...if you were going to do one amazing memorable hike in Kauai... which one would you recommend?
PREFERABLY a day trip or less
Kalalua Trail on the North Shore.
Nualalolo or Awawapuhi trail in Kokee. Longer and a bit harder than the first 2 miles of the Kalalau to Hanakapiai Beach, but I think the view at the end is more impressive.
i am really interested in both these trails. Which one would you recommend over the other? How long did these take you?
Kalalua Trail. Every time we visit the island we do the first part of the trail to the beach, the views are incredible. Last time, (Dec 25 2011) we decided to continue another 2 miles to the waterfall. I have never experienced so many different types of hiking in one place. Mud hiking, jungle hiking, swamp, bamboo forest, rock climbing, river crossing, getting a little lost (look for the red ties, they may be across the stream). And then as if all that wasn't enough...the waterfall was one of nature's wonders. So powerful with so much energy. Fantastic time. We left Princeville around 9:00 and got back around 6:00. 2 people drank about 8 water bottles and we could have used more.
I would second the suggestion to hike the Kalalau train to Hanakapi'ai beach and then the additional 2 miles to the falls. You will not regret it at all. The picture above my screen name is a shot of the falls. As the above poster mentions...take plenty of water. You can swim in the pool at the base of the falls to cool off.Edited: 02 April 2012, 16:25
Kalalua Trail atleast to the beach. If you're up to it go to the waterfall. a GREAT hike.
Get to Hanakapi'ai Falls. We spent two weeks in Kauai on the South Shore and this was the best and most memorable thing we did. It is the best thing we did in our 30 years of marriage. Absolutely beautiful. And the aroma of guava is intoxicating too.
We are 55-60 years old, and our knees hurt for weeks. We would do it again at the drop of a hat. It is so cool. Bring your swim suits to swim in the Falls. Bucket List stuff. But promise to not swim at the beach. 83 people have died there and it is not swimmable, even if you see some one swimming.
I've done both trails several times. Both are fantastic. Kalalua trail to the falls is more challenging (multiple stream crossings, muddy). Many beautiful views along coast. Nice waterfall at end. about 8 miles round-trip. Up and down throughout the hike. If I remember correctly, it's 1500' elevation change.
Awa'awapuhi - you are in the forest most of the time, but rewarded w/ a fantastic view at the end. Think it's about 6.5 to 7 miles round-trip. Can't remember the elevation change but it was pretty steep coming back. On the way to the coast, it's downhill virtually the entire way. So you gotta' come back up on the way back.
83 people have died at Hanakapiai Beach? Based on a sign with some hash marks on it?
Bit too trusting. No question it's a very dangerous beach and swimming is very very risky, but there's no credible source for that figure I'm aware of.
"Since 1970, there have been over 30 drowning deaths at Hanakapi‘ai, according to various sources including Patrick Durkin’s Kaua‘i Beach Hazard Survey and the Web site teok.com (The Edge Of Kaua‘i Investigations), which indicates people getting swept westward from Hanakapi‘ai Beach normally find no safe exit point for three to six miles.
Read more: thegardenisland.com/news/…ixzz1qw9fRyns
that was as of March 2010. Don't think we've had 50 in 2 years.....