Description - Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau is the largest heiau (religious site or temple) on O'ahu, covering almost two acres. The name translates as "hill of escape". Undoubtedly, this heiau played an important role in the social, political and religious system of Waimea Valley, which was a major occupation center of O'ahu in the pre-contact period.
Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau may have been constructed in the 1600's. In the 1770's, high priest Ka'opulupulu, under O'ahu chief Kahahana, oversaw this heiau. This was a time of political upheaval and it is likely that the heiau was used as a luakini heiau (sacrificial temple), perhaps for success in war. In 1795, when Kamehameha I conquered O'ahu, his high priest Hewahewa conducted religious ceremonies at this heiau until 1819 when the traditional religion was abolished.
Situated on a ridge with a commanding view of Waimea Valley and the northern shoreline of O'ahu, this heiau had ties with the heiau at Wailua on Kaua'i. It is reported that signal fires at these heiau provided a visual communication between the islands.
- The six acres of land that comprise this Hawaiian state monument encompass the low stone walls that form O'ahu's largest religious site. Although there are no facilities at this site, the structure lies on a bluff that overlooks the northern O'ahu coast, a great place to view scenery.
Recreation - Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument is a good place to capture the sunset on film or enjoy it in a peaceful place. Recreation opportunities include viewing this historic site. Views of the northern O'ahu coastline abound.
Climate - The climate is pleasantly mild on O'ahu throughout the year. Temperatures vary annually between 60 and 90 degrees F. Summer temperatures range from 68 to 82 degrees F with the water usually near 80 degrees. Winter temperatures vary from 61 to 80 degrees F with the water temperature close to 77 degrees. More rainfall occurs during the winter than other seasons of the year and most of it falls on the northeastern or windward portion of the island.
This state monument lies on the northern O'ahu coast southwest of Waimea. The site is accessible from Kamehameha Highway via Pupukea Homestead Road.