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Best Hikes in Kauai

Best Hikes in Kauai

Kauai is one of the many islands that make up the state of Hawaii, and it’s got some of the archipelago’s best hiking opportunities. For those looking for the best of the island’s trails, join us as we take a look at the best hikes in Kauai.

Makaleha Falls Hike

The Makaleha Falls Hike is a hiking trail that takes visitors into Kauai’s jungle, and tourists are going to want to be prepared to get a little dirty over the course of their journey! Though hikers may come back from trekking the Makaleha Falls Hike covered in mud, the hike isn’t necessarily a huge challenge. The hike to and back from Makaleha Falls is only three miles in total. When tourists get to the trail’s end, they will be treated to the sight of multiple glistening waterfalls.

Though the Makaleha Falls Hike isn’t extraordinarily challenging, there are a few obstacles along the path that may cause some difficulty for beginners. Hikers are liable to run into some wily tree roots growing over the trail, and there are plenty of slippery moss-covered rocks along the way. Though the hike is only around three miles in total, tourists typically take a few hours on it so as to enjoy the sights.

Nounou Mountain Trail

The Nounou Mountain Trail is pretty unique, with the path being named after a ridge that you’ll find along it that looks like a giant that’s sleeping on it’s back. This ridge has led to the venerable hiking trail receiving the colloquial name of the Sleeping Giant Hike amongst Kauai locals. Those who are visiting Kapa’a will find that the Sleeping Giant itself is a landmark that can be seen from most areas within the community. Of course, there’s an old legend surrounding the landmark that suggests that an actual giant fell asleep there numerous years ago and the Earth grew around him.

Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail is an incredibly popular hike that draws in tourists visiting the island of Kauai thanks to it’s easy difficulty and beautiful scenery. The trail is around 11 miles long, and it runs along the north shore of the island from Ke’e Beach to the Kalalau Valley. Though the trail is incredibly beautiful, it’s also known for being a little bit dangerous. The danger comes from the fact that hikers will find themselves on the edge of cliffs standing nearly 2,000 feet above the ocean! Those who are up for the challenge of the hike’s elevation, as well as the danger of it’s cliffs, will be treated to sights such as waterfalls and scenic vistas.

Hanakapiai Falls Trail

Another one of the most popular hikes on the island of Kauai is the Hanakapiai Falls Trail. Of course, the focal point of the Hanakapiai Falls Trail would be it’s namesake Hanakapiai Falls, which is a 300-foot waterfall that needs to be seen to be believed. The Hanakapiai Falls Trail is only around 5 miles long, but hikers will need to hike out and back in order to make the full trip. Those who are looking to take a trip into the depths of Kauai’s jungle definitely need to check this hike out, and the great waterfall at it’s end is just a cherry on top.

Waipo’o Falls Trail

The Waipo’o Falls Trail is another hike that’s centered on a stunning waterfall. However, the Waipo’o Falls Trail is different than the majority of other waterfall hikes in the region for a number of reasons. The hike takes you through the Waimea Canyon before you reach it’s namesake destination. When you get to Waipo’o Falls, you’ll be at the top of the waterfall instead of at the bottom. The hike is pretty easy, except for the fact that there’s a mild incline. The waterfall itself is gigantic at 800 feet.

Awaawapuhi Trail

Awaawapuhi Trail is a hiking trail that’s located within Koke’e State Park, and it’s known for it’s frightening cliffs. These cliffs feature drop-offs that many hikers won’t want to put up with, but these drop-offs also offer the opportunity for hikers to see some truly awesome and encompassing views. The hike is around 6 miles in total, and it’s one of the most popular on Kauai’s west side. As far as the hikes in the area go, this one has a relatively mild difficulty despite the danger of it’s steep cliffs. The drops plummet over a thousand feet.

Honopu Ridge Trail

The Honopu Ridge Trail is another trail with a moderate difficulty that’s located within Kauai’s Koke’e State Park. The trail is full of little twists and turns, so be sure to keep your eyes out for the markers! The draw of the Honopu Ridge Trail is that it offers stunning views of the nearby Na Pali coast. These views can be found at the end of the trail, and they make the relatively easy journey a must for tourists.

Nualolo Ridge Trail

Another notable ridge trail in Koke’e State Park is the Nualolo Ridge Trail. The Nualolo Ridge Trail is a little bit more intimidating than the Honopu Ridge Trail, but the scenery that it offers is even more incredible. Though the trail is only around 8 miles long, it takes most hikers a major fraction of the day to make the full journey. Like the Honopu Ridge Trail, some of the main draws of the Nualolo Ridge Trail include the stunning views of the Na Pali coast that you’ll find along the journey. Hikers will also be in for some incredible views of the trail’s namesake Nualolo Valley.

These eight trials represent some of the very best that you’ll find anywhere on the island of Kauai. Whether you’re looking for an incredibly difficult trail that is liable to take up a significant portion of your day or would prefer an easy trail that will allow you to take a nice stroll with some serene scenery, the aforementioned trails run the gamut in terms of hiking opportunities on the gorgeous Hawaiian island of Kauai.