Lighthouses of the United States: Hawai'i

The U.S. state of Hawai'i is an archipelago of islands in the central North Pacific Ocean. Originally an independent Polynesian kingdom, the islands were annexed by the United States in 1898 and became the 50th state of the Union in 1959. The largest and easternmost island is also named Hawai'i, but residents call it the Big Island. The capital and only large city, Honolulu, is on the island of O'ahu. Maui, Moloka'i, and the smaller islands of Lāna'i and Kaho'olawe lie between the Big Island and O'ahu, while Kaua'i lies to the west.

All the islands are of volcanic origin, with active volcanos on the Big Island. On the coastlines, sandy beaches extend between precipitous rocky headlands.

There is no state lighthouse preservation society in Hawai'i, and local preservation efforts have just begun to appear in the last decade. We follow Hawai'ian custom in recognizing as lighthouses the many smaller concrete beacons found in the islands. The Hawai'ian phrase for a lighthouse is hale ipukukui.

Navigational aids in the United States are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume G of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are from Volume VI of the U.S. Coast Guard Light List.

General Sources
Hawai'i Lighthouses
Excellent photos and historical information from Kraig Anderson's LighthouseFriends.com site.
Lighthouses of Hawai'i
This page by Bryan Penberthy features photos by Kim Halstead and Dennis Kent.
Lighthouses - Hawai'i
Photos from a June 2010 visit by Rosalie Beasley.
Lighthouses in Hawai'i
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - California and Hawaii
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Hawai'i, United States
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Historic Light Station Information and Photography - Hawai'i
Information and historic photos posted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
National Maritime Inventory - Hawai'i
National Park Service inventory of Hawai'i lighthouse data.
The Lighthouse People - Hawai'i
Photos and notes from a 1999 tour by Bob and Sandra Shanklin.
Lighthouses of O'ahu
July 2004 Lighthouse Digest feature article by Randy Hamsad.
Hawai'i Lighthouses Photo Gallery
Excellent photos posted by Selvin Chance.
Leuchttürme USA auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Makapu'u Point Light
Makapu'u Point Light, O'ahu, December 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jon Parise

Hawai'i County Lighthouses

Kohala Region Lighthouses
Note: The Kohala region (South Kohala and North Kohala Districts) occupies the northwestern corner of the island.
* Kawaihae (4)
1915 (station established 1869). Active; focal plane 59 ft (18 m); white flash every 6 s. 36 ft (11 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Christian Veillet has several photos (3/4 of the way down the page), the Shanklins have a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This light marks the entrance to Kawaihae Harbor. Located just off HI 270 north of Kawaihae. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-011; Admiralty G7228; USCG 6-28270.
* Māhukona (2)
1915 (station established 1889). Active; focal plane 64 ft (19.5 m); white flash every 4 s. 22 ft (6.5 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Christian Veillet has a closeup and a photo of the foundations of the 1889 tower, the Shanklins also have a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Wikimedia has a 1904 photo of the original light. Located on a promontory south of Māhukona Harbor, about 5 miles (8 km) south of the northernmost point of the island. Accessible by a short walk south from the Māhukona Beach Park, off HI 270. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-012; Admiralty G7226; USCG 6-28325.
#Kauhola Point (3)
1933 (station established 1897). Demolished in 2009. 86 ft (26 m) reinforced concrete tower, painted white, with an aerobeacon mounted atop the capped tower. The keeper's house and other station buildings have also been demolished. The active light (focal plane 116 ft (35.5 m); white flash every 15 s) is on a tall steel pole carrying an open lantern structure. T. Doyle's photo appears at right, the Shanklins have an account of a 1998 visit, Chance has several photos, Mike Bechtol has a December 2008 photo, and the Coast Guard has a 1934 aerial photo. A sibling of Barbers Point Light on O'ahu and Nawiliwili Harbor Light on Kaua'i, this lighthouse never had an enclosed lantern. For many years the aerobeacons flashed alternately red and green. The lighthouse was long endangered by erosion of the cliff face on which it stood, and it was demolished in December 2009 when it was only 20 ft (6 m) from the edge. Lighthouse Digest has an article on the destruction of the lighthouse that includes a photo of the new light being installed, Tom Benedict has a photo (3/4 the way down the page) of the new light, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse here, a 40 ft (12 m) wood tower, was replaced by a wood skeletal tower in 1917. Located at the end of a rutted dirt road, off HI 270 about 5 miles (8 km) east southeast of the northernmost point of the island. Accessible by 4WD vehicle or a hike of about 2 mi (3 km) each way. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-010; Admiralty G7222; USCG 6-28010.
Kauhola Point Light
Kauhola Point Light (now lost), Kohala, August 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by T. Doyle

