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Hiking to Kiholo Bay is a nice short walk along the Kohala Coast. Kiholo Bay is a tide pool known for having uniquely turquoise water. The turquoise water is a result of ocean saltwater meeting and mixing with fresh water. The hike follows the beach over black lava rock, passing a flooded lava tube known as the Queen’s Bath.
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Location: 17 miles north of Kona
Distance: 5km round trip
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Difficulty: 4/10 – Traversing sharp lava rock and enduring the hot Hawaiian sun with minimal shade.
Season: Year round… it’s Hawaii
Additional Requirements: N/A
From Kona: Head North on the HI 19 for roughly 17 miles and then turn left onto the unmarked road adjacent to mile marker 82. If you hit the scenic overlook you’ve gone too far. Follow the unmarked road towards the ocean to the Kiholo Bay parking area.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: Running shoes or hikers. If you wear flip flops and they get wet it can be very slippery on the sharp lava rock.
- Water: This side of the island gets lots of sun! Be sure to bring lots of water.
- Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the bay. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
- Swimsuit: You will want to swim in the lava tube and probably take a dip when you get to the bay so bring your trunks.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
- This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
Sea Turtles: Kiholo Bay is a great place to spot Sea Turtles. Keep in mind that Sea Turtles in Hawaii are protected by law and should not be touched.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Summary: This hike will start at the Kiholo Bay parking lot and follow the coast northeast to the bay. It’s a very simple hike as far as directions go. Keep the water in sight and you’ll make it to the bay.
The hike starts from the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) and heads west into the trees. Before too long you’ll reach the ocean. From there it’s a straightforward hike along the coast to the northeast. About half a kilometer into the hike you’ll come across a flooded lava tube known as the Queen’s Bath (Route marker #2 on the map). The lava tube is usually full of fresh water so it’s a great place for a refreshing swim.
After cooling off in the lava tube, continue on your way along the coast. You will cross over black lava rock and soon enough the bright blue water of Kiholo Bay will be in your sights (Route marker #3 on the map). Walk over and around the black sand beach, cross a small bridge, and find a nice spot to swim in the Bay. Hope you enjoy! Take lots of pictures!
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Have fun out there!