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Kauai Trails: Walks strolls and treks on the Garden Island

Kauai Trails: Walks strolls and treks on the Garden Island

by Kathy Morey

Paperback(Third Edition)

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From enchanted Hanelei Bay to the rainbows of Waimea Canyon, from Wailua Falls to the sculptured NaPali Coast, Kaua'i has an unmatchable landscape and miles of trails for hikers and backpackers. This new edition details 59 hikes: you'll walk along steep cliffs above turquoise water, relax next to immense waterfalls, drink in the sweet scent of Kaua'i hibiscus, and stroll on beaches at sunrise.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899973050
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Publication date: 05/15/2002
Series: Kauai Trails: Walks, Strolls & Treks on the Garden Island
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 597,888
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

The backpacking bug bit Kathy Morey hard in the 1970s and has not let go yet. In 1990 she abandoned an aerospace career to write for Wilderness Press, authoring four guidebooks on Hawaii and Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Dayhikes in the Sierra, and becoming a coauthor for Sierra South, Sierra North, and Guide to the John Muir Trail.

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Trip 2

Hanalei-Okolehao Route

Distance: 5 miles (round-trip)

Elevation gain: 1252 feet

Hiking time: 2 1/2 hours

Topos: Hanalei

Difficulty: Moderate, hiking boots recommended.

Highlights: After having been closed for many years by a jurisdictional problem, this fine trail near Hanalei town opened again in 2000 as the Okolehao Trail. This out-and-back trip with great views has a new trailhead and is moderate to strenuous depending on how far you go. Boots are recommended, but this is a hike to avoid if it is rainy.

Driving instructions: Beyond Princeville, where Highway 56 becomes Highway 560, the road curves down a long switchback to cross a one-lane wooden bridge over the Hanalei River. Immediately on the other side of this bridge, turn left onto Ohiki Road; the junction may be unsigned. Follow Ohiki Road for about a mile to a signed parking lot on the left; just across the road on the right is a footbridge over China Ditch. Park here if there is room; if not, then, as signs warn you, the trail quota is full, and you may neither park nor hike here until someone else leaves. (On two out of three visits, I was the only person there.) Signs line Ohiki Road; the land on either side is in Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, and we the public must keep out.

Permit required: None.

Description: Cross the footbridge and climb a stone-and-earth path that curves to intersect a dirt road. Turn right (northwest) on the dirt road; staying on the path soon takes you to a dead end at an overlook above Hanalei Valley. On the road, you shortly approach a gate.

About ten feet before the gate, another dirt road takes off very steeply on your left (west-southwest). This is your trail.

Climb the road between banks plush with uluhe, palapalai, and sword ferns, and with grasses. It’s also lined with koa, swamp mahogany, and paperbarks. The road winds now steeply, now gradually, up to an open spot next to a huge concrete powerline tower at a little over 2/3 mile. There are excellent views over Hanalei from here; this is a good destination for a moderate hike.

To continue, notice that on your left as you overlook Hanalei Bay, there’s a row of Norfolk pines. Your trail, now a footpath, resumes among these pines, bearing generally south-southeast up the ridgeline. Volunteers keep this trail open; it would otherwise vanish quickly in the dense growth.

At first the going is gradual except for brief, very steep, up-anddown sections, and is mostly shaded by a forest of pines, guavas, paperbarks, and koa. Views are spectacular at the few open spots. The farther you go, the more frequent are the steep ups and downs, and the more open and exposed the trail becomes. Some “steeps” even require handholds and toeholds in the mud. You’ll envy the ease with which the occasional big dragonfly gets around up here.

The trail curls around a peak called Kaukaopua, and emerges on its broad summit amid ti, laue and sword ferns, lantana, and blue ageratum. The slopes drop away abruptly on all sides, and the views are breathtaking: west to Wainiha Pali; northwest across Hanalei and its exquisite bay; east to the peaks and the sea around Anahola; and south, deep into the beautiful mountains from which the Hanalei River springs and which the Powerline Trail (Trips 4 and 12) traverses.

