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off Highway 19 North West, Hawaii
Also known as King's Highway or the Mamalahoa Trail, this rugged lava road was built between 1836 and 1855 and extended around most of the island. This one-mile section of the trail is part of the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. This area was the site of a thriving Hawiian village that was inhabited until the early 19th Century. There are numerous historical sites in the park. Along the King's Trail, some of the best petroglyphs in the island can easily be viewed. This National Park is not complete but this section is easily accessible and open to the public. However, there are no facilities or water along the trail and the area is rugged and hot. Keep on the marked trail. There are several educational signs posted along the way and the trail is well marked. These semi-circular rock walls were used by travelers as sleeping quarters to protect them from the wind that blows along the Kona coast. There are numerous terrific specimens of petroglyphs along the trail dating back hundreds of years. These carvings were make by early Hawaiians and depict family scenes, dogs, canoes, turtles and the sun. King Kamehameha declared that all travelers along this Highway would be safe and protected and declared that anyone trying to assault or rob travelers would be killed.
Part of King's Trail skirts the golf course of the Orchid at Mauna Lani Resort making an odd contrast between the past and the present! Please DO NOT make rubbings of the petroglyphs. This will wear these ancient stone carvings away and they must be preserved for posterity.
Easy access to the trail
This section of the trail is 1-mile long and well marked
Wear sturdy shoes
Bring water and sunscreen
DO NOT do rubbings on the petroglyphs
Educational signs along the trail
Stay on the path and DO NOT wander off
Do not move or remove any stones, plants or artifacts found in the area
Take Highway 19 north from Kona to the Kohala Resort Area. Turn left between Mile Markers #74 and 73. Go to the next intersection and turn right. At the "Y" intersection, bear to the left. Take the next road to the right. The trailhead is on the right before Halaholokai Beach.