Kauai Hiking, 8.11-8.17.18

We spent our second week in Hawaii on the island of Kauai.  Although we had been to Kauai previously, there was still plenty left to explore on the island, and certainly is enough left for another trip.  We also did some bike riding, snorkeling and running to round out the activities on the island.

Kuilau Ridge 8.11.18

It had rained the night before, and on an island with dirt trails through dense vegetation, that meant mud.  We hiked the Kuilui Ridge Trail and then some of the Moalepe Trail for a total of 6 miles or so.  This was not a hard hike, but it certainly was muddy!  The trail offered many viewpoints into the interior ridges and valleys of the island, lush with vegetation and covered in mist.


Dense vegetation on the island of Kauai.


Ethan near the end of a small spur trail on a ridge on the Kuilau Trail.


Wild orchids growing beside the trail.


Tree tunnel on the trail.


For my friend Kevin. I got all the mud for you!

Nu’olo and Awa’awapuhi Trail, Koke’e State Park, 8.15.18

We had been to Koke’e State Park on a previous trip, but never hiked there.  Last time, we played tourists and just enjoyed the views of the Napali Coast from the top, especially Kalalau Beach which we had hiked to.  Koke’e State Park has a good network of trails with plenty of variety for all types of hikers.  We chose a loop down and then back up some of the ridges leading out to the cliffs on the Napali Coast.

Because it was a loop starting and ending at different parking areas, we chose to do the road walk first.  Yay.  I’m not a huge fan of road walks, but at least we got it out of the way first and it was downhill.  I wouldn’t want to face an uphill road walk at the end of a hike.  We found the trail head and we were off into the tropical forest and headed downhill.  The trail eventually lead out to a point, and we could see the ocean far below.

Back up the hill a bit, we took the Nu’olo Cliff Trail as a connector over to the Awa’awapuhi Trail.  The Nu’olo Cliff Trail was a very cool trail, following a contour line on the inside of a valley, with some great views to the ridges of either side of us.  We connected then with the Awa’awapuhi Trail, which was a great climb back up to the parking area – a good challenge at the end of a hike, when we usually just go back downhill.


The trail starts out in vegetation like this.


The views to the ocean start to open up part way down the ridge.


Looking down the Napali coastline from a ridge.


Small bridge and surprisingly stable on the Nu’olo Cliff Trail.

Wailua River Kayak and Secret Falls Hike 8.17.18

This was our last day on Kauai and we were looking for one last adventure and something sort of different.  We were able to book a kayak/hiking adventure and showed up bright and early for a new adventure.

So, we were in a tandem kayak.  If you’ve never tried tandem kayaking before, you are in for a “fun” time.  It takes a lot of patience and coordination to work together as a team to move the kayak along the river.  Needless to say, we probably should have been in solo kayaks.  Had we rented that tandem bike a few days earlier, we might have figured this out sooner!  We’re great individually at things and even as a team hiking, but working together as a unit in one vehicle is difficult, and even laughable at times.  Well, at least now it is.

We paddled the struggle kayak up the river two miles and were relieved to get out and get to hike a few miles.  That we knew how to do and was really easy, even with a small river ford with a rope hand-hold.  After enjoying the falls, it was back to the kayak.  We did manage to get back to the boat launch and we never did tip the kayak over, so I guess that’s a victory?


The river and the kayaks. This is where the kayak portion of the fun ends and the hiking begins.


Some small cascades before the big waterfall.


The “secret” waterfall. I had to work a bit to get a photo without at least one of the 50 people who were here in the photo.


Ethan contemplating the scene.




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