Tag Archives: Ho’okena

Kealia beach

Kealia Beach

I’d rather be at the beach, though I’m not one for stretching out on the sand and slowly broiling. I much prefer a beach like Kealia, north of Ho’okena, where the mix of sand and lava attracts tide pool dwellers and the birds that feed on them.

It was here, also, that I first saw butterflies, such as the large orange sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) below, drinking from the sand. I subsequently learned that butterflies can’t drink from open water, but get moisture from dew on plants, wet sand, earth and mud. In addition, drinking from these sources allows butterflies to obtain needed salts and minerals.

I learn something new every day. Now, if only I could remember these things.

Posted in response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, ‘I’d rather be…

Large Orange Sulphur Butterfly on sand

Alakaha Ramp bench

At the top of the Alakaha Ramp, on the 1871 Trail from Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park to Ho’okena, is this little weathered bench. It offers shade and a lovely view to the north, the point of land being the park.

For more information about the 1871 Trail, and other hikes on the Big Island, go to bigislandhikes.com.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.

Alakaha ramp on the 1871 Trail

Lookng down Alakaha Ramp with Keanae'e Cliffs on the rightA view of Alakaha Ramp and Alakaha Bay.

In 1871, an old trail from Nāpō’opo’o to Ho’okena was improved to make it passable for horses. Because of this, it became known as “Two Horse Trail.” The northern section of this trail was paved in 1918, but the southern section was left untouched and this became the 1871 Trail, which heads south from Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

One feature of this trail is the Alakaha ramp at the southern end of Alakaha Bay. The ramp was built to allow trail users to safely ascend Keanae’e Cliffs.

According to bigislandhikes.com, “Prior to the construction of the ramp, access to Ki’ilae (an ancient village) was by ladder or rope only. The earliest mention of the ramp is from 1868, but the ramp likely existed prior to that time. The ramp requires periodic maintenance. It had deteriorated so much in the early 1900s that cowboys called the ramp the “one foot out trail” because they always kept one foot out of the stirrups in case they needed to bail off their horse.”

The top photo looks down the ramp with Keanae’e Cliffs on the right. In the middle photo, the ramp and trail with Alakaha Bay on the left. Below, hiking up toward the ramp with Keanae’e Cliffs on the left.

For more information about the 1871 Trail, and other hikes on the Big Island, go to bigislandhikes.com.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.

Lookng up Alakaha Ramp with Keanae'e Cliffs on the left.

A welcoming sign at Ho'okena Beahc Park.

Ho’okena Beach Park

A welcoming sign at Ho'okena Beach Park.Ho'okena Beach Park is a popular swimming spot.

Ho’okena is a small community about 20 miles south of Kailua Kona. It’s a popular spot for its beach park, which features a beautiful sandy beach in a fairly sheltered bay. It was less popular toward the end of 2015 when it was one of the hotspots for the dengue fever outbreak of that winter.

The beach at Ho'okena Beach Park.