The Makaleha Mountain ridge sits nestled between Pohakupele, Waialelale, and Kawaikini Mountain ranges. Its peak soars to 3,071 feet above sea level and is visible from Kauai’s windward east side.
Sitting close to the mountain on a spectacular 6 acres is the Kahuna Road Retreat (MLS# 293077)
Makaleha, which means “to gaze upon in wonder,” is a stunning range, adorned with a thundering waterfall. The Makaleha stream is fed from 3 springs, 2 atop the western ridge, and 1 to the north near Poohaku Pili, which is 2,592 feet above sea level. It meanders through the Kahuna Valley along Kahuna Road in Kapahi, Kauai.
The hike to the falls is difficult and wildly beautiful, winding through a bamboo forest, traversing the stream, over ancient boulders, and inviting crystal clear pools. Naturally rainy at over 3,000 feet, the hike is slippery and wet, not for the faint of heart! If you choose to hike the trail, be sure to go with an educated guide who has experience of the area.
While history of the Makaleha Mountain and Kahuna Valley is vague, we do know that many plants known to be medicinal by the Hawaiians grew with abundance in the area. Historically, the women gathered the medicinal plants, which meant hiking long distances over heavily jungled, dense forest.
In centuries past, prior to the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778, the ancient Hawaiians climbed Waialeale by several routes: west from Alakai (known for its famous swamp accessible by hiking in Kokee), south from Kawaikini, and most spectacularly from the east, over a precipitous ridge along Makaleha to the summit plateau.
They used this route to make pilgrimages from their heaius (ancient burial grounds) near the route of the Wailua River to Kaawako, a small heiau near a lake called Waialeale. The route ascended the ridge that runs east from the summit plateau, connecting Waialeale with the Makaleha Mountains. Today those trails are long buried by dense forest and dangerous crumbling cliff sides.
A drive down Kahuna Road reveals the splendor that is Makaleha Mountain, and the stunning falls that caress her slopes. The stream meanders along the roadside, tempting one to park along its shores and enjoy a cool plunge on a hot day.
Kahuna Road Retreat
Sitting close to the mountain on a spectacular 6 acres is the Kahuna Road Retreat, nestled among fruit trees, wild flowers, and palms of many varieties. This beautiful property is available as a wellness retreat or personal estate, featuring 5 beds, 5 baths, a lava rock heated pool with waterfall, a massage cabin, and a large 1,200 square foot, fully enclosed octagon perfect for yoga or meetings.
Kahuna Valley Retreat – This beautiful property is available as a wellness retreat or personal estate