Hāmākua Region Lighthouse
Note: The coast of the Hāmākua District is on the north side of the island, west of Hilo.
Kukuihaele (2)
1937 (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 154 ft (47 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 34 ft (10 m) square hourglass-shaped reinforced concrete tower, painted white. The Shanklins have a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse was built later than the other concrete towers of the island, and it has a distinctive appearance. Unlike the others, it has an interior ladder used to reach the light. Located about 13 miles (20 km) southeast of Kauhola Point. The surrounding land is fenced for pastures. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-031; Admiralty G7218; USCG 6-28015.

Hilo Region Lighthouse
Note: Hilo, with a population of about 45,000, is the largest town of the Big Island. The coasts of the North Hilo and South Hilo Districts face northeast of the windward coast of the island.
* [Laupāhoehoe Point (3)]
1915 (station established 1890). Inactive since 1946. 6 m (20 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower, now lying in ruins on the beach. Christian Veillet has a good photo, and Lighthouse Digest has Sandra Shanklin's article on the station. Google's satellite view of the point doesn't show the light. This light was heavily damaged by the tsunami of 1 April 1946, which also killed 25 teachers and children from school classes that were on the beach nearby. Another storm in 1947 toppled the tower and it remains where it fell. The active light (focal plane 39 ft (12 m); white flash every 2.5 s) is on a 6 m (20 ft) steel post behind the former lighthouse. The point is the tip of a tongue of old pahoehoe lava from the Mauna Kea volcano. Located on the point in Laupāhoehoe Point Park, about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northwest of Laupāhoehoe. Accessible by road from HI 19; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS HAW-026; Admiralty G7214; USCG 6-28020.
* [Pepe'ekeo Point (4)]
2002 (station established 1897). Active; focal plane 147 ft (45 m); white light occults every 4 s. 75 ft (23 m) steel pole. The Shanklins have a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light replaced a smaller sibling of Cape Kumukahi Light; Lighthouse Digest has Caroline Ducosin's article on life at that station, illustrated by a photo, and the Coast Guard also has a historic photo. In 2004 a developer began building an upscale residential community in the area, but lighthouse fans were assured that the road to the site would remain open. The original lighthouse here was a 40 ft (12 m) wood tower similar to the one at Kauhola Point. Located on the point, off HI 19 about 6 miles (10 km) north of Hilo. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-016; Admiralty G7212; USCG 6-28025.
* Pauka'a Point (4)
1925 (station established 1869). Active; focal plane 145 ft (44 m); green flash every 6 s. 34 ft (10 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Lighthouse Explorer has Ted Smith's photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light serves as the landfall light for Hilo harbor, the best harbor on the Big Island. The original wooden lighthouse was replaced by wood skeletal structure in 1890, and then a by a tall mast in 1904. Located at Pauka'a Point, at the end of Lahoa Place off HI 19 at Pauka'a, about 2 miles (3 km) north of downtown Hilo. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-022; Admiralty G7210; USCG 6-28030.
* Coconut Point (Directional Light) (3)
1975 (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 38 ft (11.5 m); green light occulting once every 4 s, visible only along the proper line of entry to the harbor. 34 ft (10 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Chance has a great closeup photo as well as a beautiful view from the sea, Michael Matusinec has a 2010 photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The Pacific Tsunami Museum has a webcam that shows a live view of the lighthouse. This lighthouse replaced a similar tower built in 1915. Located on the Hilo waterfront near the foot of Waianuenue Avenue. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-023; Admiralty G7200; USCG 6-28050.

