From La Perouse Bay, this section of the ancient King’s Trail follows the coastline across jagged lava flows. The first part of the trail is along the sandy beach at La Perouse Bay. Be prepared: wear hiking boots, bring plenty to drink, start early and tell someone where you’re going. It’s a dry area with no water and little vegetation, so it can get very hot.
Right after the trail emerges onto the lava fields, it’s possible to take a spur trail for 0.75 miles down to the light beacon at the tip of Cape Hanamanioa. Alternatively, walk inland to the Na Ala Hele sign and turn right onto the King’s Hwy as it climbs through rough ʻaʻa lava inland before coming back to the coast to an older lava flow at Kanaio Beach. Although the trail continues, it becomes harder to follow and Kanaio Beach is the recommended turn-around point. If you don’t include the lighthouse spur, the round-trip distance to Kanaio Beach is about 4 miles.
For more details and a very basic map, visit www.hawaiitrails.org, the state’s trail and access website.