Location: Off Kalaniana'ole Highway (Hwy. 72) from either Waimanalo or Hawai'i Kai.
Hours: April 1 to Labor Day: 7 am to 7:45 pm
After Labor Day to March 31: 7 am to 6:45 pm
Entrance Fee: None
Directions: The park and trailhead are located off of the Kalanianaole Highway (Hwy. 72) at the southeasternmost point of Oahu. From Honolulu, take the H1 freeway east until it becomes Highway 72. Follow the road beyond Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach Park until you reach the park area adjacent to the highway.
From the windward side, take the Kalanianaole Highway (Hwy. 72) southeast beyond Kailua, Waimanalo, and Makapu‘u Beach Park, after which the road climbs up toward Makapu‘u Head. The park will be on the left side of the highway.
Trail Closure Schedule 2015
Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail
Trail Description: The 2-mile round-trip trail involves an uphill climb to 500-foot elevation under hot, dry, and windy conditions. The surface is, paved, being a former access road to the lighthouse.
Description: STATE PARKS BEGINS REPAIRS & IMPROVEMENTS TO THE MAKAPU'U LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL|
Expect Closures for 25 Days During Construction
HONOLULU, January 23, 2015 – Beginning in February and continuing through July, the popular Makapu’u Trail in the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline will be closed on 25 different days. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks will begin repairs and improvements to the trail on February 2, 2015. The project is expected to last 6 months and closures will occur during February, March and July. These closures and construction will occur on weekdays only. The parking lot and trail will be open during regular park hours on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays; 7:00am to 6:45pm and until 7:45pm after April 1).
The park closures are necessary when construction is blocking the trail and during the paving. An effort is being made to keep the park open and make one side of the trail accessible during the other phases of construction work. However, hikers may experience some intermittent delays up to 15 minutes as machinery is moving on the road. Everyone needs to use caution on the trail during this work – stay on the designated trail and out of construction areas, watch for metal plates on the trail, and avoid lookouts that will be closed while they are being renovated.
The project will not affect the Makapu‘u Lookout along Kalaniana‘ole Highway. The Kaiwi shoreline will remain open during the project but during the park closures, people must enter from the Sandy Beach end of the park as the parking lot for the Makapu‘u Trail will be closed.
The tentative schedule for park closures is:
- Monday, February 9 through Friday, February 13
- Tuesday, February 17 through Friday, February 20
- Monday, February 23 through Friday February 27
- UPDATED: Monday, March 2 through Friday, March 6
The tentative closure days in July are July 20-24 and July 27-28. The closure days in July will be confirmed in early July when the construction schedule is evaluated.
The improvements were designed by Mitsunaga and Associates, Inc. The repairs and construction work is being done by Haron Construction, Inc. at an estimated cost of $2.7 million.
A 1-mile hike (one-way) along a paved roadway leads to a lookout atop a headland above the historic Makapuu lighthouse (the lighthouse itself is off-limits, but can be viewed from the trail). At various points along the route there are sweeping views of the southeastern O'ahu coastline, and migrating humpback whales may be visible during whale season. No drinking water or restrooms available.
Services: Trash cans, no drinking water
Special Tips: The trail and lookout within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline provide great whale watching opportunities in season. As many as 10,000 humpbacks come to Hawaii every year to mate, give birth and nurse their calves. Hawaii's humpback whale season runs from November through May, with January through March being the peak whale-watching months.