With a number of the most spectacular mountain climbing trails from Waimea Canyon to the Sleeping Large Path, Kauai mountain climbing was made for the adventurous soul. The Hawaiian island’s huge north shore, the place the Na Pali Coast reigns supreme, harbors lots of the finest hikes in Kauai and Hawaii. Hawaii is dwelling to world-class mountain climbing. We’ve uncovered the perfect of them proper right here.
There are family-friendly Kauai hikes, however a number of the trekking right here will not be for the faint of coronary heart. With muddy trails, dense forests, and dramatic cliffs, the island makes you're employed for each mile. Carry alongside your hardest mountain climbing footwear, for a spot that rewards your effort tenfold. End up at spectacular waterfalls or soak within the inspiring vistas. Listed below are our prime picks for the perfect hikes on Kauai.
Lovely Hikes in Kauai, Hawaii
Mahaulepu Heritage Path
One of many best hikes to finish on Kauai is the Mahaulepu Heritage Path. With minimal elevation achieve, the trek is extra akin to a good looking coastal stroll. Beginning at Shipwreck Seashore trek alongside the memorable limestone cliffs, go kiawe bushes earlier than reaching the Makauwahi caves. Spot extra fossilized marine life hidden among the many lush foliage.
The preliminary trek ends at Mahaulepu Seashore, a distant a part of the island’s southern shoreline. Remoted and fragile, benefit from the stunning scenes earlier than softly wandering again to the trailhead.
Sleeping Large Path (Nounou Mountain)
Trekking alongside the ridgeline of Nounou Mountain Path is likely one of the finest hikes in Kauai. Native legend tells the story of a large who feasted at a celebration in his identify earlier than drifting off to everlasting sleep. Naturally, the epic ridgeline resembles the define of the sleeping big and might be seen from varied elements of the island. To begin, the hike guides you thru an immense plantation of bushes, earlier than the switchbacks take you up the ridge.
These bushes had been planted in unison within the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and have grown into giants themselves. When you’re above the treeline, you possibly can see perpetually. The ridgeline plateaus providing thrilling mountain climbing to match the spectacular views. Arrive earlier than sundown to seize the golden hour from above!
In case you solely have time to do one full day hike on Kauai Island, then why not do the perfect one? The Kalalau Path is an epic journey suited to extra superior hikers and might be cut up right into a multi-day journey. Starting at Ke’e Seashore, the path winds alongside the huge Na Pali Coast and eleven miles alongside you’ll arrive on the distant Kalalau Seashore. The secluded spot rewards attractive views and the perfect spot to camp anyplace on the island.
Keep for an evening or two earlier than finishing the return journey again to Ke’e Seashore. The path’s size, together with some treacherous terrain, has not stopped it from changing into one of the crucial standard hikes in Kauai. In actual fact, you’ll want to use for a allow earlier than setting off. We advocate making use of round four months upfront.
Talking of fantastic hikes, Oahu has its justifiable share. You'll be able to learn all about them right here.
Waipo’o Falls Path (Waimea Canyon Path)
Earlier than starting this hike, it’s finest to verify your expectation on the door. The Waipo’o Falls Path is a number of the finest Kauai mountain climbing, however not for the explanations you’d anticipate. The view in direction of the aforementioned falls is restricted on this trek. In actual fact, the path leads you to the highest of them.
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Which will result in an anti-climax for a lot of hikers, however not for you. Since you’re doing this hike to see the gorgeous views of Waimea Canyon. Typically in comparison with the Grand Canyon, textures, colours and rock patterns of the Waimea canyon promise to blow you away.
There are a number of fast detours that grant distinctive views, however the primary path results in an enormous stretch of rock that overlooks a hair-raising drop into Waimea Canyon. The hike attracts first rate crowds due to quick access and the transient journey.
Kuilau Ridge Path
In case you’re after quick but adventurous day hikes in Kauai, then think about trekking the Kuilau Ridge Path. From the Keahua Arboretum hikers have the built-in benefit of starting at elevation. So, from step one, you’re rewarded with prompt views.
Like numerous trails of Kauai, the trail might be muddy, particularly after rain. This will make the path a bit exhausting to observe at occasions. Nonetheless, any navigational struggles are value it as you wander by historic forests with views of far-off mountain ranges. The path doesn’t result in an epic completion, with the journey right here being extra spectacular than the vacation spot. However the path is accessible and might be accomplished by younger and previous. Making for an ideal household time out.
Kalepa Ridge Path
Quick and candy however epic nonetheless, Kalepa Ridge is likely one of the most adrenalin pumping mountain climbing trails on the island. Relying on the climate, this path can range from average to tough. The slim path follows gnarly terrain and may usually be unsure underfoot. The Kalepa Ridge Path is an unofficial trek, so it sees much less foot site visitors than different Kauai mountain climbing trails. You have to to really feel assured mountain climbing in a extra distant a part of the state park.
