Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: Patrick Kelley (www.pk-worldwide.com). Image©www.pk-worldwide.com

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: Patrick Kelley (www.pk-worldwide.com). Image©www.pk-worldwide.com

Kauai, the 'Garden Island' of Hawaii, has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world along the stunning Na Pali coastline. If you enjoy hiking and if you are in Kauai, you have to plan at least one or two hikes here! It is a must-do on the island! Here is a list of the top ten hiking trails in Kauai. Before reading the post, please note the following tips for hiking: 

  • Always hike with someone.
  • Leave plans with the hospitality desk of your hotel. 
  • Stay on designated trails. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes for mud or water. Water shoes can be a great option. 
  • Use mosquito repellant and sunscreen. 
  • Always bring water with you.
  • Permits are required for camping. 
  • The state of Hawaii always asks us not to litter and carry out our own trash. 

1. Kalalau Trail

1. Location: Access from Ke'e Beach, end of Hwy 56. 

2. Description: Stunning views along the cliffs of the famous Na Pali Coast. 

3. Rating: Moderate to strenuous. 

4. Distance: 11 miles. 

5. Time: 5-7 hours. 

Read my full post on the Kalalau Trail.

2. Awa'awapuhi Trail

1. Location: Hwy 550 after 17 mile marker. 

2. Description: Lush tropical forest, native plants and trees, breathtaking valley views, grassy picnic spots overlooking Na Pali coastline. 

3. Rating: Moderate to strenuous. 

4. Distance: 6.5 miles. 

5. Time: 3-4 hours. 

3. Hanakapi'ai Beach

1. Location: End of Hwy 560. 

2. Description: Spectacular views of Na Pali coastline, flora and fauna, sandy beach (summer), rocky, cool stream, camping (permit required).

3. Rating: Moderate. 

4. Distance: 4 miles. 

5. Time: 3 hours. 

4. Hanakapi'ai Falls

1. Location: Continue inland from Hanakapi'ai Beach. 

2. Description: Tropical forest, stream crossing, 250 ft. waterfall, icy cold pond.

3. Rating: Strenuous. 

4. Distance: 7.4 miles. 

5. Time: 6 hours. 

5. Keahua Forestry Arboretum

1. Location: Hwy 580, 7 miles. 

2. Description: Native Hawaiian and other Polynesian botanical interests, swimming hole, picnic spots.

3. Rating: Easy. 

4. Distance: 1 mile. 

5. Time: 30 minutes. 

Read my full post on Keahua Forestry Arboretum.

6. Koke'e State Park

1. Location: Hwy 550, 15.5 miles to Halemanu Road. 

2. Description: Heavily wooded forests, rocky terrain, Waipo'o Waterfall/Stream, camping (permit required). 

3. Rating: Easy to moderate. 

4. Distance: 3 miles. 

5. Time: 2-3 hours. 

Read my full post on Waimea Canyon & Koke'e Museum.

7. Maha'ulepu Dunes

1. Location: End of Poipu Road, right on Ainako, starting at Shipwreck Beach. 

2. Description: Sandy beach, secluded coves, sunning/snorkeling, whale watching (November-April), camping. 

3. Rating: Easy. 

4. Distance: 2 miles. 

5. Time: 1-2 hours. 

8. Mt. Nounou (Sleeping Giant)

1. Location: Hwy 580, 2.4 miles. 

2. Description: Tropical forest, stream crossing, grassy picnic spot overlooking East coastline. 

3. Rating: Easy. 

4. Distance: 3.7 miles. 

5. Time: 2-3 hours. 

9. Wailua Falls Hike

1. Location: near Lihue. 

2. Description: Forest area covered with tree branches, roots and large rocks, that can also be very muddy. 

3. Rating: Easy to moderate. 

4. Distance: .3 mile downhill. 

5. Time: 15-20 minutes. 

Read my full post on Wailua Falls Hike. 

10. Hike to Secret Beach

1. Location: Kalihiwai on North Shore. 

2. Description: tide pools, Secret Beach Waterfalls. 

3. Rating: Easy to moderate. 

4. Distance: .3 mile downhill. 

5. Time: 15-20 minutes. 

Read my full post on Secret Beach.

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