Free-wheelin’ of Oahu’s true-north shore
Jutting to the west of Oahu’s North Shore—home to all the famous surfing beaches—is the Mokuleia Coast, a ten-mile run of undeveloped beaches that faces north and is hemmed in by the Waianae Range. Since no resorts are nearby, most visitors bypass this place in favor of its better-known neighbor. But Mokuleia is worth a special trip. At the end of Farrington Highway is the beginning of a thee-mile trail to Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve, the pointed tip of Oahu. In the bygone sugarcane days, a narrow-gauge railroad (somehow) rounded this point, which today is home to Laysan albatross and other seabirds.
The Kealia Trail is the better of two routes into the Waianae Range, neither of which require a hiking permit (unlike the trailhead on the Makaha side of the range). Lofty views are in the offing, as gliders from Dillingham Field often soar by at eye level. At the top, trekkers can check off the Pahole Natural Area Preserve. The top of the Waianaes are open forests.
Beachcombing, surfing, and kiteboarding attract locals to the Mokuleia Army Beach and Kealia Beach.
Makaleha Beach Park is also known as Lost Beach, since this is where some of TV series ‘Lost’ was filmed. The access is via an unmarked trail along a horse pasture. Oahu Trailblazer has more details on the many unheralded play areas of this coast.