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Kaena Point

From Academic Kids

Ka'ena Point in far distance is the western tip of O'ahu,seen here from Kaneana on the south shore near Mākua Cave
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Ka'ena Point in far distance is the western tip of O'ahu,
seen here from Kaneana on the south shore near Mākua Cave

Ka'ena or Ka'ena Point is the westernmost tip of land on the Island of O'ahu. The point can be reached by foot from both the south (Wai'anae Coast) and the north (Mokulē'ia) coastlines; walking in from the north side is recommended. An unimproved track extends some three miles along the coast from the end of the paved road on the north side, where a gate prevents entry of all except authorized vehicles.

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A Chevrolet TrailBlazer on the south approach to Ka'ena Point

On the south side, at Ka'ena State Park, a paved road passes a beach before terminating into an unpaved road. It continues for a few miles, after which the road is washed out, and further travel must be on foot. It is not possible to travel around the point in a vehicle, and such vehicles must be equipped with four wheel drive, and be relatively narrow. A winch is also recommended. The road is better described as a "path" in most places, and is lined on one side with a cliff and on the other with lava rocks which are quite capable of damaging vehicles. The road is littered with garbage, both of the normal consumer garbage type and vehicle parts -- motors, suspension, tires, wheels -- as well as entire abandoned vehicles.

In Hawaiian, ka'ena means 'the heat'. The area was named after a brother or cousin of Pele who accompanied her from Kahiki. The State of Hawaii has designated the point as a Natural Area Reserve to protect the fragile (to vehicular traffic), native strand vegetation still abundant there.

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Ten foot wave faces seen breaking on the south side of the point
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