Stop 10: The Pali Lookout
Windward Oahu has some spectacular views, one of which can be seen from the Pail Lookout which is on the road between Kailua and Honolulu. "Pali" means "cliff" in Hawaii. Part of the steepness of the Pali comes from the collapse of the eastern part of the volcano into the ocean hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Sweeping landscapes can be seen from the Pali Lookout. Looking north we see Kanaohe Bay and the town of Kaneohe.
The Pali Lookout also provides a closer view of the peaks that make up the 300 meter high cliffs. This area is frequently shrouded in clouds, and frequent rain creates many wonderful waterfalls that make this an ever-changing landscape.
History is everywhere on Oahu, and the Pali Lookout is no exception. In 1795, King Kamehameha the Great, as part of his effort to bring all of the islands together, forced some of his foes to jump off of this cliff rather than be taken prisoner.
Until the 1960's this was the main road between Honolulu and Kailua. The Old Pali Highway is a very twisting narrow road that clings to the side of the Pali. Now it's a favorite place to take a short walk or, as we see here, for a class of geology students to see up-close the series of old lava flows in the side of the cliff face.
Returning to the Pali Lookout, we can also get a good view of the field area for our special Virtual Field Trip of Kaneohe Bay. On clear days, one can see Chinaman's Hat (arrowed). The town of Kaneohe is in the middle distance.
From here you can continue on to Stop 11 on the ground.
Return to Southeast Oahu Virtual Field Trip
Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze