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Navy salad
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:29 pm 
My wife and I are heading there the 2nd week of October. Does anyone have suggestions for nice hikes to do on Kauai? I've looked online, but there's almost too many recommendations to check out.

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awilsondc
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:46 pm 
Mahaulepu heritage trail is a great little coastline walk with nice views, very little elevation gain. The Awa'awapuhi trail leads to one of my favorite view points ever, high above the napali coast. It's a reverse hike in that you go down to the view point, then have to hike back up. There is a gate just before the view point warning of dangers, because the further you go it's a very exposed ridge, but good views can be had before that. Kalalau trail is the classic, but you need a permit for overnight. You can do a day trip to Hanakapiai falls which is a solid hike with significant gain to a cool waterfall. My favorite beach hike is Polihale on the west side, hike north until you want to turn back. You can go a mile or two. So gorgeous, great at sunset. Ocean is viscous here, not good for swimming.

Navy salad
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lookout bob
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 1:24 pm 
Any place in Kokee State Park with emphasis on the hikes up towards the wettest place on earth. Alakai Swamp....Slippery trails, but so lovely. Kalalau trail at least to Hanakapiai. Go to the National Tropical Botanical Gardens ( two on the south side, one on North side) They are fabulous to walk around in and well worth the admission price. As you say, too many good hikes. I second Polihali but beware of rip currents there. It's also a great place to camp if you can get a permit. Have a ball! cool.gif

"Altitude is its own reward" John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")

Navy salad, HikerJohn
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zimmertr
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 3:33 pm 
Here's a good blog on how to bag Kawaikini. I'm going to Kauai for Thanksgiving and would be a liar if I said I wasn't really interested. Too bad we're not going at the same time because there's no chance in Hell my partner would consider this epic schwack with me. https://alpinevagabonds.com/the-summit-of-kauai-kawaikini-and-waialeale/ I also bought 5 days of permit access to the Kalalau Trail so we can take advantage of a good weather window (if one occurs). That trail looks downright dangerous if it's raining based on recent photos I've seen friends share.

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Navy salad, mosey, call-151
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ScottP
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 4:30 pm 
A summit hike out of Kapa'a... https://www.alltrails.com/trail/hawaii/kauai/sleeping-giant-nounou-mountain-east-trail?u=i Looking at the map, you'll see a 'bulge'-like switchback. There is a well used cut of that switchback that goes straight up on 4th class terrain that looks like the trail. At that point there is a hard right on a rocky ledge that doesn't appear to be the route, but it is.

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Navy salad
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Navy salad
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 9:28 pm 
Wow, great suggestions! Thanks and feel free to keep 'em coming! And zimmertr, yeah too bad we're not going at the same time -- always nice to meet a fellow NWHiker!

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adamschneider
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PostFri Sep 16, 2022 2:56 pm 
Three suggestions, in ascending level of obscurity/difficulty/craziness: 1) Awa'awapuhi Trail. An actual official trail, and the views from the end are unbelievable. (And you can choose exactly where "the end" is, depending on your sense of adventure and/or acrophobia.) You can also do this as part of a longer semi-loop with the Nu'alolo and Nu'alolo Cliffs Trails; just hitchhike back to your car if you don't want to do the extra 2 miles of road walking at the end.
2) Kalepa Ridge, a.k.a. "Airplane Trail." An unofficial trail that starts at the corner of the fence at the first Kalalau Lookout. Just a mile each way, but what a mile; it follows a knife-edge ridge on the west side of the Kalalau Valley without feeling especially sketchy and you can turn around whenever you want. Possibly the best reward-to-effort ratio of any trail I've ever been on.
3) Hihimanu. This one is nuts: a steep "trail" that includes 28 rope sections, up a narrow muddy ridge where it rains almost every day. You start this adventure by taking the 'Okolehao Trail (near Hanalei) up to the "Bench Viewpoint," and then you just keep going up the ridge. You can turn around at Pu'u Ki (about 10 ropes in), or launch upward another 1000' for the full Hihimanu experience. WEAR GLOVES. (In 2017, I posted a full trip report on OregonHikers.org.)

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alpenglow
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PostSun Sep 18, 2022 4:17 pm 
I second the vote for the Sleeping Giant trail near Kapa'a, highly recommended. Just be careful to stay on the main trail. ScottP mentioned there's a 4th class scramble to shortcut the trail, and that may be so, but it is quite exposed. My son and I went that way accidentally by missing a switchback (in retrospect a rather obvious one, not sure how that happened), ended up on pretty sketchy terrain and turned around to rejoin the main trail. Not recommended. The main trail is plenty airy. Have fun!

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adamschneider
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PostSun Sep 18, 2022 7:58 pm 
It's worth mentioning that there are THREE trailheads from which you can climb Nounou (Sleeping Giant). The west trail from Kamalu Road or Lokelani Road will save a couple hundred feet of elevation compared to the makai approach. If you want a longer hike, you can start from Kuamo'o Road just past the Opaeka'a Falls overlook.

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