Signs: Ka’awaloa Trail

The Ka’awaloa Trail starts near the top of Napoʻopoʻo Road, on the edge of Captain Cook – the town that is, not the person. The trail goes down to the water near the Captain Cook Monument on Kealakekua Bay.

As you can see, there are a lot of warnings on the sign. It could be greatly shortened to, “Abandon hope all ye who set foot on this trail.” But there are a couple of things to know about this sign. One is that most people won’t read it. I mean, who needs to waste time reading a dumb sign. The second is that quite a few people will end up in difficulty on the way back up, because the trail really is steep, hot, and exposed. Locals often take extra water with them to help out those in need, but if you don’t meet one of them on the trail, you’re on your own. An iced tea stand two-thirds of the way up could make a killing.

I also like that someone has taken the time to obliterate the word ‘vehicles’ in the ‘No vehicles’ admonishment. A car would never make it and even a trail bike might have a tough time. Perhaps it was just the principle of the thing that someone objected to.

2 thoughts on “Signs: Ka’awaloa Trail

  1. The Snow Melts Somewhere

    Have you done this hike? I like how friendly the locals sound, bringing extra water for dumb tourists 🙂 I can imagine it must be a sweltering hike up. 3,8 miles (less than 6,5 km) doesn’t sound like much which might be one of the things that make people underestimate the trail. They certainly have tried their best to warn people!! The rest is Darwinian survival of the smartest.

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    1. Graham Post author

      I’ve done it a couple of times and it’s not that big a deal, but people don’t understand that going down the trail in the cool of the morning (which is when most people arrive) is a whole different kettle of fish to hiking back up the steep trail in the heat of the day with no shade. That’s when the problems occur. When I go, I like to get out of the water after snorkeling and just head up. I dry off as I walk and usually I’m more than halfway up before I need any water.

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