Puna Region Lighthouse
Note: The Puna District occupies the eastern point of the island.
* Cape Kumukahi (2)
1934 (John Hansen) (station established 1929). Active; focal plane 156 ft (47.5 m); white flash every 15 s. 125 ft (38 m) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower, painted white; original DCB-24 aerobeacon. The keeper's house, 0.6 mi (1 km) to the west, was destroyed by the Kapoho lava flow of 1960, but the flow split in two, sparing the light tower. Hunter Bishop has a 2008 closeup, Ai Pohaku has a good photo, Steve Wilber has a 2008 photo, Punaweb.org also has a page on the lighthouse, Wikimedia has Eli Duke's photo, and Google has a satellite view. This tall, graceful skeletal tower is unlike any other U.S. lighthouse. NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory maintains an air sampling station at the lighthouse, since the site is known for having some of the cleanest air in the world. The original, temporary lighthouse was a 32 ft (10 m) wood tower. Located at the end of secondary road 132 (an unpaved road) about 15 miles (25 km) east of Pahoa, marking the easternmost point of the island and state. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-002; Admiralty G7248; USCG 6-28130.
Cape Kumukahi Light
Cape Kumukahi Light, Puna, January 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre

Kaʻū Region Lighthouses
Note: the Kaʻū District occupies the southeast coast and southern tip of the island. Much of the district is occupied by the Kilauea volcano and its lava flows.
* [Ka Lae (3)]
1972 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 60 ft (18 m); white flash every 6 s. 32 ft (10 m) concrete post carrying the light and a diamond-shaped black and white daymarker. A 2010 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This lightbeacon is of interest as it marks the southernmost point of the United States at 18° 54.7' north latitude. Ruins of an ancient Hawai'ian temple, the Kalalea Heiau, are at the foot of the tower; the area is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The original light was on a 34 ft (10.5 m) wood mast; it was replaced by a 45 ft (13.5 m) steel tower in 1929. The name, Ka Lae, simply means "The Point." Located at the end of South Point Road about 20 miles (32 km) south of HI 11. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-008; Admiralty G7242; USCG 6-28140.

Kona Region Lighthouses
Note: the Kona region (South Kona and North Kona Districts) occupies most of the west coast of the island.
Napo'opo'o (2)
1922 (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 27 ft (8 m); white flash every 6 s. 22 ft (6.5 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Anderson has a good page for the lightbeacon, and Google has a satellite view. Located at Cook Point on the north side of Kealakekua Bay on the west side of the island. The lighthouse is about 400 yards (360 m) west of the Captain Cook Monument, which marks the area where Capt. James Cook was killed in February 1779. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-024; Admiralty G7236; USCG 6-28150.
* Kailua (Kailua-Kona) (2)
1915 (station established 1909). Active; focal plane 32 ft (10 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off (red sector covers shoals). 20 ft (6 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Tom Dutton has contributed a photo, Beasley has a closeup, the Shanklins also have a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The lighthouse replaced a light mounted on a mast. Located on Kukailimoku Point at the western entrance to the harbor at Kailua-Kona. Accessible by a short walk from the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, where parking is available. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-009; Admiralty G7234; USCG 6-28185.
* #Keāhole Point (2)
1915 (station established 1908). Demolished in 2009, this was a 33 ft (10 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Tom Dutton has contributed a photo, the Shanklins have a photo, and Marinas.com has aerial photos. The active light (focal plane 43 ft (14 m); white flash every 6 s (red sector covers shoals)) is on a steel post. Anderson has a photo of the new light (last photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. The previous lighthouse also replaced a light mounted on a mast. The surrounding area has been developed by a state authority created to experiment with ocean thermal energy conversion, an alternative energy source. Located on the westernmost point of the island just southwest of Keāhole-Kona International Airport. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai'i Authority. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-019; Admiralty G7231; USCG 6-28215.
Napo'opo'o Light
Napo'opo'o Light, Hawai'i, 2003
photo copyright Michale Boucher; used by permission

