Hiking is a great way to see Kauai’s stunning sights, as 90% of the island is inaccessible by car. Whether you’re looking for an easy pace or challenging trail, Kauai offers some of the best hikes in Hawaii.
Located in the Central/East region of Kauai is the Nounou Mountain ridge, also known as Sleeping Giant. You can spot the giant’s profile from nearly anywhere in Kapaa town, but you’ll want to venture to its mountain peak to check out the spectacular views of the eastern shoreline and beyond. This 4-mile hike is moderately steep and can take 2-2.5 hours to complete.
On the West Side, Kokee State Park offers more than 45 miles of pristine hiking trails. Spreading over 4,345 acres, you can find several trails suitable for all ages and levels. The Kokee Natural History Musuem is a must-stop for maps and information about the park. For an easy family hike, the Cliff Trail is a short 10-minute stroll that leads to a viewpoint of Waimea Canyon. If you’re up for a challenge, the 1.8-mile Canyon Trail branches off of the Cliff Trail leading to the top of the 800-foot Waipoo Falls. This moderate hike takes about 2-3 hours and offers spectacular views from within the canyon.
For adventure seekers, the 11-mile Kalalau Trail leads from Kee Beach to Kalalau Beach along the famed Napali Coast. This awe-inspiring trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, but also very strenuous. The trail navigates five valleys, crossing above towering sea cliffs and rugged terrain. Most people spend the day hiking in and camping at the beaches of Hanakapiai or Kalalau before heading back by foot or boat. Permits are required and may be obtained through the Hawaii State Parks Division.
Visitors can find a variety of group and private hiking tours available around the island. Guests staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai at Wailua Bay can contact the Activity Desk to learn more. Whether you’re venturing on your own or with a local guide, make sure to take advantage of all safety tips and guidelines that are available. For safety and fun, you should never hike alone. You can learn more about the State of Hawaii Trail and Access Program – Na Ala Hele.