Kaena: The End of the Road

The beach at Kaena Point
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The road ends at Kaena, where a grassy mountainside landscape greets the boundless white sand beach below. Not many people venture this far into the North Shore of Oahu, which is most likely why the stretch of beach and rocky coastline is almost always empty.

Until recently, I completely forgot this place existed. We were checking out the surf near Mokuleia Beach Park when we decided to keep driving along Farrington Highway. After the airfield, we passed cabins and several ropes courses belonging to YMCA’s Camp Erdman. I remember going to this camp as a kid, which was probably the last time I’ve been out there.

The road gets gradually bumpier, as the terrain becomes more barren. It eventually turns into either a mud or dirt path, depending on the weather. Up ahead, a land mine of muddy puddles told us that it must have rained overnight. A couple of cars leaving the area also left with souvenirs of mud-caked tires.

I like the peacefulness that graces Kaena Point State Park at almost any time of day. Unlike the busier part of the North Shore, there’s barely any traffic passing through; all you hear is the rolling ocean waves and wisps of a gentle trade-wind breeze.

On those calm summer days, the beach is great for swimming and snorkeling. Otherwise, it can get pretty rough out there. The sandy beach, however, is always wide open. You may see fishermen casting their pole from the rockier part of the shore or families chilling under their pop-up tent. The area has very little shade, so make sure to bring an umbrella and protective sun-wear.

Because Kaena is one of the most isolated parts of Oahu, it’s also one that’s most prone to vehicle break-ins and theft. Be sure to remove all valuables from your car (including the trunk). The park is at the trailhead of Kaena Point trail, which takes hikers to the very tip of the island where you can see both the West and North shores at the same time. Stay tuned for a post on this hike worth adventuring.

KAENA POINT STATE PARK• End of Farrington Hwy. (Hwy. 930) • Amenities:Restrooms, trash cans, payphone, lifeguard • Activities:Snorkel, swim (calm, summer days)

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