Maui County Lighthouses

Maui Lighthouses
Note: The island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawai'ian Islands and has a population of about 140,000. Geologists believe that the four islands of Maui County are remnants of a large single island, similar to the Big Island today.
[Ka'uiki Head (2)]
1914 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 85 ft (26 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 14 ft (4 m) pyramidal reinforced concrete tower. The Shanklins have a photo (third row of photos), Wikimedia has an aerial photo by Forest and Kim Starr, Marinas.com also has aerial photos, and Bing has a satellite view. The 1-story wood keeper's house of the original lighthouse was relocated and incorporated into a private residence in Hāna. Located on Pu'uki, a small island just off Ka'uiki Head on the south side of Hāna Bay, marking the easternmost point of the island. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from Hana Beach Park. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-018; Admiralty G7288; USCG 6-28390.
[Hanamanioa Point (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1918). Active; focal plane 73 ft (22 m); white flash every 4 s. 21 ft (6.5 m) steel post, painted white. Various Internet references to a Hanamanioa lighthouse suggested that the 1918 pyramidal reinforced concrete tower was still intact, but Anderson's photos and Tom Dutton's closeup prove it is not. Google has a satellite view. Dutton reports that portions of the original lighthouse are lying on the rocky beach. Located at the southwestern point of Maui. Accessible via the Hoapili Trail, a rough hiking trail from La Perouse Bay near Makena. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-030; Admiralty G7258; USCG 6-28405.
* McGregor Point (2)
1915 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 72 ft (22 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 22 ft (6.5 m) pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white. Tom Dutton has contributed a photo, the Shanklins have photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The nearby McGregor Point Lookout is a popular site for whale watching. Located off HI 30 about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Māʻalaea. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-025; Admiralty G7260; USCG 6-28415.
* Lāhainā (6)
1917 (station established 1840). Active; focal plane 44 ft (13.5 m); red flash every 7.5 s. 39 ft (12 m) pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, painted white with gray trim. A Coast Guard photo is at right, another good photo is available, Anderson has an excellent page with photos and the history of the lighthouse, HawaiiWeb.com has a page with excellent photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is Hawai'i's oldest light station; King Kamehameha I established a lighthouse here in 1840. At least four lighthouses stood here before the U.S. Lighthouse Board erected a wooden lighthouse in 1905. In 1996 the Lāhainā Restoration Foundation leased the site from the Coast Guard. Located overlooking Lāhainā harbor at the western end of the island. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Lāhainā Restoration Foundation. ARLHS HAW-020; Admiralty G7266; USCG 6-28460.
[Pa'uwela Point (4)]
Date unknown (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white flash every 15 s. 40 ft (12 m) white steel post supporting a small square platform. Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse had a lantern mounted on a keeper's house. It was replaced in 1937 by a concrete tower carrying an aerobeacon. The Coast Guard has a historic photo of the third light, a white steel skeletal tower. In 1981 the light station property was donated to Maui County as a park. Located on a rugged promontory on Maui's north coast, about 15 miles (25 km) northeast of Kahului; accessible by a hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Maui County (Pa'uwela Point Park). ARLHS HAW-036; Admiralty G7286; USCG 6-28385.
Lahaina Light
Lāhainā Light, Maui, January 2009
Wikimedia public domain photo by PA3 Michael De Nyse, USCG

Kaho'olawe Lighthouse
Note: The uninhabited island of Kaho'olawe, smallest of the eight main Hawai'ian Islands, is 11 miles (18 km) long and is located only 7 miles (11 mi) southwest of Hanamanioa Point, Maui. After being used as a naval bombing practice range from 1941 through 1990, the island has been returned to state control and has been declared a reserve for Native Hawai'ian cultural activities.
Kaho'olawe Southwest Point (2)
1987 (station established 1928). Active; focal plane 120 ft (36.5 m); white flash every 6 s. 20 ft (6 m) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Bing has a distant satellite view. The lighthouse is atop a cliff at the southwestern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty G7252; USCG 6-28515.

