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Hikes on Guam: The Haputo Beach Trail

Basic Information

  • What: Haputo Beach
  • Where: Guam
  • Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 1 hour
  • More Information: The Best Tracks on Guam

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Narrative

Due to the rugged cliffs of northern Guam this causes this part of the island to have a number of secluded beaches that are only accessible by hiking down steep cliffs.  One of the most popular secluded beaches people like to check out is Haputo Beach.  To further add to the difficulty of reaching this beach is the fact that the trailhead is located on Naval Communications Station (NCTAMS) in Finegayan:

Accessing the Navy base requires a hiker to have either a military ID or go with someone who does.  At the trailhead there is plenty of information about the Haputo Beach Ecological Reserve Area that composes most of the shoreline of the Naval base:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Haputo was designated a reserve in 1984 and covers 252 acres of coral reef and limestone forest. Here is a closer look at one of the signs that shows the boundaries of the reserve:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

It is a half mile walk down to the beach through the thick jungle that covers northern Guam:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

I was glad I wore long sleeve pants because the jungle has plenty of pointy plants that can leave cuts on exposed skin:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

This trail also has a lot of small lizards that can be seen scurrying around.  There were so many small lizards that the ground almost felt like it was alive with movement:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

A short distance past the trailhead the lagoon where the beach is located is visible down below the cliffs:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

From this point is where the stairs down to the beach begin:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Many of these stairs are not in the best condition so I made sure to be careful when stepping on them:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

I knew I had reached beach when I saw all the garbage piled up:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Someone really needs to adopt this beach and do some regular picking up of litter.  Anyway the beach was quite nice to see once I got there:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is the view looking back towards the cliff that the stairs descended down:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

The most famous rock formation at this beach is Mushroom Rock which could be seen on the south side of the beach:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is a closer look at Mushroom Rock:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

At the beach there was a total of about 10 people which shows how secluded this beach is compared to a place like Tumon Bay and other beaches on Guam accessible by car.  Something else I found of interest with this beach was that the remains of an ancient Chamorro village can be found in the jungle behind it.  The jungle is very thick behind the beach:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

There was no trail to follow so I just randomly walked through the jungle filled with coconut trees trying to find the Chamorro village:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

I found it interesting to see how new coconut trees grow from the coconuts that drop from the mature trees:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is another plant I saw growing thickly within the jungle which I am not sure what it is:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

This berry plant which I have no idea if it is edible I saw growing in the jungle as well:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

There was also a lot of bamboo that could be seen:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is a closer look at the bamboo:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

I did not see any wildlife during my walk through the jungle, but I did see a lot of butterflies:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is a closer look at one of the butterflies:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

After some wandering around through the jungle I did eventually stumble upon the remains of the Chamorro village:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

There was just this one latte stone that was still standing that were used by the Chamorros to build their huts on:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Here is another view of the latte stone:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

The village remains looked large enough to support just one family:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

However according to Guampedia this village was much bigger than it appears today:

As with many other ancient sites on Guam, not much is known about the history of Haputo. Historic accounts from the early Spanish era mention that the village of Haputo (sometimes spelled Apoto) was burned in 1678 by Spanish soldiers as the newly appointed Governor Captain Juan Antonio Ruíz de Salas tried to make his way to Tarague on the northeast coast to inflict punishment on the rebellious villagers there. Unable to get to Tarague because of the dense vegetation, he passed through Haputo on his way back to Hagåtña and burned several houses. The soldiers are believed to have passed very close to the latte set located in what is now Latte Stone Park in South Finegayan.

Aguarin, (sometimes spelled Agualin) a Chamorro warrior chief who led an uprising in Hagåtña in 1677 had lived in Haputo in 1678. Another chief of Haputo named Ayihi (who adopted the name Antonio when he converted to Christianity) was one of a group of Chamorro leaders who sided with the Spanish in the early years of the Chamorro-Spanish wars. In 1680 as the Spanish tightened their hold on the Mariana Islands, the surviving residents of Haputo and all the other northern villages of Guam, were forced to relocate to Hagåtña as part of the reducción led by Jose de Quiroga y Losada. [Guampedia]

You can read much more about the history of Haputo at the Guampedia link.

Adjacent to the village was this depression in the ground which is where the villagers would have dug down into the ground to extract well water from:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

After spending a few minutes checking out the village I retraced my steps and walked back to the stairs:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

The ascent was pretty quick for me as I climbed back up the stairs to the parking lot:

Picture from Haputo Beach, Guam

Considering all the time I have spent training on the Manitou Incline these stairs were extremely easy in comparison.

Conclusion

Overall it was fun visiting the beach and wandering around the jungle looking for the Chamorro village.  I felt a little like Indiana Jones looking for a lost city, but fortunately their were no boulders or tribesmen chasing after me.  Next time I come here though I will have to bring my snorkel gear because there were quite a few people snorkeling in the bay.  The water looked quite nice and gives me a reason to come back to this nice little corner of Guam.

CLICK HERE TO FIND MORE HIKES AT THE GUAM REGIONAL TRAIL FINDER!

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