Thanks to Jonathan Moeller, Kauai's top wedding photographer (www.jmoellerphoto.com) for driving me to the Loop Road, for taking all the pictures in this post and also for making some great drone videos (at the end of the post)!
Loop Road is a dirt road that takes you in the interior of Kauai past the Jurassic Park entrance gates. Take Kuamo'o Road (HWY 580) all the way to the very end where you will find a spillway - a small stream flowing over the road. This area is called the Keahua Forestry Arboretum. Recently, a bridge has been built for safe crossing in this highly used area and also so that people can access the Keahua Arboretum even when the stream is full. You can also stop at the Wailua Beach and the Opaeka'a Falls while driving up here.
Just across the spillway on your left are the famous Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. You can stop here for a picnic lunch. There is a walking trail (about a mile) through the trees. The place is very quiet with very few tourists and usually difficult to find. My recommendation would be to drive with a local (hire one if you can!) so you don't get lost driving up here and don't spend all your time trying to figure out the must see spots.
The road becomes a dirt road after the spillway at the Arboretum. You will need a good four wheel drive vehicle for the dirt road as it is filled with many potholes and mud. I drove here with wedding photographer Jonathan Moeller who is one of the best in Kauai (www.jmoellerphoto.com). We were in a solid four wheel drive and after getting on the dirt road, we had to cross another spillway. It is advised not to cross spillways during rainy weather when the currents are very strong. It is also important to be aware that no matter what insurance you have on your rental car, as soon as you leave pavement, all insurance bids are off. If you come out here and get stuck, your car rental company will come and help you but you will have to pay for it. You can also park your car here and go for a deep forest walk.
Check out the drone videos at the very end of the post that Jonathan made as we were driving up to the Jurassic Park entrance gates. He also sent the drone to Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on earth.
Drone Video of the Loop Road, Keahua Forestry Arboretum, Kauai. Made by Jonathan Moeller (www.jmoellerphoto.com)
Drone Video of Mt. Waialeale. Made by Jonathan Moeller (www.jmoellerphoto.com).