Lānaʻi Lighthouses
Note: The island of Lānaʻi is roughly elliptical with a maximum width of 18 mi (29 km); it is separated from the west end of Maui by the 8.8 mi (14 km) wide Au'au Channel. In 1922 it was purchased by James Dole, who operated it as a giant pineapple plantation. In 2012 it was purchased by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corporation, for something more that $500 million. Ellison hopes to improve the island's infrastructure and develop an environmentally freindly agriculture. The island has one small town with a population of about 3100.
Palaoa Point (Cape Ka'ea)
1934. Active; focal plane 91 ft (28 m); white flash every 6 s; red flashes are shown to the east over rocks off Puupehe Point. 41 ft (12.5 m) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower, painted white. Hawaiiweb.com also has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the Kaunolu Trail, a dirt road (4WD required) at the southernmost point of the island. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-021; Admiralty G7314; USCG 6-28554.
[Pohakuloa (Shipwreck Beach)]
Date unknown, probably 1930s. Concrete foundation apparently for a skeletal tower. Commonly described as the "ruins" of a lighthouse, this concrete pad is for a lighthouse that was never built. In her book on Hawai'ian lighthouses, Love Dean states that a lighthouse was planned in 1930, but she says there is no evidence one was ever placed in service. The modern Pohakuloa Light (USCG 6-28520), built in 1968, is a post light located about 1500 m (1 mi) to the west. Located at Shipwreck Beach, 1.6 miles (2.6 km) beyond the end of HI 44 on the north shore of the island; accessible by a dirt road, 4WD recommended. Owner/site manager: unknown.

Moloka'i Lighthouses
Note: Moloka'i is 38 mi (61 km) long and about 10 mi (16 km) wide; it is northwest of Maui, separated by the 25 mi (40 km) wide Kaiwi Channel. The island has a population of about 7500. It is accessible by air from Honolulu and Maui and by passenger ferry from Lāhainā.
Moloka'i (Kalaupapa) (2)
1909 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 213 ft (65 m); white flash every 10 s. 138 ft (42 m) octagonal reinforced concrete tower; DCB-24 aerobeacon (1997). Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. The original 2nd order Fresnel lens, previously on display in the Lāhainā Restoration Foundation's musuem in Lāhainā, Maui, has been shipped back to Molokai for eventual display in a museum at Kalaupapa. Three original 1-1/2 story keeper's houses built of volcanic rock. Conor Dupre-Neary's photo is at right, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a good satellite view. This is the tallest U.S. Pacific lighthouse. It stands on the highlands of the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the north side of Moloka'i. Isolated from the rest of Moloka'i by cliffs some 2000 ft (610 m) high, the peninsula was set aside as a leper colony in the 1860s and retained this designation until 1969. Several dozen of the former patients have chosen to remain there, and there are no other permanent residents. The peninsula is recognized as a separate county, Kalawao County, administered by the state health department. Site open only to guided tours, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. National Park Service (Kalaupapa National Historical Park). ARLHS HAW-006; Admiralty G7292; USCG 6-28575.
* [Kaunakakai Range Front (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 27 ft (8 m); continuous red light. 26 ft (8 m) square skeletal tower mounted on a small workroom. The Shanklins have photos of the two range lights, and Google has a satellite view. The tower also carries a rectangular daymark, painted red with a white vertical stripe. The area is a county park with picnic facilities. Located at Kaunakakai Harbor off HI 450 on the south side of the island. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Maui County (Kaunakakai Lighthouse Park). ARLHS HAW-028; Admiralty G7306; USCG 6-28605.
* [Kaunakakai Range Rear (2)]
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 41 ft (12.5 m); continuous red light. 38 ft (11.5 m) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. The tower also carries a rectangular daymark, painted red with a white vertical stripe. The Shanklins have photos of the two range lights, Maui County has a photo, Lighthouse Explorer has a photo by Ted Smith misidentified as being of the front light, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The area is a county park with picnic facilities. Located at Kaunakakai Harbor off HI 450 on the south side of the island. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Maui County (Kaunakakai Lighthouse Park). ARLHS HAW-028; Admiralty G7306.1; USCG 6-28610.
[La'au Point (3)]
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 6 m (20 ft) post light with a diamond-shaped black and white daymark. No photo of the present light is available, but Google has a satellite view. A small stone tower was replaced in 1906 by a 35 ft (11 m) square wood tower with lantern and gallery. Located on the southwestern tip of Moloka'i. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS HAW-032; Admiralty G7296; USCG 6-28670.
Moloka'i Light
Kalaupapa Light, Moloka'i, March 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Conor Dupre-Neary

