While at Just Tacos this past Tuesday for Taco Tuesday, three of us decided to hike the Ka’ena Point Trail on Saturday (perhaps after a beer….. or two). Jack & Mike, who do a lot of our maintenance work, as well as myself, agreed to meet at 7:00 AM to get an early start. As happens in our business, an AC repair came up on Saturday morning so we didn’t get to the trailhead until about 9:30.
The trailhead is at the West end of Yokohama Bay, (which, by the way has a beautiful beach) and there is plenty of parking. There are restrooms and showers near the beach, but no facilities along the trail, so you should keep that in mind. The State’s website says the hike is 2.4 miles each way. According to my Fitbit, I would say the total walk, including around the Point and nature preserve was about 5.5 miles round trip. Timewise, you should allow an hour for walking each way and perhaps another 30 minutes at the end of the trail. The trail is relatively flat, except for a couple of areas where the trail had washed away and we had to climb up some rocks to an improvised trail for a length of approximately 50 yards. The day we hiked, the trail was dry except for a few places where 4×4’s had cut deep ruts that held water from a prior rain, so there was no water or mud to walk through.
Most people we saw were wearing “athletic” shoes and they seemed to be getting along fine. I don’t recommend wearing those hiking shoes you bought 10 or 12 years ago and left in the closet since then. This is what I did and you can see the sole of one of them stuck in the mud above. I walked a good bit of the return trip with no soles on my shoes as they fell apart, but it was OK as long as I watched what rocks I stepped on. I took a half liter bottle of water with me for the hike; I’d recommend taking a second one as it gets pretty warm on the hike. As stated previously, we got started later than planned so the sun was higher in the sky and a good bit hotter. I lathered up with sunscreen before starting out but did not take any extra with for a second application. Mistake! Take extra sunscreen with you. I was hurting that night and the next day from the sunburn and everyone in the office got a kick out of it.
Ka’ena Point Natural Area Preserve
When you get near the end of the trail, there is a high fence protecting the animals in the nature preserve from predators. There is a door that is unlocked and you can walk right through. The nature preserve is where you can see numerous protected species of birds such as Shearwaters, etc. At the point, there is an old military pillbox, a lot of lava rock, and numerous tide pools which people were swimming in. Another hiker told us there was a Monk Seal on the beach, but we weren’t able to locate it. I suppose it had finished sunning itself and moved back into the water.
Overall, this was a good hike and one I hope to make again. Perhaps next time, I’ll go in the from the North Shore side to see how the trails compare.