After the path begins, observe the ridge formation because the views clear and the pure magnificence turns into ever extra obvious. The ridge provides views of essentially the most iconic a part of the Na Pali shoreline, the Kalalau Valley. Come right here for sundown to benefit from the colourful sky with simply your family and friends.
Nualolo Ridge Path
In case your hike alongside the Honopu Ridge Path wasn’t exhausting sufficient in your legs, then problem your self on Nualolo Ridge Path. One of many hardest Kauai hikes begins with a pointy descent with even larger views of the Na Pali Coast. The difficulty? Effectively, muddy downhill trails by the rainforest are powerful in your legs, however alongside the best way you’ll bump into a number of unimaginable views. Cease right here to understand the colourful colours and relaxation your weary limbs.
Quickly rugged meadows take over, opening up the world round you. Chances are you'll even spot the elusive I’iwi honeycreeper. The problem of the hike scares off many potential trekkers, leaving you to benefit from the paradise in peace. When you’ve reached the tip of the downhill, all that’s left is the stroll again up!
Switching our consideration to Kauai’s north shore, this trek is a mountain climbing path that gives you one heck of a exercise. Muddy and never all the time nicely signposted, the Okolehao Path helps you neglect the battle with picturesque views of Hanalei Bay, the valley and the historic Kilauea Lighthouse.
The mountain climbing path begins in dense forests earlier than the bushes depart, forsaking taro meadows and the prospect to see additional afield. The sharp climb is roughly 2.5 miles in size and at occasions you’ll have to make use of the chains to maintain your footing.
Honopu Ridge Path
An unforgettable approach to expertise the gorgeous Na Pali Coast is on the Honopu Ridge Path. The five-mile out and again hike comes with wonderful coastal views together with the prospect to see the mountains shoot out of the Pacific Ocean up shut. The trick right here is to finish the hike on a transparent day. Whereas the path is all the time enjoyable, the wonderful views can simply be coated by wandering clouds. The skinny path is nicely marked and guides you alongside the breathtaking coast with dramatic drop offs to 1 facet.
The one downside of this hike is the shrubs and branches that stay alongside the slim path. In case you can, deliver alongside some trousers or leggings to keep away from scratches en masse. From the primary viewpoint, you’ll gaze upon the attractive Honopu Valley Waterfall. The second viewpoint provides long-range vistas so far as Nualolo Ridge.
Makawehi Lithified Cliffs Path
After exploring a number of the epic adventures available on Kauai mountain climbing trails, let’s change tack for a minute. Mountaineering the Makawehi Lithified Cliffs is much less a trek and extra of an tour again in time.
The extraordinary cliffs on the east finish of Shipwreck Seashore are comprised of sand dunes, slowly compacted by hovering winds and surf breaks over a millennia. The result's spectacular rock caverns, various colors and several other fossilized fish and different marine life. One of the crucial standard hikes on Kaui for folks of all ages, take the time to understand the historical past on show. However don’t neglect to lookup and benefit from the southern views alongside the ocean cliffs.
The enduring Awaawapuhi Path is rated as probably the greatest mountain climbing trails on Kauai for an all-day journey. Like numerous Kauai mountain climbing trails, you’ll observe a ridgeline with steady views of the Na Pali Coast. After round 90 minutes of awe-inspiring and downhill mountain climbing, the trek culminates on the official viewpoint. With stark drop-offs on both facet, the ridge ends with a postcard-worthy view.
You'll be able to proceed to enterprise down however may have to take action off-trail and the crumbling path might be tough to navigate. On the return journey, take your thoughts off the thigh-burning climb on the Awaawapuhi path with views in direction of the engulfing mountains on both facet.
Makaleha Falls Path
One of many nice hikes in Kauai, the Makaleha Falls hike, shall be remembered as a lot for the mud because the waterfalls. The mountain climbing path follows the Makaleha Stream for its entirety, with a number of water crossings in your journey.
The spectacular falls might tempt folks of all skills to attempt the hike, but it surely’s rated tough for a motive. Anticipate some sections of bouldering mossy rocks and ducking by aimless branches, all of the whereas attempting to maintain monitor of the particular path. Finally you’ll spot the mesmerizing two-tiered falls. There's a spot for cliff leaping and you may proceed on to Hidden Falls.
Hanakapiai Falls Path
In case you hiked the Kalalau Path, you’ll additionally start the trek in direction of Hanankapiai Falls. For people who didn’t get a allow to finish Kalalau, you possibly can nonetheless trek the total Hanakapiai Falls Path, which is a superb different.