Oahu (Honolulu City and County) Lighthouses

Note: Oahu, the third largest of the Hawai'ian Islands and by far the most populous, is 44 mi (71 km) long and 30 mi (48 km) wide. Pearl Harbor, on the south coast of the island, is a magnificent natural harbor and home port for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Honolulu, the state capital, is also on the south coast east of Pearl Harbor.
Eastern O'ahu Lighthouses
* Makapu'u Point
1909. Active; focal plane 420 ft (128 m); white light occulting every 10 s, day and night. 46 ft (14 m) cylindrical tower, painted white; lantern roof is red. The original giant "hyper-radiant" Fresnel lens (larger than 1st order) is still in use; it is one of the world's most powerful lenses and the only one of its kind in use in the U.S. The keeper's houses and other light station buildings have been demolished. Jon Parise's photo appears at the top of this page, Penberthy has a similar photo by Kim Halstead, Chance also has a great photo, Wikimedia has several photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo from the 1920s, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Wikipedia has an article on the lighthouse, and Bing has a satellite view. In 2005 the state constructed a parking area and restroom facilities that greatly improved public access to the lighthouse; since then it has been a major attraction. Located off HI 72 at the easternmost point of O'ahu. Accessible by hiking a steep 2 mi (3 km) long paved service road to the lighthouse. The hike is popular and is sometimes described as "easy," but bring sunblock and plenty of water as there is no shade. The site is also popular for whale watching. Site open to hikers, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: State of Hawai'i (Makapu'u Point State Wayside). ARLHS HAW-005; Admiralty G7326; USCG 6-28925.
* Diamond Head (2)
1918 (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 147 ft (45 m); white light, day and night, 2 s on, 1.5 s off, 5 s on, 1.5 s off; red sector covers nearby reefs. 57 ft (17.5 m) square pyramidal reinforced concrete tower, topped by a round watch room and lantern; original Barbier et Bénard 3rd order Fresnel lens. Lighthouse painted white; lantern roof is red. The 1-story wood keeper's house (1921) is the residence of the Coast Guard 14th District commandant. A photo is at right, Ross Manges has a closeup, Wikimedia has several photos, the Coast Guard has a historic photo of the station, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The original lighthouse was similar to the present one, but it was an iron skeletal tower enclosed by coral rock walls. In 1917-18, this was replaced by a concrete tower with the same lantern, watch room, and lens as the original. Located off Diamond Head Road on the famous cape southeast of Waikīkī. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-003; Admiralty G7328; USCG 6-29060.

