Hiking Olowalu Petroglyphs

I’ve read about this special sacred place from my travel book while I was camping in Camp Olowalu. The hike starts behind the general store which by the way has everything you need if you end up camping in Olowalu. Even if you come just for half a day from other part of the island it’s worth the trip. Don’t forget to visit Leoda’s next door to the general store and try their famous and most yummy pies! They also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have free WiFi.

A short walk will take you to the petroglyphs. There are over 70 ancient petroglyphs at the site, the Olowalu Cultural Reserve, also known in the Hawaiian language as Pu’u Kilea, is one of the largest cultural sites on Maui. They say they are about 200-300 years old. You’ll see different forms—humans, dogs, a canoe with a sail and deities.

My friend and I ventured little further up the hill where we found an old service road that led to their new water plant. Little further up and to the left you’ll find an old water plant that was most likely used during sugar cane plantation days. Right behind it on the left is a path that led us to a deep cave. I looked inside with my iPhone’s flash light but was too scared to go in by myself. I was imagining a huge white creature coming out of there and kidnapping me. It’s from watching LOST so ever passionatly. Later we found out this is where the water originated from and was supplying the farms below. It’s called lava tunnel. 

Olowalu’s significance is also found in the nearby footpath that connects both sides of the island.

We have not found this path as there are homes near by with signs “do not trespass” but here is a great article of someone doing the hike in the valley.


Native settlers instead of paddling around the island, travelled from the Olowalu Valley, on the west, to the seat of government in Wailuku on the east.

The whole valley of Olowalu was a place of refuge or “Pu’uhonua,” where those who were oppressed could flee. That’s what it’s so sacred to the Hawaiian people.Two lava flows are present; one known as the Wailuku flow is basalt, the other, a rejuvenation flow called the Kaua’i flow is basanite and where the primary panel “Pu’u Kilea” can be found and also served anciently as gathering place were native settlers sought shelter from the rain and wind.

For more information go to: http://olowaluculturalreserve.org/index.html

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