After following the spellbinding north shore shoreline and Hanakapiai Seashore, minimize inland to seize the 300ft waterfall surrounded by dense jungle. The hike to the falls is a climb that doesn’t let up, with the steep incline and tree roots being your greatest nemeses. However the Hanakapiai Falls are probably the greatest on the island, the turquoise waters distinction with the dense inexperienced jungle surrounds. Whereas they’ll additionally reward you with a refreshing tumbling bathe.
Alaka’i Swamp Path
One of the crucial distinctive Kauai mountain climbing trails is Alaka’i Swamp. AKA an alpine swamp, the path helps showcase the various fascinating vegetation and animals that exist within the island’s excessive altitude areas. Though the path follows a raised boardwalk, don’t suppose you’re going to return out of this clear. Beginning on the lookout, proceed on the Pihea Path for beautiful views of the Kalalau Valley.
The boardwalks will quickly take over and information you thru monstrous hapu’u ferns earlier than ending on the Kilohana Lookout. Full the fascinating expertise with vistas of Hanalei Bay.
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Kauapea Seashore (Secret Seashore)
The preliminary steep descent could also be enjoyable for sort two hikers, however that’s not why the hike to Kauapea Seashore has made this listing. Right here, the vacation spot is extra vital than the journey. The hike merely delivers a distant and delightful surroundings to you on a silver platter.
Secret Seashore is spacious, with comfortable sand that dances between your toes. The backdrop of greens, browns and ocean mist is sort of a view from a fairytale. Discover the tidal swimming pools, or if the ocean is calm, get pleasure from a swim.
Ho’opi’i Falls Path
For action-packed day hikes on Kauai mountain climbing trails, then don’t go up the trek to Ho’opi’i Falls. The quick two-mile trek to the falls is filled with journey. Alongside the best way, you’ll go two falls, the primary providing magnificent spots for cliff leaping. The second waterfall is the primary attraction and was a filming location in Jurassic Park.
The path is surrounded by hovering jungle that envelopes you in each route. However in these two spots, they disperse, opening up a magical world. Ho’opo’i Falls options a big swimming gap for a well-earned dip.
Frquently Requested Questions on Kauai Mountaineering Trails
With the perfect hikes in Kauai sorted, what else ought to in regards to the mountain climbing trails right here? Let’s have a look.
What’s it wish to hike on Kauai?
The sheer number of hikes on Kaui from the north shore to the south ought to make each adventurer giddy. However trekking on the Hawaiian island isn't any straightforward feat.
The gorgeous nature that gives us with infinite vistas doesn’t come with out a battle. The vast majority of the hikes right here will current a problem to trekkers, with mud, bushes, roots and uncertain footing being the largest enemies. So make sure to deliver sturdy mountain climbing boots and many endurance.
What’s the perfect straightforward hike on Kauai?
Probably the greatest straightforward mountain climbing trails on Kauai is the trek to Kauapea Seashore. The quick and candy trek leads you to a spectacular distant stretch of powder-like sand.
What’s the perfect exhausting hike on Kauai?
For strenuous hikes, it doesn’t get any higher than the Kalalau Path. Ending on the secluded Kalalau Seashore, the 11-mile journey rewards you with distant tenting alternatives and the prospect to see the varied distinctive landscapes discovered on the island.
When’s the perfect time to go to Kauai?
Briefly, there’s no dangerous time to go to Kauai. A few of you're certain to benefit from the dry season, however others will battle with the humidity and warmth. The moist season begins in November and runs by to March. This a part of the yr brings decrease temperatures however the greater probability of muddy or broken trails. So deliver alongside a light-weight rain jacket.
Because of this, spring and the primary half of fall present the perfect of each worlds. Whereas not as low cost because the winter months, the shoulder seasons are cheap in comparison with the peak of the summer time’s tourism.
Wish to be taught extra about mountain climbing on one other island? Learn our information to the perfect hikes in Maui.
Mountaineering in Hawaii will get the guts pounding, sweat dropping and the legs soiled. The backyard isle is a rugged, wild and alive panorama with steep descents and sharp climbs.
The island’s north shore, additionally dwelling to Koke’e Sate Park, has an unimaginable quantity of spectacular hikes in an in any other case small space. Together with the Awa’awapuhi Path and the Nualolo Valley.
Adventures don’t finish right here with the japanese coast dwelling to the Sleeping Large Path and the Kuilau Ridge Path. A number of days might not minimize it if you wish to do as many as attainable. However it’s positive to offer you a lifetime of unimaginable reminiscences.
Has the perfect Kauai hikes piqued you interested by hikes within the US? Take a look at our picks for the perfect treks in the USA.