Third Annual New Year’s Sunrise Hike And Oli At Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline – Makapuu Lighthouse Trail

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) invites the public to attend the third annual New Year’s Day hike on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, along the scenic Makapuu lighthouse trail at the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline, located in East Oahu.

Photo by Kelvin Lu with view of the 2012 sunrise from Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline

Photo by Kelvin Lu with view of the 2012 sunrise from Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline

The Makapuu lighthouse trail is the 1909 paved lighthouse management road that leads to the summit of Makapuu and is also very popular for pubic recreational walking access to the summit. On this day only, Division of State Parks staff will open the gate along Kalanianaole highway for vehicle parking in the trail parking lot at 5:30 a.m. (parking is first-come, first-served).

Last year the parking lot was full by 5:45 a.m., with the balance of cars parking along the highway. Approximately 600 people attended last year’s event and enjoyed a beautiful but somewhat cloudy sunrise over the ocean and neighbor islands. Whales may also be seen in the water below during this time of the year.

Curt Cottrell, assistant State Parks administrator, will once again go to bed early on New Year’s Eve in order to be able to be awake in time to open the gate early for parking and then be at the top to participate in the sunrise event. Everyone is invited to gather at the trail’s end and along the makai side on Makapuu ridge to watch the sun rise at 7:09 a.m. Civil twilight (when the geometric center of the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon – also known as civil dawn – ending at sunrise) starts at about 6:45 a.m., so flashlights are recommended.

Minutes before the sun comes up over the horizon between sea and sky, and as in previous years, a chanter will offer a traditional Hawaiian oli at the summit to greet the first sunrise of the 2014.

A highlight of the arriving dawn last year was a performance by the Taiko Center drummers, who have graciously consented to welcome the new year at Ka Iwi again.

The morning hike is just one of about 550 “First Day” hikes being observed in all U.S. states, an initiative of the America’s State Parks organization to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage year-round recreation at state parks. For more information, go to

Due to the lack of comfort stations at this location, Division of State Parks is providing a modest amount of portable toilets just for the event. The 1.5-mile round trip on the paved access road is considered of moderate difficulty only due to steepness, and is well suited for children of any age (strollers are welcome). Pets must remain on leash at all times and any droppings removed by owner and properly disposed of. Suggested items to bring include: windbreakers, supportive shoes, water and warm beverages, and cameras! Please pack out all of your rubbish.

For more information about the “First Day” Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline – Makapuu Lighthouse Trail hike, call the Division of State Parks at (808) 587-0300.


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