There are many reasons to visit Hawaii – for the endless pristine beaches, the world-class surf, the friendly locals and the chilled island vibes. But not everyone knows that there are some top-notch hiking trails as well. Kauai is home to some of the best hiking trails in all of Hawaii and includes 3,000-ft ridge and cliff trails, as well as the world-famous Na Pali Coastline.
Let’s look at some of the most stunning trails on the island of Kauai.
Situated in West Kauai in the Kokee State Park, the Awa’awapuhi Trail weaves through dense jungles and dry landscape and offers unbeatable views across the Na Pali Coastline. The trail starts slowly, meandering through the high forest. The trail starts at 4,120 feet and ends at the lookout around 2,500 ft, so be prepared for a bit of scrambling.
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Nounou East “Sleeping Giant” Trail
Located in East Kauai, the Nounou East “Sleeping Giant” Trail will take you on a journey up to 1,000 ft and is very much worth the effort. You’ll be rewarded with views of the east side of the island, as well as a view inland to Waialeale. Be sure to exercise caution once you reach the top, as some of the drop-offs can be quite steep.
Kuilau Ridge Trail
Also situated on the east side of the island, the Kuilau Ridge Trail is one of the easiest trails on the island. It’s a great choice if you want to surround yourself with lush jungle and views into the heart of Kauai, towards Waialeale.
Pihea & Alakai Swamp Trail
The Pihea & Alakai Swamp Trail is situated in west Kauai and traces the back of Kalalau Valley, offering incredible views. If the weather is on your side, you can see all the way back to Hanalei. This trail is perfect for those who want to get right into the Alakai swamp.
Honopu Ridge Trail
The Honopu Ridge Trail is in the West Kauai region and is (officially speaking) not a trail anymore after part of the path was destroyed by a pair of hurricanes in the last few decades. You can still make the most of this trail if you go with a guide. The views at the end of the trail are spectacular if the weather is good.
This is a fairly strenuous trail that is about a 4.5-mile round trip and takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to complete.
Sometimes also referred to as the Hanakapiai Trail, the trail is actually just the first two miles of the 11-mile Kalalau trail that stretches along the Na Pali coastline, starting at Kee beach on the north side of the road to North Kauai. It’s popular with visitors who want a half-day trek that is not overly strenuous, although it does contain some ascending and descending.
To Sum Up
Kauai is a destination that offers something for everyone. It’s not just pristine beaches and world-class surf. If you’re into hiking, then Kauai is the right Hawaiian island for you. The wealth of offerings and landscapes on offer here will keep you as occupied as you like!