Pu’u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

“Pu’u Pehe” by Christina_choi

The Pu’u Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, is one of the most well-known spots on Lanai. This red rock used to be part of the main Island of Lanai, but years of erosion caused it to split and move about 150 feet away. One of the exciting reasons for coming here is because of the romantic legend. Makekehau, a young warrior fell in love with the young princess that lived in Maui, named Pehe. It’s said that she was so beautiful that every time the warrior looked at her, his eyes got misty. Makekehau married Pehe and out of greed and jealousy he hid her in a cave under the rocks, so that no other man would ever have the chance to see her beauty. One day when Makekehau was out, he noticed a storm starting to roll in near the cave where they lived. Frightened that his beloved princess might be hurt, he ran back to the cave. He was too late. Pehe had drowned from the storm. Makekehau was so upset that he called out to the gods to help him climb the side of the rock. With the help from his gods, he carried Pehe body in his arms and scaled the side of the rock. Once he reached the top, he buried his loves body into the small rock island before jumping off the side of the cliff to his own death.
Though this story may encourage some to try climbing the rock; you should not. The sides are very slick and dangerous. The best way to view the rock island is to take the trail up to it.