Waikoloa Beach Resort is a multi-million dollar oasis built in the middle of centuries of lava flows off Highway 19 north of Kona. The entrance to the resort is located between mile markers 77 and 76 heading north on Highway 19. It is home to the King Shops at Waikoloa, an upscale, open air shopping complex which offers a variety of ways for visitors to part with their money. Via the parking lot at the King Shops is access to the King's, or Mamalahoa, Petroglyph Trail.
The trek along the Mamalahoa Trail, or King's Trail, leads to some of the most well-preserved petroglyphs on the island. Nearly 30,000 carvings of animals and people were left in old pahoehoe lava flows by the ancient Hawaiians. The trail, built in the mid-19th century for horse travel, used to stretch 32 miles from Kailua Kona north to Puako. To access the trail park in the shopping center lot near the gas station and walk towards the golf course and small pond. Signs will lead you to the trailhead. Wear sturdy shoes for hiking on the lava trail and bring water. There are several historical signs along the way to guide you. ITry to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the intense midday sun. Do not make rubbings of petroglyphs as this can wear them away and destroy them.
2023 Big Island Visitor Guides
If you're visiting the Big Island of Hawaii soon, be sure to download your copy of one of our updated 2023 Big Island Visitor Guides. We've updated both travel guides with a lot of new great information for potential visitors (and those who've been a time or two as well).