October 30, 2017

North Shore Heiau Trail :: Best views of Waimea Bay :: Puu O Mahuka Heiau :: oahu hawaii

North Shore Heiau: Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

ALOHA!

The Puu O Mahuka Heiau is an easy side trip to make when you are on the North Shore of Oahu with a car.

There are 3 good reasons to put it on your list of things to do on the North Shore:

  • Experience a bit of Hawaiian culture
  • Go for a short easy hike on Oahu
  • Enjoy sweeping views of the North Shore

So, what is a heiau?

In short, a heiau is a Hawaiian temple and it represents a piece of Hawaiian history. Native Hawaiians used them as places of worship and sacrifice.

North Shore Heiau: Largest heiau on Oahu - Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

If you’ll be spending more than a few days in Hawaii, consider making it a point to see at least one heiau.

Or, if seeing a bit of Hawaiian culture isn’t enough to motivate you to visit the Puu O Mahuka Heiau, go for the some of the best views on Oahu!

North Shore Heiau: View of Waimea Bay on Oahu hiking trail around Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

nearby north shore hikenearby north shore snorkeling spots

another oahu hike with a nearby heiau

what to wear in hawaii >> what to wear hikingwhat to wear snorkeling

State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark

The Puu O Mahuka Heiau is a Hawaii state historic site which means that it’s a part of the Hawaii state park system. It’s also a registered national historic landmark which means it’s a part of the national park system as well.

This is how the state of Hawaii describes the largest heiau on Oahu:

“Today, only the rock walls and stone paved floor remain. But 250 years ago, the Puu O Mahuka Heiau was a major temple on the North Shore of Oahu. It was dedicated as a luakini (sacrificial) heiau and included ceremonies for success in war.”


Side note!
If you'll be snorkeling on your next vacation, consider wearing these types of UV swim shirts. Also see about what to pack for Hawaii for hiking, snorkeling, and more essentials! And for Hawaii vacation ideas, see the best things to do in Oahu that will give you Hawaii vibes!



Road to the heiau

North Shore Heiau: Road to Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

The road you’ll take to get to the heiau is just near Shark’s Cove, a popular snorkeling spot on the North Shore.

You’ll be driving up a hill which means scenic views!

It’s about a 5 minute drive before you see the sign for the heiau, and then you’ll turn down that road.

North Shore Heiau: Parking lot at Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

Arriving at the heiau

Once you get to the site, you’ll see the heiau immediately, as well as more scenic views of the North Shore, including Waimea Bay!

North Shore Heiau: Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

Short trail around the heiau

There is a trail that goes around the heiau that is an easy walk of 10-15 minutes. You can think of it as a nature walk on the North Shore.

North Shore Heiau: Oahu hiking trail around Puu O Mahuka Heiau, Oahu, Hawaii

HAPPY NORTH SHORE HEIAU VISIT!

nearby north shore hikenearby north shore snorkeling spots – things to do on on the north shore

another oahu hike with a nearby heiau

what to wear in hawaii >> what to wear hikingwhat to wear snorkeling

There are affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a commission.


Best shoes for your active vacation

Hit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see more about the best shoes for hiking in Hawaii.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.

Swimwear for snorkeling and beach

- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!

see more:
- What to wear hiking
- Snorkeling essentials for Hawaii
- What to wear on a cruise formal night

more Hawaii travel tips:
- OAHU:
-- Oahu travel planning map
-- 3 day Oahu itinerary
-- 2 week Oahu itinerary
-- Best short hikes on Oahu with amazing views
- BIG ISLAND:
-- Big Island travel planning map
-- 7 day Big Island itinerary
-- Best beach hikes on the Big Island with amazing views