ALOHA!

 

So if you will be visiting Kua Bay and Kekaha Kai State Park (which you totally should to see a great white sand beach in Kona), then the Puu Kuili hike can be perfect to add to your day!

 

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park near white sand beaches. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

This is a relatively short hike, and it will offer you grand views of the Kona coast. Well, even just the drive to the Kua Bay parking lot will offer you great coastal views, but a hike up to the top of the Puu Kuili hill means you get even more grand views from above!

It is a somewhat steep hill so it may not be considered completely easy, but it’s not too long. (Still, do make sure to bring along water with you! See more hiking essentials for Hawaii.)

I think the easiest or most convenient way to do this hike is from Kua Bay.

So, this will take you through a bit of what it might be like for you if you do it this way!

 

First, the quick list of what you can expect from the Puu Kuili hike.

Then, a few more pictures from this hike!

 

 

1. Drive to Kua Bay parking lot

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Walk towards the Puu Kuili trailhead

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. Find the trail

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. Hike up the trail!

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

5. See amazing views of the Kona coast!!

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

🌴

 

 

 

Now…

A bit more about the Puu Kuili hike!

…with PHOTOS!

 

Getting to Puu Kuili

So the Puu Kuili hike is within the Kekaha Kai state park.

There are 2 main entrances to the state park, and the Kua Bay entrance will be the Maniniowali entrance of the state park.

Coming from Kona town, you’ll be driving from south to north, and you’ll first past the Mahaiula entrance, and then you’ll keep driving to get to the Maniniowali entrance.

You’ll also get your first glimpse of the Puu Kuili cinder cones as you drive to Kua Bay!

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. Kona coast highway. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. Kona coast highway. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. Kona coast highway. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

Then once you turn off the highway and into the state park road, you’ll get a head on view of Puu Kuili.

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kekaha Kai state park entry - Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. cinder cones. Kua Bay scenic drive road at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll basically take this road down to the end where you’ll find the Kua Bay parking lot. It’ll be a scenic coastal drive to get there!

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kua Bay scenic drive road at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kua Bay scenic drive road at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kua Bay scenic drive road at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

The Kua Bay parking lot may be full, and if it is, the “overflow parking” is basically the side of the road.

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kua Bay parking lot at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there to start of trail. Kua Bay parking lot at Kekaha Kai state park. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

If this is your first visit to Kua Bay, you might want to check out Kua Bay before you head off for the hike. Or, you can get in some beach time and swimming time as part of your post-hike recovery! There are bathrooms at Kua Bay too.

When you’re ready to get started on the hike, you’ll start walking on the same road you drove down, in the direction of Puu Kuili that you passed. (If you don’t want to walk as much, you could probably park closer to the Puu Kuili trailhead.)

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog
Looking at this picture later, it looks like there’s a wide shoulder area right near the hill. So if you want to cut out some walking time, maybe you can park here instead of the Kua Bay parking lot? And do this hike on the way to Kua Bay? When you’re driving TO Kua Bay, this spot pictured above is past the hill.

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

Find the start of the Puu Kuili trail

So the trail can be a little difficult to find. There was no sign or marking at the time I went in 2019.

I very much recommend downloading the free app called mapsme. Once you have this app, you’ll then download the specific Hawaii map which will become accessible offline.

The Puu Kuili trail is on mapme so having the app will make finding the trail MUCH easier! In fact, using the GPS locator on your phone, you will likely have no problem!

But in case you aren’t using it, once you are in front of the cinder cone (the Puu Kuili hill), you are looking for a very obvious looking trail on the side of the road.

I didn’t use the app, and I actually started climbing up the hill on the wrong part thinking “this kind of looks like a trail,” going through dry brush which then eventually got me on the actual trail.

I followed the trail back down to see that the start is a very obvious looking trail. I also later saw that mapsme had the location of the start of the trail.

 

Puu Kuili hike - how to find start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to find start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to find start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike - how to get there. walk to start of trailhead. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

And then once you find the trail…

Climb up the trail and enjoy the views!!

Don’t forget to look behind you as you’re climbing up!

 

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

And that’s a bit of what you’ll see on the Puu Kuili hike at Kekaha Kai State Park!

 

So then what next?!

You can head back down the way you came and head to Kua Bay.

 

Puu Kuili hike trail to Kua Bay Maniniowali Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

Or you can head down the other side in the direction of the secluded Makalawena Beach. Although it’s a kind of long walk!

 

Puu Kuili hike trail to Makalawena Beach trail in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

Puu Kuili hike trail to Makalawena Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

Explore Kekaha Kai State Park:

And also see more things to do on the Kona coast and more things to do on the Big Island!

 

HAPPY HIKING PUU KUILI!

 

Puu Kuili hike trail in Kekaha Kai State Park near white sand beaches. Best hikes in Kona. Big Island Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of this amazing tour on the Big Island:


Watch the videos to see the Big Island in action!

Find more amazing things to do on the Big Island: Watch my Big Island videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

ALOHA!