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Blunt’s Point is not only one of the best family-friendly hikes in American Samoa, it is also one of the few places in the world where you can get up close to some artifacts from World War II. Here is everything you need to know about hiking Blunt’s Point.
The History of Blunt’s Point
After Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, the United States Navy installed two guns atop Blunt’s Point. These guns were put in place to protect Pago Pago Harbor from a potential Japanese attack. The guns had the ability to fire six-inch rounds up to nine miles away.
Because of the narrow ridge, the guns were placed one behind the other. One is a little higher up the ridge than the other.
The guns, which are still in place today, serve as a hands-on history lesson. The lower gun is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Yet, unlike many historical pieces, you can touch and climb around on these guns. My son, like most kids, loves playing army and pretending to shoot these massive guns.
Finding the Trail Head
The Blunt’s Point trail starts next to a small laundromat across the street from the shoreline between the villages of Faga’alu and Utulei. There is nothing else at this location but the laundromat.
There is a small sign next to the street with an arrow pointing to the trailhead. Next to the laundromat, you will only see the sign below designating the beginning of the trail.
The Hike to the Lower Gun
Blunt’s Point is a well marked trail made primarily of gravel. From the trailhead to the lower gun, the trail is pretty wide. It is moderately steep but not close to the edge of the cliff, so it is safe for kids of all ages.
It is approximately a half mile to the lower gun. So, it shouldn’t take you too long to reach this point. If you are active and in fairly decent shape, this will be super easy for you.
If, however, you are not in good shape, this first section will leave you winded, but it is still doable. Just take your time and go at your own pace.
The only tricky part of this first section of trail is when you reach the water tank. It appears that the trail just ends, but it doesn’t.
When you reach the fence around the water tank, look to your left. You will see a small path right up against the fence. Take this path about a quarter of the way around the tank until you reach some stairs going up. Then take these stairs to the clearing and the first gun.
Once You Reach the Lower Gun
The lower gun is placed in a clearing with a gorgeous view of the harbor. It’s easy to see why the gun was placed where it was. You can enjoy the views and a nice break while your kids have a blast playing on the gun.
If your family is tired at this point, just head back down the way you came. If you aren’t ready to quit, then continue on the path a short distance to the upper gun.
The Hike to the Upper Gun and Beyond
The two guns are not too far apart. However, the trail grows steeper after leaving the lower gun and continuing up the ridge. The trail between the two guns includes stairs built into the trail.
The view from the second gun is pretty much nonexistent. It appears that the rainforest has grown in and covered the view from the upper gun since the 1940’s. The clearing here is also much smaller than at the lower gun.
After you past the upper gun, the trail will get progressively steeper and more challenging. The path narrows and involves stairs, and climbing up and over some large tree roots and rocks.
If you are new to hiking or have very young children with you, proceed with caution past the upper gun.
The Back Side of Blunt’s Point
If you continue going up Blunt’s Point, the trail will eventually merge with the Tramway trail on the way down the other side of the ridge. The entire trail from start to finish is approximately 3 miles in length.
The backside of this trail is quite steep and includes some ropes in spots to help you navigate the steeper sections.
While the back side doesn’t have the same breathtaking views as the beginning section, it does give you a fun experience of being in the midst of the rainforest. Plus, you will get to see the remains of the old tramway that ran across the mountains.
A word of caution: as you come out on the street at the end of the trail, beware of dogs. There are a couple that will charge you. Carry a stick or rock and they will usually leave you alone.
Blunt’s Point is a great hike, even for beginners.
If you are out of shape, I recommend taking it slow, stopping when you need to rest, and only hiking up to the lower gun. The view from the lower gun is outstanding. So, this is an awesome family hike just doing this one section.
A hike to the guns is a great way to teach your kids about history and get them interested in studying the past.
Children as young as 4 should be able to conquer this hike, at least to the lower gun. If you have boys, this hike is a must-do for your family during your visit to American Samoa.
For most on visiting American Samoa, see our best hikes, tips for visiting, things to do with kids, most scenic spots, and the best restaurants. If you would like to arrange a guide for your hikes around the island, we highly recommend Paula and Mike at South Pacific Watersports.
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