At last you must retrace your steps to your car.

Table of Contents



Getting Information About Kauai

Spoken Hawaiian: An Incomplete and Unauthoritative Guide

Geology and History, Natural and Human

Getting Around on Kauai



Equipment Suggestions and Miscellaneous Hints

Using This Book

Hiking Table

The Trips


  • Trip 1. Hanalei Bay Beach Walk
  • Trip 2. Hanalei-Okolehao Route
  • Trip 3. Anini Beach Walk
  • Trip 4. Powerline Trail to “North View”
  • Trip 5. Moloaa Bay Walk 6
  • Trip 6. Anahola Beach Walk
  • Trip 7. Moalepe Trail
  • Trip 8. Keahua Forestry Arboretum
  • Trip 9. Kuilau Ridge Trail
  • Trip 10. Kuilau Ridge-Moalepe Shuttle
  • Trip 11. Powerline Trail to “South View”
  • Trip 12. Powerline Trail Shuttle


  • Trip 13. Waipouli Sunrise Beach Stroll
  • Trip 14. Waipouli-Lydgate Beach Trek
  • Trip 15. Nonou Mountain East Side
  • Trip 16. Nonou Mountain Shuttle
  • Trip 17. Valley Vista Hale Picnic Shelter
  • Trip 18. Alii Vista Hale Picnic Shelter
  • Trip 19. Nonou Mountain West Side
  • Trip 20. Lydgate State Park-Great Sacred Wailua Walk
  • Trip 21. Wailua Falls Non-hike


  • Trip 22. Kukuiolono Park
  • Trip 23. Russian Fort Elizabeth State Park
  • Trip 24. Polihale State Park


  • Trip 25. lliau Nature Loop
  • Trip 26. Kukui Trail to Viewpoint
  • Trip 27. Kukui Trail to Wiliwili Camp
  • Trip 28. Waimea River Adventure
  • Trip 29. Koaie Canyon Side Trip
  • Trip 30. Milolii Ridge
  • Trip 31. Halemanu Valley Road to Cliff Trail
  • Trip 32. Cliff and Black Pipe Trails
  • Trip 33. Canyon Trail Adventure
  • Trip 34. Nualolo Trail
  • Trip 35. Awaawapuhi Trail
  • Trip 36. Nualolo-Awaawapuhi Adventure
  • Trip 37. Kokee Nature Loop
  • Trip 38. Halemanu-Kokee Walk
  • Trip 39. Kumuwela-Waininiua Semiloop
  • Trip 40. Berry Flat-Discovery Center Loop
  • Trip 41. Berry Flat Semiloop
  • Trip 42. Kaluapuhi Trail to Kalalau Lookout


  • About the Alakai Swamp
  • Trip 43. Pihea Trail from Puu o Kila to Kilohana Lookout
  • Trip 44. Kawaikoi-Sugi Grove Backpack
  • Trip 45. Pihea-Alakai Side Trip
  • Trip 46. Kawaikoi Stream Trail
  • Trip 47. Poomau Canyon Lookout Side Trip
  • Trip 48. Kohua Ridge Side Trip
  • Trip 49. Mohihi-Waialae Side Trip
  • About Kee Beach, the Kalalau Trail, and the Na Pali Coast
  • Trip 50. Kee Beach Stroll
  • Trip 51. Kee Beach to Viewpoint
  • Trip 52. Kee Beach to Hanakapiai Beach
  • Trip 53. Hanakapiai Falls Dayhike or Side Trip
  • Trip 54. Kee Beach to Hanakoa Valley Backpack
  • Trip 55. Hanakoa Falls Side Trip
  • Trip 56. Kee Beach to Kalalau Beach Backpack
  • Trip 57. Kalalau Valley Side Trip
  • Trip 58. Kee Beach-Haena Beach Park Walk
  • Trip 59. Lumahai Beach Walk


Appendix A. Camping on Kauai

Appendix B. Hikes You Won’t Find Here and Why

Appendix C. How I Got Distances, Elevations, Times, and Trail Maps


About the Author

Customer Reviews