Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau: A Beautiful Hike to a Hawaiian Temple

Trekking Thursday

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It’s not very often that I venture over the to beautiful North Shore of Oahu. Every time I do, I find myself so awestruck by its beauty!

Our Keiki group recently did a little hike to a Hawaiian cultural site called Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau.

A heiau is a temple or place of worship, usually a raised rectangular platform built from lava rocks by the early Hawaiians. In the old days there would have been altars, huts, and tikis, (carved representations of the gods) on top. A heiau might be dedicated to a god of war or have some specialized purpose: to propitiate the gods of agriculture or fishing, to teach sacred rituals like the hula, to glorify an ali’i (chief).(Best Easy Day Hikes: Hawaii: Oahu by Suzanne Swede)

I really enjoy the hikes where we get to learn a little about the Hawaiian culture in addition to getting a good view and some exercise.

This heiau did not disappoint! Immediately upon arriving, you see the huge lava rock platform from years ago. It took me back to those days and I could imagine gathering here with my Ohana.

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There is a short hiking trail which leads you to a World War II pillbox. We took this trail, climbed the bunker and took in the incredible view of Waimea and the surrounding beaches. We could even see the famous Waimea rock people jump off of. That is on my summer bucket list…But, I’m still working up the nerve to do it!

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You will loop back around to the heiau but not without another amazing view!

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This is a very easy, short hike. It’s less than 1/2 a mile and takes roughly 20-30 minutes depending on how long you stop to take in the view.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the North Shore of Oahu, HI, I would highly recommend you plan a stop at this! Remember to be respectful of the area: do not touch the rocks and stay on the trail.

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With Aloha,


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9 thoughts on “Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau: A Beautiful Hike to a Hawaiian Temple

  1. Been there a couple of times. Did the snorkeling at Waimea Bay. Did the fire pit – smoke a pig luau…my friend walked the hot coals. It was a blast! Took a booze cruise. Yes, saw the cliff diving in the middle of the island. It was amazing. Saw where they filmed some of Gilligan’s Island.

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