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Pu'u Pehe: Hiking Lanai's Sweetheart Rock

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) aerial view on Lanai, Hawaii

A short and simple hike located near the stunning (and expensive) Four Season's Resort, this hike will give you a great perspective of Lanai's southern coastline. Simply walk the beach, head up a short trail, and soak in the gorgeous views. An amazing choice for a sunrise or sunset!


Trail Info

Pu'u Pehe Trail Information Table

Know before you go

  • There are steep drop-offs at the top of the cliff. The top of Sweetheart Rock extends about 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. While the trail doesn't require you to go near the edge, it's something to keep in mind if you're hiking with kids.

  • You can climb down to the beach by Pu'u Pehe, but it requires a scramble. I think the highlight of this hike is standing on top of Pu'u Pehe, but the beach is an optional side adventure. There are some cool pukas (holes in the rocks) and caverns you can see down there if you're up for the climb.

  • Closed toed shoes are probably a good idea. While this trail is quite tame, there are some rocks along the path. Especially if you plan to scramble down to the beach, you may want to leave the slipper's (flip flops) at home. Protect them toes!

Other trails nearby

The Fisherman's Trail is another trail accessible from the same area. It is a shoreline trail that heads west and weaves along the shoreline, providing you with a different perspective of the area.


The Trail

Hulepo'e Beach on Lanai, Hawaii

Our journey began from the lovely Hulepo'e Beach. Because we were staying at the Four Seasons, we could simply walk to the trailhead. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of lodging options on this island, and those that exist are expensive. So if you are visiting here, best to start saving now or find a way to befriend Larry Ellison.

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) Trail on Lanai, Hawaii

If you started at the beach park parking lot, you simply walk to this sandy/rocky path found to the left of the beach. This is about as difficult as the trail gets.

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) Trail on Lanai, Hawaii

Within minutes you will arrive at Pu'u Pehe. According to the legend, a man named Makakehau from Lanai encountered a lovely maiden named Pehe from Lahaina. Captivated by her beauty, he transported her to this place and concealed her in one of the sea caves. During one of Makakehau's outings to collect provisions, a storm suddenly arrived, carrying Pehe away to the sea, where she met a tragic end by drowning. Learning of this heartbreaking incident, Makakehau beseeched the gods for permission to ascend the 80-foot rock, where he had laid her to rest. He then plunged from the rock into the ocean.

I'm not sure I'd call this legend romantic, but hey it's a story. From here you can decide whether you want to scramble down to the beach, or head up to the top of the cliff.

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) Trail on Lanai, Hawaii

We opted to scramble down. It's not much of a swimming beach down here, but there are some nice little pukas that make for interesting photos.

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) on Lanai, Hawaii

After that side journey, we made our way to the top. It really is amazing up here, and is an awesome spot for both sunset and sunrise. If you look East, you can see the much larger Maui in the distance.

Pu'u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) on Lanai, Hawaii

And west will allow you to look back towards Hulopo'e Bay and beyond. Not a bad adventure right outside of our hotel room door. Now it's time for some overpriced resort food!


SS Hot Takes

My one and only trip to Lanai was a "maxizing" hiking adventure. Given the cost of staying for only one night, I tried my best to hit every possible hike on the island so that I wouldn't have a longing to return.

And this hike turned out to be my favorite. It helped that we could walk to it from our lodging, but what really made it awesome was everything you could see from the top of the cliff. We did it twice, for both sunset and sunrise, and each journey showed the magic of the area in a different light. While I don't know if I'll ever be back to this place, this adventure proved to me that each island has it's own type of beauty that makes it special.



DISCLAIMER: This website is for entertainment purposes only. The web designer and contributors are not liable for any injuries, accidents, or damages resulting from the use of information provided. Trail data, including trail statistics such as mileage and difficulty ratings, are provided as estimates based on the best available data at the time of publication and may not be 100% accurate. Conditions on trails can change; users should verify information with local authorities or  other reliable sources before embarking on any hiking or outdoor adventure. Hiking is a high-risk activity; individuals should know their limits, take precautions, and prioritize safety. By using this site, you acknowledge and accept these risks; the web designer and contributors are not legally responsible for any consequences.

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