Our amazing afternoon at the Kaena Point State Park
Before our trip to Hawai’i we made the agonizing decision of which car to rent. Ben was pretty eager to get a Tesla (why are there so many available in Hawai’i?), but I thought it would be better to get something more practical. We settled on a 2016 Jeep Wrangler. It could become a convertible so we could enjoy the sun, and it’s rugged to handle off roading. We love jeeping around. Let’s Jeep Hawaii!
Well, unexpected torrential rain but a stop in our plans to play with our new toy. It put a stop to most of our plans, actually, but Ben has a way of making lemonade!
Where to go: Kaena Point State Park
We decided to drive toward Kaena Point State Park, the westernmost point on the island of O’ahu, just in case some off roading tracks were still accessible. We drove Highway until it abruptly ended at a makeshift parking lot for the Kaena Point hike and Kaena Point trail and, thankfully, an off roading track.
The Kaena Point Trail
The main draw for visitors to Kaena Point State Park is to hike the Kaena Point Trail. It’s one of the most popular and beautiful Oahu hikes! The same parking lot we found at the off-roading site is also the trailhead for the Kaena Point hike.
The Kaena Point Hike is long but flat, and leads to rewarding, secluded tidepools you’ll be sure to enjoy!
We didn’t see many other people on this particular day, but you probably will have other hikers on the Kaena Point trail on sunny days.
Off roading Kaena Point State Park, Oahu
Kaena Point State Park is known as one of the best spots on the island to go off-roading in the rain. It’s a narrow area where the foothills meet the ocean, which create fun slick rock and muddy hills to play around on.
By the time we got there 5 or so other trucks were already driving loops, and a few hikers were getting drenched watching the masters work. These trucks were incredible!
I’ve never been a Monster Truck sort of girl, but I found myself jealous of the souped-up Jeeps and flatbed trucks that were dancing under temporary lakes and over steep hills. They had tires that grazed the deep divots with ease, and suspension you could practically see!
Not only was it fun to watch them destroy the obstacles in their paths, we also watched the Jeep community they must belong to. At different points trucks would pull over to talk and discuss the best techniques for getting over a rough patch, respectfully give each other space to play a certain area, and even ban together to help a fellow truck who found himself stuck.
I like that.
Jumping In to Jeep Hawaii
Ben was understandably nervous to join in the carousel at first. As much as we love driving trails, the rain made things difficult. We weren’t sure how deep the water was in areas or the clearance we would have over certain rocks. We rented our Jeep from a guy named Nick, his first time using Touro to rent out his car, and we didn’t want to be responsible for breaking the thing. I mean, Nick seems like a nice guy.
After careful consideration and watching the pros attack the makeshift playground Ben had charted the best course of action for us.
So we jumped (drove?) in.
At first Ben was a little timid. We went over some easy spots then parked aside to watch the other trucks from different angles. Man, were they talented. Eventually Ben got a little more brave, and even started to seek out the help of fellow drivers. Some really nice guys (all locals) were generous enough to give us some tips on our Jeep and where we’d be safe to drive it. I guess interest and bravery count more than residency to be part of this off roading crew!
This was such a fun thing to do! We were brought here because our one day to relax under the sun was ruined, but I’m so glad about the way things turned out. I was bummed for a while to not be able to lounge on the sand, but when our Jeep started bouncing around it’s like my cares started to fly around, too. Thank you, gravity! Works on stress and weighted objects.
It’s always fun to do something unusual and fun, but one of the best things about this activity was feeling like a local.
We live for things that are off the beaten path, devoid of tourists, and feel authentic. That’s what we found today.
Interested in more fun things to do in Hawaii? Consider a night dive with manta rays, cliff jumping at south point, or hiking the world-famous Kalalau Trail!
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