If you like to explore on foot, here are some of Kauai's more popular hiking trails. Put on your walking shoes and get ready to immerse yourself in nature.
Kalalau Trail – This is probably the one trail that draws many visitors to the north shore. An amazing 11-mile hike (and not an easy one at that), it starts at Ke`e Beach, crosses 5 valleys and ends at the Kalalau Valley. Be prepared to spend the night there (this requires a permit) as this is not a trail you will hike in and hike out on the same day.
For a day hike, you can hike the first 2 miles of the trail to Hanakapiai Beach (the photo to the left is a view of the beach from the Kalalau Trail) and another 2 miles from there to Hanakapiai Falls. The trail can get muddy (especially if it rained the night before), so don’t wear your best shoes and/or clothes as you’re bound to get dirty. Bring plenty of water and something to munch on during your hike.
To access the trail, go to Ke`e Beach at the end of the road. The trail is on your left (before the lifeguard stand). There are signs at the trailhead that provide detailed information.
Okolehao Trail - Bamboo forest hike that takes you approx. 1200 feet up to one of the best viewing points of the Hanalei coast & valley. Head toward Hanalei and instead of crossing the Hanalei Bridge, turn right and drive along the river. Proceed until the pavement ends. You’ll see a chain across the road & a stop sign. Park here, step over the chain & walk in straight, past the house about .1-mile – not taking the drive that goes up to the right. You immediately come to the Halelea Forest Reserve checking station.
The Sleeping Giant (Nonou) Trail – When you drove from the airport to the Resort, you may have noticed the “Sleeping Giant.” This is the Nonou Mountain Range, which features a scenic hiking trail that takes you to the top of the Giant. Less than a 2-mile hike, when you get to the top of the ridge, you’ll be in awe of the amazing 360 degree views of the island. The trailhead can be found on Halelio Road in Wailua.
Kokee State Park - Offers approximately 45 miles of hiking trails. Some of the trails lead to views of Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) while others wind through wet forests with sweeping views of valleys opening up to the north shore.
For hiking and camping permits for State parks (Kalalau or Kokee), you may call the State Parks office at 808-274-3444. If you are interested in obtaining a camping permit in one of the County parks, please call the County Parks office at 808-241-4463.
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