On Instagram and elsewhere, Kauai is often referred to as Jurassic Park, and there’s good reason for that. The primeval island, the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, is a favorite filming location for the Jurassic Park movie franchise. One of the most iconic images of the film series is the Jurassic Park gate, which was constructed and filmed in the rugged interior of Kauai. The view remains the same, but all that’s left of the gate are the cement posts. The location is on public land in the Waikoko Forest near the island’s “Blue Hole,” the mystical center of Kauai and the source of the Wailua River. For tourists, the location is not exactly easy to find or get to, but with the information below you should be able to visit this landmark site.
The Jurassic Park gate is about 3.5 miles from the Keahua Arboretum. The road to the Keahua Arboretum is paved, but becomes a dirt road after the spillway at the arboretum. (Do not cross the spillway by foot or vehicle if the waters are too strong. If in doubt, wait to see how other vehicles, if any, fare while crossing the spillway.)
After the Keahua Arboretum, the road becomes the Waikoko Forest Management Road. A four wheel drive vehicle is recommended for this part of your trip to the gate. Four wheel drive vehicles, including Jeep Wranglers, can be rented at the Lihue Airport. (Please note that car rental companies in Hawaii do not allow off road use of their vehicles, so proceed at your own risk when using a rental vehicle.) The road is somewhat maintained and recently (June 2016) it appears that many potholes have been filled in with gravel. But many potholes remain, along with lots of mud.
After the arboretum, you will soon see the trailhead for the Powerline Trail on your right (at about 0.1 miles from the arboretum).
At about 0.5 miles from the arboretum you will see a second spillway. Again, like the first spillway, use extreme caution when crossing.
Continue on the road for another 1.5 miles. You will see a fork in the road. Take the left road.
After the fork, continue for another 1.25 miles. You should see a yellow gate that is open. At this point, the road becomes narrower and we recommend that you park your vehicle and walk past the gate and down the road another .25 miles where you will find the gate location. There are two cement posts at the location, as well as another yellow gate which should be open.
- While potholes are a major concern on the road to the Jurassic Park gate, low hanging branches should also be a concern for drivers.
- Driving a vehicle to near the gate is the preferred way, in our opinion, to get to the location. However, some people prefer to hike the 3.5 miles (7 miles round trip) from the Keahua Arboretum.
- From what we have seen, an even better way to the gate location is by dirt bike if you have one.
- Due to flash floods, it’s possible that you could be trapped on the far side of the streams at the spillways, leaving you with no way to get back until the waters subside. This has happened to more than a few people. Bring extra water and food in case this happens to you.
- There is generally no phone service in this area, so plan accordingly.
- If at any time you are not sure which fork in the road to take, take the more well-traveled road.
ABOVE: Kuamoo Road (Highway 80), aka the Loop Road (though there’s no loop), on the way to the Keauha Arboretum.
ABOVE: The spillway at the Keahua Arboretum.
ABOVE: Keep going past the spillway. The road veers to the left. Soon you will see the trailhead for the Powerline Trail.
ABOVE: The dirt road is decent, especially on the first part.
TWO PHOTOS ABOVE: You will pass another spillway and a wide stream. Please note that the second photo directly above was shot on the return trip and is the view of the spillway coming back.
ABOVE: As you proceed farther down the road, more potholes appear. Try to steer clear.
TWO PHOTOS ABOVE: When you come to this fork in the road, go left.
TWO PHOTOS ABOVE: We recommend you park your vehicle when you see this gate as the road becomes narrower (though off-road vehicles frequently proceed past this point). You are getting close to the gate.
ABOVE: Walk past the gate and continue up the road for about a quarter of a mile.
ABOVE: Soon, and suddenly, the famous scene comes into view. You have made it to the Jurassic Park gate!
ABOVE: There is a yellow gate at the Jurassic Park gate posts. The yellow gate is usually open.
TWO PHOTOS ABOVE: The gate posts are made out of cement.
ABOVE: The view on the other side of the gate.
ABOVE: The view looking back from the other side of the gate.
ABOVE: The view from the gate area looks absolutely prehistoric.
ABOVE: A panorama of the view beyond the gate. Click to enlarge (large file).
ABOVE: Kauai Surf Co. owner Tom Wakefield
ABOVE: The road back from the gate to the vehicle.
ABOVE: There is a sign hunters use to post information about their lost hunting dogs located where we parked the vehicle to hike to the gate. Hunters pursue wild pigs in this area.
Chuck Ashton’s video The Road to Blue Hole, Kauai Hawaii shows the drive to the location of the Jurassic Park gate and beyond. Parking for the Blue Hole is approximately .5 miles past the gate.