South of the Poipu area is unsettled, rocky shores – leading to a wonderful site of petroglyphs in a cave! It’s called the Mahalepu Heritage Trail and it’s a relatively easy but stunning south shore hike. See directions below – but essential you go just past the Hyatt down to Keoneloa Bay and Shipwrecks Beach. There is ample parking and a restroom. Use it before you set out!
Finding out more
Here’s a website that gives lots of detail about the history of the trail.
There are really two options at the beginning of the trail. If you bear right you clamber up rocky areas and end up perched a bit above the surf. We weren’t that comfortable being there so if you are afraid of heights of falling, don’t go this way.
Instead bear to the left through the vegetation. You end up at the same place without being exposed. By the way, I encourage you to install the All Trails app. It not only records your journey but shows you all the little trails along the way. Here is the link to the All Trails version of this hike.
You’ll hike amongst the vegetation or out on the sand called “Pinnacles” for about a mile. Eventually you hike along a golf course (yes, watch out for golf balls!). There are signs along the way warning not to get close to the cliffs as they can give way.
The hike takes you down then to Mahaulepu Beach where you can go down into a cave and see ancient petroglyphs. It’s about a 3.5 mile out and back trip.
If you want, you can drive. Here are the directions: Turn right on Poipu road and take a left where the road forks. Drive past the Grand Hyatt along a 1.5 mile dirt road. You can park your vehicle past the old guard shack and hike the rest of the way to witness all the three beaches in the Mahaulepu area. Be aware that the gate closes at 6:00pm!