Honolulu and Pearl Harbor Lighthouses
Honolulu Harbor Entrance
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 95 ft (29 m); green flash every 7.5 s. 82 ft (25 m) steel pole centered on a round 1- or 2-story building. Entire lighthouse is white. No closeup photo available. Eric Gulino has a view from an arriving ship, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of the entrance to Honolulu Harbor. Site status unknown, but there's a great view from cruise ships entering the port. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty G7338; USCG 6-29170.
Diamond Head Light
Diamond Head Light, O'ahu, September 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by KMJ Photography
* Aloha Tower
1926. Inactive as a navigational aid since 1975, although the top of the tower is floodlit at night. 184 ft (56 m) square masonry tower topped by a domed cupola. Chance has a good photo, Mike Nash has a photo, a closeup photo is available, Wikimedia has a photo of the tower at night, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Originally a brilliant navigation light was displayed from the top of the tower. Although it was maintained privately, the tower was an important beacon for ships arriving in Honolulu. Located at the foot of Fort Street in downtown Honolulu. Site and tower open; the 10th floor observation level is open 9:30 am to 5 pm daily. Owner: State of Hawai'i. Site manager: Aloha Tower Marketplace.
Pearl Harbor Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 97 ft (29.5 m); red light occulting once every 4 s. Approx. 90 ft (24 m) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower carries a rectangular daymark, painted red with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a post. Pearl Harbor (Pu'uloa), a magnificent harbor on the west side of Honolulu, is the traditional home port of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the site of the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941 that brought the U.S. into World War II. Located at the foot of 17th Street, north of Iroquois Point, on the west side of the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Site status unknown. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. Admiralty G7370.1; USCG 6-29385.
* Barbers Point (2)
1933 (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 85 ft (26 m); white flash every 7.5 s. 71 ft (21.5 m) reinforced concrete tower, painted white. The lantern was removed in 1964; a DCB-224 aerobeacon is mounted atop the capped tower. Wood keeper's house (1915). Adam Theo's photo is at right, Penberthy has a closeup photo by Kim Halstead, Chance has a beautiful photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The Coast Guard has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, a 42 ft (13 m) coral-stone tower, and a 1934 photo of the present tower with its original lantern. Located at the end of Olai Street off HI 95 in Kalaeloa, near the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. The light station property is leased to the City of Honolulu as a public park. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: City of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (Barbers Point Beach Park). ARLHS HAW-001; Admiralty G7430; USCG 6-29650.

Western and Northern O'ahu Lighthouses
[Ka'ena Point (1)]
1920. Inactive since 1987. 65 ft (20 m) pyramidal reinforced concrete tower. Undermined by beach erosion, this lighthouse has fallen and lies across the beach. In January 2002 it was added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. The light on the point was replaced by the Ka'ena Point Passing Light, a 30 ft (9 m) pole light (focal plane 71 ft (21.5 m); white flash every 2.5 s). A 2007 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The area is an important archaeological and ecological site. Located at Ka'ena Point, marking the westernmost point of the island. Accessible by a rather strenuous hike (about 6 miles (10 km) round trip) on the Ka'ena Point Trail. (Hikers note: ka'ena means "the heat," so come with plenty of water.) Site open. Owner/site manager: Ka'ena Point State Park. USCG 6-29695.
Ka'ena Point (2)
1987(?). Active; focal plane 931 ft (284 m); white flash every 10 s. Beacon mounted atop a 25 ft (7.5 m) building, presumably the service building of a satellite tracking station on the summit of the ridge behind the point. An aerial photo shows the location of this station, and Wikipedia has a closeup photo, but the location of the light cannot be seen. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Air Force (Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station). ARLHS HAW-017; Admiralty G7450; USCG 6-29690.
Pyramid Rock
Date unknown (station established 1941). Active; focal plane 101 ft (31 m); white light occulting every 4 s. 15 ft (4.5 m) square concrete workhouse, beacon mounted on the roof. The structure is painted with an unusual daymark: black and white diagonal stripes. Lighthouse Explorer has a closeup photo by Randy Hemstad, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. This is a case in which nature made a light tower and only a lantern was required. Located at the summit of a pyramidal rock at the end of Palikilo Road on the Mokapu Peninsula in Kāneʻohe, on the northeast coast of the island. Site and tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: U.S. Marine Corps Base Hawai'i. ARLHS HAW-027; USCG 6-28675.
Barber's Point Light
Barbers Point Light, Kalaeloa, June 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Adam Theo

