Puu O Mahuka Heiau State Monument

This historic site is the largest traditional Native Hawaiian temple on Oahu.

With a name that translates to “Hill of Escape” this 2 acre-wide historic site is the largest heiau (traditional Native Hawaiian temple) on the island.

Constructed in the 1600s, the sacred area was built as a series of 3-walled enclosures by the makaainana (commoners) under the direction of a high ruling chief (alii nui) and his priests (kahuna). It is situated on a ridge with a sprawling view of Waimea Valley and the northern shoreline of O’ahu.

After it was abandoned around 1819, the site is believed to have been used for agriculture and its stone mounds for clearing and/or planting areas.

Stop by during during daylight hours to observe the site from outside the walls and stroll its surrounding trails. Be sure to wear your walking shoes — some of the trails can be a bit slippery. Pack a picnic and hike on the red dirt path on the ocean side of the monument to see a picture-perfect view of beautiful Waimea Beach.