Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods), Lanai
Name: Keahiakawelo, Garden of the Gods
What: Otherworldly rock garden
Where: Roughly 45 minutes from Lanai City. Get clear directions from your concierge. Look for the sign that reads "Garden of the Gods"
More Info: 4-wheel drive vehicle is required
Keahiakawelo, also known as Garden of the Gods, is an otherworldly rock garden at the end of rocky Polihua Road. Located roughly 45 minutes from Lanai City on the northwest side of the island, its mysterious lunar topography is populated with boulders and rock towers.
According to Hawaiian lore, this windswept landscape is the result of a contest between two kahuna (priests) from Lanai and Molokai. Each was challenged to keep a fire burning on their respective island longer than the other, and the winner's island would be rewarded with great abundance. The Lanai kahuna, Kawelo, used every piece of vegetation in Keahiakawelo to keep his fire burning, which is why this area is so barren today.
The rock towers, spires, and formations formed by centuries of erosion are at their most enchanting at dusk. The setting sun casts a warm orange glow on the rocks illuminating them in brilliant reds and purples. And on a clear day, visitors can see the islands of Molokai and Oahu from these high elevations. Visitors should be aware that Polihua Road is unpaved and is only accessible via 4-wheel drive vehicle. The removal or stacking of rocks is kapu (forbidden).