What to do in Kona Coast (Kekaha Kai) State Park

Kekaha Kai State Park encompasses over 1,500 acres of beach, dune and wilderness areas on the leeward side of the Big Island north of Kailua-Kona. This park is divided into two sections: Mahai'ula and Kua Bay.

The Mahai'ula section is the more developed of the two sections of the park. It offers a sandy beach and dunes, picnic area with tables and restrooms. In addition to unpaved road access between the two sections, a 4.5 mile hike along the Ala Kahakai Trail, an historic coastal trail, leads to the Kua Bay portion of the park. Halfway along this trail, a hike to the summit of Pu'u Ku'ili, a 342-foot high cinder cone, offers excellent coastline views. Kua Bay, at the north end of the park offers beach access and beach related activities.

Both sections of this park provide swimming, water play and snorkeling during calm conditions. During the winter months, rough water conditions exist quite frequently and provide for good board surfing conditions. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking at the Mahai'ula section as well as hiking and viewing scenery throughout the park.

Kekaha Kai lies on the leeward side of the Big Island north of Kailua-Kona. Visitors can access the site from Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway.

The island of Hawaii, like the others in the chain, has a windward and leeward climate. The windward (eastern) side of the island receives a lot of moisture. Hilo's monthly averages are above 8 inches. Winter and spring months receive the most moisture, but count on rain if you're traveling in this region. The leeward side can be almost desert like. The mountains are so large on Hawaii, that they trap the moisture on the windward side. Most of the days are sunny on the western coast of Hawaii and hence the tourists flock to this region.

Temperatures on the island of Hawaii are moderate with year round averages near 74 degrees F. The temperatures differ more with elevation than the seasons. Winter clothing such as gloves, hats and layered clothing is necessary if camping in any of the high elevation campgrounds on the island.

P.O. Box 936
75 Aupuni Street, 204
Hilo, HI 96721-0936

Phone: 808-974-6200

  • Kona Coast (Kekaha Kai) State Park Travel Q&A