The Kaniakapupu Ruins

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Phone (808) 768-3003
Address Nuuanu Pali Dr, Honolulu, HI 96817
Ruins of the summer palace of King Kamehameha III and his Queen Kalama.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Educational • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 1-2 Miles • Hiking: Level: Easy
• Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Cultural & Historical: Heiau / Sacred Site

The Kaniakapupu Ruins are the actual ancient Hawaiian ruins of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama's summer palace. The palace was completed back in 1845 and was a place of entertainment for foreign celebrities as well a place of feasting for chiefs and commoners.

The most famous event held here was in 1847 which was a luau to celebrate Hawaiian Restoration Day. It's Estimated that 10,000 people attended the event. As you can see, this is an incredibly important and significant structure for the Hawaiian people and culture even though the palace was only used for a few decades and was then abandoned.

Unfortunately, The Kaniakapupu Ruins have been vandalized recently. Vandalizing places like this, beyond being incredibly offensive to the Hawaiian people, is wrong in so many ways. Damage caused to structures like this simply cannot be restored. Because of that, the government is asking that you do not visit this place.

So why are we showing it to you? Our goal here is to educate you on the history and culture of Hawaii, it's people, and it's places (past and present). We believe that educating people on these issues is the way to go rather than trying to hide them, which is impossible in this online-enabled world we live on.

Rather than you visiting this place, we're instead giving you the history of it here along with photographs so you can see what it looks like from your computer or smartphone. That way you don't have to go here in person but can still benefit and learn from it.

We're strongly advising you not to visit this place, and in fact the DLNR says the The Kaniakapupu Ruins hike trail is closed and not open to the public. So if you do go you may be trespassing and face legal issues and/or fines. If ignore our advice and do visit this place, please be respectful and do not touch the structures in any way. View them from a distance, never sit or climb on them. Just leave them all alone. If you feel like you must hike here, contact the Sierra Club of Hawaii or the Hawaiian Civic Club and see about arranging a hike as these groups may have permission to hike there on occasion.

Of course, if you're just after a nice hike, consider instead going on the Lulumahu Falls Hike which is right in this same area and offers a similar experience (without ruins). If you want to see more on this sacred place, be sure to watch this video from the DLNR.