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This national preserve is the site of the famed, otherworldly Garden of the Gods. Also located on the arid, dry plateau is the state's largest remaining dryland forest. The preserve is nearly 600 acres, and contains a number of extremely rare plants and trees. George Munro took the first steps to save the forest in 1920. His efforts have been perpetuated by community group Hui Malama Pono O Lana'i, which still looks after the preserve today. Only self-guided tours are available. A short, popular trail is located just off the main road leading to the Garden of the Gods. Admission is free.
The desolate ridge in the wilderness of uninhabited Lanai is a favorite place for hikers and explorers. The nearest patch of civilization is the Lodge At Koele, which offers daily hikes from 11am - 1:30pm. There are two reasons that people choose to make the three-hour hike to the summit. First is to see the lush foliage and graceful pine trees that distinguish this place from the surrounding area. Second is to enjoy breathtaking views of Maunalei Valley, which is rich in legend and natural beauty. The hike starts behind the Lodge and travels part of the way alongside the well-trafficked Munro Trail.
About the only kind of adventure to be had on Lana'i is of the 'eco' variety. This secluded island is one of the last populated Hawaiian islands to remain largely untouched by civilization or commercialization. Much of it is only accessible via 4x4 vehicle, bike, kayak or by foot. Adventure Lana'i Ecocentre offers three separate adventures, each intended to show a different part of the island. The Adventure Trekker is a three-hour trip that combines offroading and hiking. The Surf Kayak Safari teaches you surfing basics on secluded beaches, while the Kayak/Snorkel Adventure takes place off the coast. Call for cost of excursions.
Found at the slightly alarmingly named Shipwreck Beach, these crude drawings are a very important historical relic of the island and one of its principal tourist attractions. The figures are about twelve inches tall, with odd, bird-like heads. They're only a few hundred years old, which is young by petroglyph standards, but their attraction is in their inherent mystery - who drew these figures? Why? What do they represent? Shipwreck Beach is an excellent sunbathing site so visiting the petroglyphs is the perfect way to get some culture and catch some rays.
This is one of the most scenic spots on Lana'i, not to mention one of the best lookout points in Hawaii. It can only be reached by hiking six miles up the Munro Trail, a detail that tends to deter some sightseers. However, the view at the 3,370-foot summit is stunning; on a clear day, you can see every Hawaiian Island except Kaua'i. Don't confuse this place with Maunalei Gulch Overlook, another great look-out spot that is reached by branching off the Munro Trail and hiking Koloiki Ridge.
Although it's one of the most popular destinations on Lana'i, this beach manages to retain its pristine appearance. It's a protected area, a designated marine preserve and a place of much natural beauty and underwater activity. Guests of nearby Four Seasons Resort, Lana'i at Manele Bay can enjoy beach walks or picnics. This is also one of the few beaches on the island that can be reached by a two-wheel drive vehicle. Trilogy Charters and other sailing charter companies lead excursions to the beach on a regular basis. The marine preserve is also a favorite scuba dive destination.