Captain Cook Monument Trail Hike

Captain Cook Monument Trail Hike
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Address Napoopoo Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704
Out and back hiking trail that takes you down to the Captain Cook Monument.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 1-2 Miles • Hiking: Level: Difficult
• Hiking: Major Elevation Changes • Hiking: Out & Back Trail

The Captain Cook Monument Trail Hike, or the Ka'awaloa Trail as it's also known, takes you down to the Captain Cook Monument (see The History of Captain James Cook) at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. This trail is easily accessed from Napo'opo'o Road where you'll see some old paint that reads "Cap Cook" on the side of the road to indicate the trail head. Our map / directions page marks the exact point of the trailhead.

The out and back style trail itself isn't very long, about 1.8 miles each way, but has an elevation change of around 1,300 feet. So you'll be heading downhill on your way to see Captain Cook Monument but may have a harder time coming back up and out. That makes this trail far more difficult than most people realize and why it's not for the average person.

The trail is easy to follow and when you reach the end you'll be able to see the monument and take your photos of it and the amazing views of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

Some people actually carry snorkeling gear down with them and go for a swim near the monument at the end. Ocean entry and exit can be difficult here and there are no lifeguards so only those with experience should consider this. For most people, taking a boat tour to Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park is a much better option.

There is some shade along the trail but it can still get very warm on hot days so bring plenty of water to drink and sunscreen to Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer. It's a good morning hike since the walk back up can be hot later in the day. Be sure to read about Hiking Safety & Essentials before you go.