Mahaulepu Trail


This coastal hiking area consists of several unmarked coastal trails that interconnect heading east along the ocean between “Shipwreck Beach” and the Maha’ulepu Beach adjacent to the Poipu Bay Golf Course. The 4-mile Mahaulepu Heritage Trail hike contours the rugged coastline with spectacular scenery all the way, but even a short walk at either end of the trail can be rewarding.


The Mahaulepu Heritage trail highlights spectacular wild coast revealing rare oceanfront region of Poipu that remains undeveloped. This is a great way to lose the crowds of Poipu! The trail contours the coast and reveals out of this world rock formations and geology, a testament to the epic dance between volcanic building and oceanic erosion of this southern most coastal point of Kauai. Waves explode on the rocks and ocean spray leaps into the predominant winds vaporizing into mists.


Be very careful along the oceans edge, this is an unprotected region with intense underwater topography so swimming is not recommended. Covered footwear recommended as the terrain has many jagged rock features.


Plan for some exposure to the elements when getting ready for this hike. Bring plenty of water, shade hat, sunscreen, snacks and camera. The more self-sufficiently you travel this trail, the more you can indulge in the serenity and solitude this trail can provide.

 You can explore this trail from either end, or gear up for the entire round trip adventure. The easiest access is from “Shipwreck’s Beach” and begins from Maka-wehi Point along the tree line left of the beach. The trail is not marked but is noticeable as it parallels the coastal edge, along the ironwood pine trees. Your other option is to drive into the remote Mahaulepu Beach where you will reach the furthest point on the trail to make for a short hike to Kamala Point (spectacular view). From this portion of the trail you will also encounter lithified sand caves, volcanic rock formations, and secluded beaches.

To view more, please visit our Kauai Hiking Guide.
Important Information regarding safety


  • Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) and when you plan to return.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated.  Do not drink from the waterfalls and streams.  Kauai has been known to have seriously harmful bacteria in its fresh water.
  • Bring snacks as its always a good idea to provide your body enough calories to support the physical activity you are engages in.
  • Its important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be closely monitored.  Do not expose open wounds or cuts to the river.
  • Comfortable footwear with good tread that can stay strapped to your feet is a must.  Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting stained with the Kauai red dirt.
  • Dress in layers so you can easily remove a layer when you get hot.  And add one back on when it cools of again. Because we are close to the equator the trails heat up quickly.  However, conditions cool just as fast; winds picking up speed and a passing showers causes wind chill factor.