but never boring - sequence of waves breaking. The trail surface varies from packed earth to loose sand to rocks; it is mostly exposed to the midday sun with a few shaded areas along the way. Children from 4-5 years of age could do this but would require supervision due to the risk of falls (there are many unfenced ocean cliffs on this route, although they are easily skirted).
Ocean breezes are fairly reliable to keep things cool; sunscreen is recommended.
Written March 26, 2024
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.

Kathleen S
Melfort186 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
The Mahaulepu Heritage Trail is hard to find because there is little to no signage, that we saw. Nor are there trail markings along the way. You basically just follow the beaten path. We ended up doing this trail from two different approaches. The first time we drove down a long dirt road with lots of potholes and the trail was rugged and through lots of prickly shrubbery. The second time we started from Shipwreck Beach, which I think if the official starting point, and the trek was much more enjoyable and picturesque. I would definitely encourage the hike starting from Shipwreck Beach. Lots of views and stopping points along the rugged coastline with the pounding waves of the ocean below. It was definitely the highlight. Shipwreck Beach was a great place to sit and relax in the shade and enjoy the Hawaiian atmosphere. The highlight of our first attempt was walking to the cave and seeing into that amazing site. We missed the opening hours of the cave, but the views from the outside were impressive. At that point we were also able to cross over a small bridge to visit a turtle refuge. The turtles are in enclosures and there wasn't any signage to explain why, or what type of turtles that they were.
Written March 1, 2024
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.

Compass63092629211
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Do not miss the cave, go all the way to the rear cave and talk to the docent. Go find the tortoise sanctuary past the cave as well. Great hike with kids. Just be mindful of golf balls when you’re on the trail next to the fairway.
Written February 20, 2024
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.

Wsb01
Toronto, Canada44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
While this is not quite as easy as everyone says - at least if you take the path along the coast, it is incredibly beautiful and worthwhile. On a hot day it can feel longer than 2 miles. On the way back, I took the inner trail which was very easy and much quicker. But the coastal trail is stunning and highly recommended.
Written December 27, 2023
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.

Diane E
San Diego, CA260 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Stunning views of the beautiful Shipwreck beach from the top of the cliff. Trail pretty easy to maneuver. Views do not disappoint!!
Written December 2, 2023
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.

Rick K
Frisco, TX3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
The trails are hard to follow and are not well marked. The views are amazing if you are willing to go on some tough trails.
Written November 26, 2023
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.

Dennis E
San Francisco, CA23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
This trail is right next to the golf course and the Poipu beach is the end result! Beautiful walk and perfect as we are recovering from knee replacement surgery.
Written November 18, 2023
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.

outdoortrippers
Cary, NC367 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
This is the hike that is a must-do for anybody and eveybody. Excellent coastal views the entire trip with minimal effort. It is a 2 mile out-and-back trail from Shipwreck Beach to the caves but going just half the direction gives you a superb view of the full trail. The caves just add a little more adventure to it. You can take the trail on the sunny side closer to the jagged coastline cliffs or go inner through the shade (consider on route back). Take advantage of this coastal trail you can't find in every seaside town in U.S.
Written October 18, 2023
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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MAHA'ULEPU HERITAGE TRAIL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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