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Kauai Hiking

Birmingham, Alabama
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18 posts
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Kauai Hiking

I've been reading a bunch about the phenomenal trails on Kauai, particularly the Kalalau trail near Na Pali Coast. We will be there on our honeymoon and selected Kauai for its abundant outdoors activities. Im more experienced with watersports and swimming, but I love hiking and mtn biking too. But every guidebook talks about this trail like its for expereinced hikers or experts only. Now we are not totally expereinced with huge mtns, being from Florida and all, but we are 25 years old and in pretty good shape. Is it realistic to do at least the first "leg" of the trail from Ke'e to Hanakapi'ai? How about the additional hike to the Hanakapi falls?

Any other trails that you all would recommend? (feel free to reference the ones in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, as I can read about them in detail)

Thanks!

HDG, MD
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10 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Kauai Hiking

You should be fine. I haven't hiked it yet, but will in July. There are some threads about this already where some people have had their young children do the hike. You should have no problem doing the hike to the falls. This is a good site to check out in regards to just hiking...lots of up to date info on the North Shore trails:

http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/hiking_kauai/

Soddy Daisy...
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1,804 posts
39 reviews
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2. Re: Kauai Hiking

You'll be fine. The hike has some strenuous hill climbing that will cause your lungs to nearly explode and launch shooting stars across your eyeballs....just kidding.

It's a wonderful hike with plenty of amazing things to see that will make you completely forget how winded you are. That's when the trail is dry. I suspect the trail is slippery when wet.

Bradley, Maine
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685 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Kauai Hiking

I think to the beach you'll need a permit? I think. Maybe the bump will help, but keep doing your research and you'll find more details. There are an abundant of trails on Kauai. That's all I did when I was there and am planning a different trail each day for next trip. There are a couple books, just on hiking in Kauai. Do a couple google or amazon searches. The books are GREAT and well worth a look prior to going. Have fun!

Da UP
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127 posts
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4. Re: Kauai Hiking

You don't need a permit to H Beach or Falls.

I'm 40 and scared of heights and have made it to the Beach fine, several times.

Early AM is better because it gets hot, although the coast is shaded early on. Bring water! I wouldn't go if there was a lot of rain, for the slippery mud and the water crossings.

Many will disagree, but I think hiking boots are a must to avoid twisting an ankle on the rocks. The grip also makes me feel less like I'm going to fall off the side of the mountain.

There are a lot of other great hikes: Okolehao, Awaawapuhi, Pihea-Alakai Swamp, Mahaulepu.

Have fun! The hiking is one of the many things that makes Kauai such a great place to vacation.

NE PA
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951 posts
20 reviews
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5. Re: Kauai Hiking

We're in our 50s and have hiked the trail to the falls every year for the past 4 years. Actually we just hiked it this past New Years eve to celebrate my 53rd birthday. Another trail that we really love is the Nualolo - Awa'awapuhi Loop Trail.

I've got pictures of both trails posted on webshots:

www.webshots.com/user/dfarr01

Philadelphia
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6. Re: Kauai Hiking

Greetings to all those hikers - my wife and I are planning a late March (3/21-3/28) trip to Kauai - staying on the North Shore at HCR (Hanalei Colony Resort) and we are looking forward to hiking, checking out waterfalls and the canyon. Having done hiking here in the NE part of the U.S. we would always, of course, wear hiking boots - how about the easier/shorter (1-4 mile) trails at Na Pali, etc. Sneakers ok? Hiking boots? What is needed to feel comfortable?

Thanks for the advice.

Jerry

Seattle, Washington
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1,570 posts
36 reviews
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7. Re: Kauai Hiking

My husband and I did in sneakers with good tread last month and we were fine. Just be aware of the conditions before you start. We went when it was relatively dry and it was still quite muddy in spots, and we'd attempted it before when it was raining and it was insanely slippery and I would assume the stream crossings would be very dicey.

Escondido...
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8. Re: Kauai Hiking

I am 45 and have done the hike to the beach two times. I also had both of my kids they were 16 and 18 at that time and it was easy for them. I would take water and wear good shoes. Tennis shoes are okay but the red dirt will ruin them so take a old pair for hiking. I also enjoyed the hike to the falls in Wiamea canyon. It was beautiful. Both hikes are moderate to me. Some bouldering at times and some slippery pasts near water falls. A hiking stick would be helpful. Just take your time and enjoy the scenery and you will be fine.

Buford, Georgia
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9. Re: Kauai Hiking

Don't be surprised to see local "kids" running past you on the trail with their surfboards under their arm and barefoot! At least we saw a few of them when we did the hike----BTW, we're over 50 and far from being in shape and I fared ok (won't say the same for my husband, though). I do agree with the others that say don't go after a rain. It was dry when we went, but most of the "trail" is on red dirt and tree roots. The dirt gets very slippery with a little bit of water on it.

NE PA
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951 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Kauai Hiking

I've found that Keens work the best for most trails on Kauai. I've worn hiking shoes with agressive cleated treads and found that they tend to load up with that red mud and become heavy and slippery. Also many of the trails have stream crossings which create an issue with hiking shoes.