Kauai Hiking

The island of Kauai is literally a hiker's paradise. There is no better way to explore the natural wonders and extreme beauty of Kauai than taking to the trails. With almost forty networks of hiking trails in Kauai Hawaii, both short and long, trekking is one of the favorite things to do if you want a more in-depth look at island geography. The landscape abounds with towering mountains, broad valleys, rainforest jungle, native wildlife, volcanoes, waterfalls and steep bluffs.

There are a number of shorter trails for visitors wanting to experience Kauai hiking as a day trip. The Nounou East Trail begins at the adjacent lot to Department of Water by Haleilo Road. This Kauai hiking trail is a moderately arduous trek up the face of the legendary Sleeping Giant or Nounou Mountain. Sweeping views of the valley below are revealed as the trail climbs to an elevation of 960 feet. At the end of the trail the reward is a breathtaking panorama of the Wailua Falls area and Mount Waialeale.

Along the northern coast another of the terrific Kauai hiking trails is the Hanalei-Okolehao Trail.

Hiking in Kauai along this trail is also a moderate feat that will get your heart pumping. Follow the route along the top ridge and experience the old prohibition circuit where Hawaiian liquor was fermented from the leaves of the Ki plants. Access this 2.5 mile Kauai hiking path from the Hanalei Valley off of Ohiki Road. Lush, and dense foliage borders the trail with magnificent sunset views from the 1200-foot peak.

Head to the northern coast for more adventurous hiking trails in Kauai Hawaii along the Napali Coast. This is one of the most scenic Kauai hiking trails on the island and one of the favorite things to do in the area. Make sure you get a good start with a hearty breakfast at your Kauai vacation rental. Hanakapiai Beach to Hanakapiai Falls is part of the Napali Coast network of trails and is truly fruitful. Follow the Kalalau Trail for two miles along the coast to Hanakapiai Beach.

From Hanakapiai Beach there's a trail off to the side that leads to the Hanakapiai Valley. The valley is stunning with abrupt walls and a valley fed by a sparkling stream. The stream leads to a 300-foot cascade that rushes into a pool surrounded by a unique geological amphitheater. Take your swim suit along and cool off in rippling streams and natural pools.

If you've visited any other islands in Hawaii like Oahu or Maui, you'll likely notice how much more green and lush the foliage is while hiking in Kauai or just traveling around. Kauai is one of the wettest islands in the world with extravagant surroundings that depend on the rain to keep flourishing. Kauai is also the oldest of the series of islands, with diverse and ancient plant life, creating one of the most vibrantly green landscapes around.

When looking for interesting Kauai hiking trails that twist and wind through the dense jungle, the Hanalei River Trail is a great choice. Transportation from the east side of Kauai, near Lihue, will take about 45 minutes. Follow the trail across illuminated streams, into heavy tropical growth through tall bamboo forests draped with ferns, branches and roots. The prize at the end is the Hanalei River, Kauai's biggest river, laden with vibrant flowers from the hau trees gracing the surface.

For those wanting to explore more complicated Kauai hiking trails, consider getting a detailed trail map from the Kauai Forestry and Wildlife Office in Lihue. You can review many trails and find all sorts of diverse opportunities for hiking in Kauai. The office can also offer advice on Kauai tours that include hiking to various attractions and sites for those who don't want to go it alone. Note that self guided hikes are a fraction of the cost. Pack a bag with water and lunch or snacks if you plan on trekking longer hiking trails in Kauai Hawaii. Make sure to wear sturdy, reliable shoes or boots when hiking in Kauai and don't forget your camera and binoculars!

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