Kaua'i County Lighthouses

Kaua'i Lighthouses
Note: Located well to the west of Oahu, Kaua'i is the oldest geologically of the main Hawai'ian Islands. The island has a population of about 65,000.
* Kīlauea Point
1913. Reactivated (inactive 1976-2013); focal plane 174 ft (53 m); white flash every 10 s. 52 ft (16 m) reinforced concrete tower, painted white; lantern roof is red. The original Barbier, Bénard et Turenne 2nd order Fresnel lens is still mounted in the tower. Original 1-story stone keeper's house, two assistant keeper's houses, and other buildings. A photo appears at right (note the modern beacon just to the left of the lighthouse), there is a web site for the lighthouse, Wikimedia has several photos, Penberthy has posted a photo by Dennis Kent, Chance has a closeup of the lantern and lens, Lightphotos.net has a panoramic view, and Google has a satellite view. This historic light was the landfall light for ships arriving in Hawai'i from the Orient. The light was moved to a 10 ft (3 m) post in 1976. The unused lighthouse was in deteriorating condition for many years. In 2006, the Kīlauea Point Natural History Association, the support group for the wildlife refuge, expanded its role to include lighthouse preservation and launched a fund drive for restoration of the light station. Some emergency repairs were completed in 2008. A full restoration was expected to cost at least $1.5 million, so in April 2009 a $1 million campaign was announced. Major restoration work occupied most of 2012 and was completed in early 2013. In May 2013, the lighthouse was reactivated and rededicated as the Daniel K. Inoye Kīlauea Point Lighthouse in honor of Hawaii's longtime senator. Located at the end of Kīlauea Road off HI 56 about 2 miles (3 km) north of Kīlauea, marking the northernmost point of the island and state. Site open weekdays (entry fee), tower closed except for an open house once a year in May. Owner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Site manager: Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. ARLHS HAW-004; USCG 6-29735.
* Nawiliwili Harbor (Ninini Point) (3)
1933 (station established 1897). Active; focal plane 112 ft (34 m); white flash every 15 s. 80 ft (24.5 m) reinforced concrete tower; DCB-24 aerobeacon (1985). The original 4th order Fresnel lens, removed in 1984, was on display at the Hawai'i Maritime Center in Honolulu, but that museum was forced to close in 2009. 1-story concrete and wood keeper's house. Sibling of Barbers Point Light on O'ahu. Lightphotos.net has a photo, HawaiiWeb has photos and directions, Wikimedia has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The Coast Guard's 1934 photo shows that this lighthouse never had an enclosed lantern. Located on Ninini Point, the north side of the harbor entrance on the southeast side of the island. Site status uncertain; lighthouse is opened sometimes by Coast Guard Auxiliary. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-007; Admiralty G7480; USCG 6-29745.
Kilauea Point Light
Kīlauea Point Light, Kīlauea, July 2010
Wikimedia public domain photo by Bobamnertiopsis
[Kuki'i Point]
Date uncertain. Active; focal plane 47 ft (14 m); white flash every 2.5 s; red sector covering shoals. 22 ft (6.5 m) pyramidal reinforced concrete tower. Formerly tended by the Nawiliwili Harbor Light keepers. Chance has a great photo that shows this light and the Nawiliwili Jetty Light on the other side of the harbor entrance, Beasley has a closeup, and Google has a satellite view. Located at Kuki'i Point on the north side of Nawiliwili Harbor, about 2/3 mile (1 km) west of the Nawiliwili Harbor Light. Site status uncertain. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-037; Admiralty G7482; USCG 6-29755.
* [Makahu'ena Point (3)]
1983 (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 80 ft (24 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 20 ft (6 m) post light, painted white. The foundation pad of the concrete lighthouse built in 1922 is also visible, and its lens was on display at the Hawai'i Maritime Center in Honolulu until the museum closed in 2009. Google has a satellite view. Located on the southernmost point of Kaua'i off Poipu Road in Poipu. Site open. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS HAW-038; Admiralty G7520; USCG 6-29850.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Adjoining page: South: U.S. Minor Pacific Islands

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted May 2001. Checked and revised January 3, 2014. Lighthouses: 25. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.