Pali Puka is a great hike for sunset as the sun rays sneaks through a gap in the mountains casting light across the valley!
Hiking Pali Puka
On the left hand side of the parking lot you will find a small trail that leads up a steep dirt incline. This is the start of the Pali Puka. The Pali Notches hike begins on the right hand side of the parking lookout. There are plenty of roots and trees to grab onto and this path will lead you to the first view. The hike isn’t necessarily dangerous but much of the path is on the edge of a huge drop-off. Does that make it dangerous? You decide. The path is wide enough that there is no real risk if you watch your footing and play it safe. If you want to look out at the amazing view it’s best to stop walking and enjoy it while you have a steady position.
From the first viewpoint you can see Kaneohe, the Pali tunnels and even to China Man’s Hat on a clear day. If you are as classy as my friends you might find this a great place to enjoy a drink and relax.
For the rest of us it is time to continue on to find the puka. Keep following the trail and another 5 or so minutes will bring you to the hole in the rock! This is why you hiked the Pali Puka so hopefully a rainbow appears for you too! If you love Puka’s as much as we do you gotta also check out the Tom Tom Trail for another great puka.
Photo by Just Andreas @justandreas
Keep climbing Pali Puka for the sunset spot!
If you continue on now the path will lead into the trees. You can keep going but it gets quite steep and you will need to use the ropes already there. It is important to note if you do go past this point for sunset it will be dark coming down so bring a light for safety. After 10-15 minutes of climbing up the rocks and trees with the ropes you might be a bit breathless but the view will make up for it. The mountains look just freaking amazing. Here is the best part. If you are hiking at the right time of year such as May when I went (not sure if the sun shoots through at other times of the year), the sun will creep through the gap in the mountain range and give you a great photo. Unfortunately I was taking a time lapse and only got this photo but I am sure you can get some nice sun stars if you have the right settings.
If you want to see what the time lapse looked like here it is below just skip to 45 seconds in:
Be safe going down and take it slow as it can be slippery and the drop looks very unforgiving. Stay safe and enjoy the Pali Puka hike.