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Pu'u Mahuka Heiau State Monument




Pu'u Mahuka Heiau State Monument
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General Information

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.

Attractions - 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.

Location - This state monument lies on the northern O'ahu coast southwest of Waimea. The site is accessible from Kamehameha Highway via Pupukea Homestead Road.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Rick Larsh Barlow
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Beautiful temple ruins of the polynesian type. There are two or three informative historical placards or reader boards with educational information. Trash cans are present and should be used. no other facilities available. I was there twice , two weeks ago. I stayed at a hostel at the base of Pupukea homestd road (www.backpackers-hawaii.com) and did an early morning run up the hill to see this site. Don't let the destroyed abandonded cars on the road side deter you, the access road passes a dump site. And Please! DO NOT TAKE ANY STONE souvenirs with you as you leave, aside from it being illegal, disrespectful and destructive (imagine every visitor doing that!) you will suffer the most vile consequences as you will be CURSED by the Hawaiian Gods, seriously! DON"T DO IT!


Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Viewing Historic Sites This heiau played an important role in the social, political and religious system of Waimea Valley.
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery The site offers commanding views of Waimea Valley and the northern shoreline of O'ahu.
Yes


More Information

Contact Information:
Oahu District, Hawaii State Parks, P.O. Box 621, 1151 Punchbowl Street, 131 , Honolulu, HI, 96809, Phone: 808-587-0300

Additional Information:
Hawaii State Parks - Hawai'i's State Park System is comprised of 52 state parks encompassing nearly 25,000 acres on the 5 major islands.
Hawaii,s Historic Sites -
O'ahu - O'ahu lies in the middle of the Hawaiian archipelago as the third largest island within the chain. Much of the eastern portion of the island is state forest reserve land and open for public use.
O'ahu State Parks - O'ahu's state parks protect a variety of natural and historic features that support many different activities. This island maintains more state-run facilities than any of the neighboring islands.

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