Photo Credit: Tim DelaVega
hawaii wave


Monitor local surf and weather reports prior to your park visit.

[O’AHU] UPDATED 5/18/24- Diamond Head State Monument: The park will remain CLOSED through Sunday, May 19, due to inclement weather and rock falls.  Safety concerns are being addressed and we anticipate reopening on Monday.

[KAUAʻI] UPDATED 5/18/24 –Kauaʻi North shore shuttle departures has SUSPENDED due to inclement weather.


[O’AHU] UPDATED 5/16/24 –  Ka’ena Point State Park, Mokuleʻia Section: Vehicle access road has CLOSED due to saturated roads and inclement weather.

[HAWAIʻI] UPDATED 5/15/24 – Hapuna State Park: Hapuna and the Waialea Section beach and access road has REOPENED following flood cleanup.

[HAWAI’I] UPDATED 5/13/24 – Akaka Falls State Park to Temporarily CLOSE Weekdays Starting May 15, see Akaka Falls announcement for more information.

[HAWAIʻI] UPDATED 5/13/24 – Wailuku River State Park: Rainbow Falls; tree trimming starts today until 6/7/24, the park will remain OPEN but some areas may be temporarily closed due to safety.

[KAUAʻI] UPDATED 4/30/24 – Kōkeʻe State Park: Kalalau lookout restroom is CLOSED until further notice.

[KAUAʻI] UPDATED 4/26/24 –Kalalau Trail, Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park: Camping permits held back for local residents during summer, see Kalalau Trail site for more information.

[KAUAʻI] UPDATED 3/18/24 – Kōkeʻe State Park: The gate to Puʻu O Kila Lookout will be closed to vehicular traffic due to road repairs beginning 3/19/24. The lookout will still be accessible by pedestrians, parking is available at Kalalau lookout.


Posted on Dec 21, 2022






KAIWI SCENIC COASTLINE FIRST DAY HIKE RETURNS AFTER COVID HIATUS (HONOLULU) – As one of the best attended First Day Hike events in the country, the trek to the

Makapu‘u Overlook for the first sunrise of 2023 is back!

2012, was the kick-off of Hawai‘i participating in and celebrating the nationwide First Day Hike. This is the 10th anniversary of the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline hike, though COVID caused the cancellation of events the past two years.

46 states are hosting a multitude of hikes in 2023. The Hawai‘i First Day Hike…a walk really… is along the paved roadway to the summit of Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline and provides incredible views mauka to makai and has attracted as many as 700 people on previous New Year’s Days.

“It is a unique and moving experience and spiritual way to usher in a new year. Watching the first sunrise of the year peak over the Kaiwi Channel and Moloka‘i, synchronized with the blowing of a pu in the 4 cardinal directions by Gabriel Spencer of Ke Leo O Laka I ka Hikina O Ka La, followed with an oli by Dr. Sam Gon of Halau Mele, is a chicken skin experience that exemplifies Hawai‘i’s unique culture” said Curt Cottrell, Administrator of the DLNR Division of State Parks.

Sunrise is followed a rousing taiko performance of the Taiko Center of the Pacific by students of Sensei Kenny Endo. In previous years, Scottish bagpipes have been part of the mix – providing a trilogy of sound and meaning that is an audible representation Hawaii’s cultural influences.

The DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) is very grateful for this community partnership for an event that adds cultural elements to the striking natural landscape.

The summit viewing platform will be closed before and during sunrise to provide space for the pu, oli and the taiko drummers. It reopens for after the performance.


Gates to the park open at 5:30 a.m. to give provide ample time to get to the top and in position along the route for the 7:10 a.m. sunrise.

Staff will arrive in advance to drive up to the summit with drums and performers before hikers start to ascend.

The paved footpath is one mile each way.

Flashlights, blanket and warm clothes are encouraged – in addition to darkness Kaiwi can be windy along the route and especially at the summit.

Parking is limited at the trailhead so overflow vehicles must park along the highway. Carpooling is encouraged.

Exercise extreme caution when crossing the highway.

There are no restroom facilities at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, but for this event State Parks will provide portable toilets at the trailhead.

Please carry out all rubbish and bring poop bags and leashes are required for dogs

“Hawaii’s First Day Hike ‘ohana and DSP are excited to bring this stirring event back to Kaiwi after the pandemic hiatus. While many other states have more challenging (and colder) hikes to offer on New Year’s Day, few can match Kaiwi for stunning scenery, possibly catching a glimpse of a humpback whale, and participating in a cross-cultural celebration, with the pu heralding the sunrise, a mele oli to shepherd in the new year, and powerful taiko to stir the heart and galvanize our intent for the upcoming year.” Cottrell added.



(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)
HD video – First Day Hike feature, Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline (Jan. 1, 2020):

HD video – First Day Hike media clips, Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline (Jan. 1, 2020):

Photographs – First Day Hike media clips, Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline (Jan. 1, 2020):

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison
Senior Communications Manager (808) 587-0396 [email protected]

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