Chinaman’s Hat Mokolii Island: Hiking and Stand Up Paddle Board

July 24, 2016

Chinaman’s Hat Mokolii Island: Hiking and Stand Up Paddle Board

Are you looking for an out of the way place to ride your stand up paddle board? Mokolo’i is the perfect spot! Whether you’re out for the exercise or relaxation, this area is a perfect area to explore. Also known as Chinaman’s Hat, Mokoli’i is located at the north end of Kaneohe Bay, just offshore of Kualoa Regional Beach Park, off O’ahu’s windward coast.

It’s the inspiration for NEW COLLECTION.

Mokolo’i Legend

While some call it Chinaman’s Hat because it resembles a peasant’s hat worn in rural China, locals call it Mokoli’i or little lizard. The island looks like the remnants of a tail of a legendary lizard. The back of the lizard can be seen from the Kualoa mountain range.

If you’re a fan of the television show Lost, this mountain range might look familiar.


Legend has it that Hi’iakaikapoliopele, one of the sisters of Pele, the goddess of fire, left her home at Halema’uma’u to travel to O’ahu. As she was passing through the Kualoa area, a huge monster-like lizard chased her; she killed the beast before it killed her. What remains is Mokoli’i, the tail of the lizard.

Whether it looks like a lizard’s tail or Chinaman’s hat, Mokoli’i is a must-visit destination.

Visiting Mokoli’i

Part of the Kualoa Regional Park and just ⅓ of a mile off the shore of Kualoa Point of O’ahu, Mokoli’i is accessible by foot only at low tide when the waves are waist high. Visitors who walk out to the island have been stranded overnight because the tide rose faster than they could get back.

Instead of walking, I like to take a stand up paddle board (SUP) because I can easily head to the back side where the cove is and swim in the wave pool. It’s shallow but wavy, a place to relax, have fun, and enjoy the beauty of Hawaii. I’ve also been known to paddle around Kāneʻohe Bay where I can see turtles (honu) and fish.

Once you get to the island, walk along the shoreline to the trailhead that leads to the peak. I don’t recommend the hike to new hikers because there is a bit of bouldering but for the more experienced it’s worth it, especially for the 360 degree view when you get to the top.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure, a place to relax and reflect, or you just want a piece of the beauty, the NEW COLLECTION is the perfect addition to your jewelry collection!

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