Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area
This 384-acre park above Aiea north of Pearl Harbor and about 12 miles from Waikiki includes the historic Heaiwa Heiau which is near the park entry. Farther down the paved road are campgrounds as well as picnic areas and the trailhead for the Aiea Loop Trail. The 4.8-mile trail leads through a forested area above Pearl Harbor and Aiea town features many large eucalyptus trees and Norfolk pines.
About midway along the trail is the high point of Puu Uau where native ohia lehua and koa trees can be seen. Running along the west side of Halawa Valley, the Aiea Trail provides great views of Pearl Harbor as well as the Waianae and Koolau mountains as well as Diamond Head. Also seen along the trail are the remnants of a military plane that crashed in 1944. The hike is not exceedingly strenuous though it has one fairly steep switchback section and can also be quite muddy if it has rained recently. Allow about 2.5 hours walking at a leisurely pace.
In ancient times Keaiwa Heiau was used as a healing temple where kahuna laau lapaau, priests who used plants for medicinal healing, practiced their craft. Important Hawaiian plants for healing grow in the area. The heiau may date to the 16th century and terraced stone structure includes an enclosing wall measuring 160 feet by 100 feet by 4 feet tall. Keaiwa means “The mystery,” and is said to be to refer to the mysterious healing powers of an ancient kahuna (priest).
Facilities at Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area include restrooms, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, camping area, pay phone. Admission is free. Hours are from 7 am to 7:45 pm from April first until Labor Day, and then from 7 am to 6:45 pm from Labor Day until March 3.
Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is located in Aiea Heights at the end of Aiea Heights Drive. Take the H-1 to the Moanalua Highway (Hwy. 78) and then take the Aiea cutoff to the third traffic light. Turn right on Aiea Heights Drive and go about three miles to the end of the road. Camping permits are available through the State Parks office.
© 1997-2011 Aloha from Hawaii