Makapuu Lighthouse to Pele’s Chair: A La-Z-Boy Recliner It Is Not

Pele’s Chair is a popular spot for locals. It’s located just next to Alan Davis, a spot made famous for its jumping pole. Both Alan Davis and Pele’s Chair are typically accessed via a side trail located near the parking lot. Follow the faint trail and you’ll reach Alan Davis. Keep walking and you’ll eventually see the unmistakeable rock structure known affectionately as a Pele’s Chair.

En route to Pele's Chair, and we encountered this guy running up the trail backwards. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

En route to Pele’s Chair, and we encountered this guy running up the trail backwards. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Demasked. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Demasked. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The backside of Pele's Chair. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

The backside of Pele’s Chair. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Fallen Unicorn. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Fallen Unicorn. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Pele's Chair conquered by the Animal Heads Super Team. Photo by Marvin Chandra.

Pele’s Chair conquered by the Animal Heads Super Team. Photo by Marvin Chandra.

Hipster Panda. Photo by Squirrel.

Hipster Panda. Photo by Squirrel.

The Animal Heads Super Team decided to take the backside route to Pele’s Chair. A small turnoff along the main, paved, Makapuu trail will lead you straight to Pele’s Chair. It’s a bit rocky and does involve some careful steps. You also might encounter some unicorn poop. Just saying. You’ll know that you stepped in some if you suddenly see a rainbow or two.

The rock recliner is fun to climb. Panda found his way to the top. Unicorn found out the hard way that Pele’s seat of choice was not comfy at all. Some unicorn blood may have been shed. Giraffe tried to look over the chair but his neck was not long enough. And squirrel kind of just squirreled around.

Explorers: Giraffe, Panda, Squirrel, and Unicorn.

Directions to Pele’s Chair: Get on H1 and head east bound toward Koko Head Crater. Eventually, H1 will turn into Kalanianaole Highway (Hwy. 72). You will continue on Kalanianaole Highway past Hawaii Kai, Koko Head Crater, Hanauma Bay, and Sandy Beach until you reach a park on the right hand side with a sign indicating the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline. Turn right into the park and park in the parking lot at the end. The trailhead for Pele’s Chair and Alan Davis is located before the main Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. You’ll see a faint trail to the right that will lead you to Alan Davis. If attempting to see the sunrise, the parking lot to Ka Iwi State Park will be closed until 7am, see [1] below.

Giraffe posed for a head shot. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Giraffe posed for a head shot. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

After this shot, Giraffe mysteriously disappeared. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

After this shot, Giraffe mysteriously disappeared. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Too cool for Panda school. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Too cool for Panda school. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Peace, yo. Photo by Coty Gonzales.

Peace, yo. Photo by Coty Gonzales.


1. The parking lot leading to the Makapu’u Lighthouse trailhead is chained off during closed hours. The parking lot does not officially open until 7:00 am. We decided to park at the Makapu’u lookout point a few feet ahead. Park here at your own risk. Alternatively, many people simply park on the side of the road just after the gate leading to the trailhead.

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.