Mauna Lahilahi is a small “knife edged” mountain located on the leeward side of Oahu. It’s an area that is featured in many Hawaiian paintings and is especially beautiful as the sun sets. However, Mauna Lahilahi is known for more then its photogenic location. It is also known for its homeless. However, beneath the seedy atmosphere, there are still a few views that remind you of ancient Hawaii. Please enjoy my photowalk as I explore Mauna Lahilahi near Makaha Valley.
The first part of my “ancient Makaha series” is my trip to Mauna Lahilahi; Oahu’s smallest mountain.
Mauna Lahilahi can be found at the beach nearest Makaha Valley while heading towards Kaena Point. I saw it numerous times when I went to explore this side of the island but had only recently looked into it. From what I can tell, its not a popular tourist destination and there are hardly any blog entries. Perhaps folks are too afraid to leave their car to go explore it? ^^;
After parking, I saw a police officer there so I went ahead and explored the beach. If that officer had not been there, I would not have stopped. I didn’t really feel safe there….
After a short walk, I got to the rocky coasts of Mauna Lahilahi.
Admittedly, the views were some of the best that I have seen on the island to date. The skies and ocean were bright blue and you could see for miles. Plus, I mostly had the place to myself. (:
Originally, I was thinking of climbing Mauna Lahilahi but I heard that there is an easier way up towards the back of the mountain. The hike up at the beginning looked a little rough to me. ^^;
One of the cool things about Mauna Lahilahi is the black rocks. The coast and mountain itself is covered with old volcanic black rock.
I don’t believe Oahu has a black sand beach like the other islands, so this is the next best thing.
Along the coast, I flanked the mountain and made my way to the north side. The going was a little rough with all the large boulders but perfectly doable.
The north side of Mauna Lahilahi was occupied by many locals and fishermen. Not wanting to disturb them, I kept to the high ground.
At the northern most area, there is a “point” where you can look at the vast ocean beyond and listen to the waves crashing against the black rocks.
Looking towards Kaena Point.
To the north is a bunch of condos and in the valley to the east is the resorts of Makaha Valley.
From the “point”, there was an obvious trail to the summit. Unfortunately, this was also the path to the homeless “tent town”. I saw something or someone moving on a tarp and got out of there pretty quick.
Although I heard the homeless are better in Makaha then in the city, I didn’t want to disturb them….
Instead, I got a pretty good view on the way back from about halfway up.
Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Mauna Lahilahi. The thin mountain is very scenic and it appears in a lot of Hawaiian paintings. However, the whole area made me feel a little unsafe. I would visit with others, tell someone where you are going, and leave nothing of value in your car….