Hiking is an excellent way to see the natural wonders of a destination you are visiting during a family vacation. While there are millions of hiking trails all around the world, the Hawaiian Islands have some amazing trails that will truly pique your interest. Each one of the Hawaiian Islands offers something unique when it comes to the great outdoors. But it is hiking in Kauai that really offers the option of exploring paradise. Your hiking adventures can include time in lush rainforests, expansive valleys, and even the wet areas of the local bogs. There is no way to tell exactly what you will see or experience when you are out on the trails in Kauai, but I can tell you that the memories you are creating will last a lifetime!
One of the best waterfall hikes in Kauai is the Waialeale Blue Hole Hike. This hike can take a full day to conquer. However, you will consider that time well spent when you reach the base of Mt. Waialeale. This is where the Blue Hole is located. All along that area, it appears as if the wall is weeping. Water pours out and flows towards the canyon below. It is best to hire a guide for this hiking adventure. The weather can change rapidly in this area and when it does, the hiking conditions can become treacherous. A local guide will notice these changes a lot sooner than you will and can alert you that it is time to turn around.
The Kuilau Ridge Trail is an easy two-mile hiking trail in Kauai. When you reach the viewpoint on this trail, you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of the valley below. This is a very peaceful hike, so if you are looking for a little solitude on your family vacation, this is the place to go.
The Sleeping Giant Hike is also known as the Nounou Mountain Trail. Your journey on this hiking trail in Kauai begins with your family going through a tunnel of trees. It will feel slightly eerie until you hit the area of the pine forest where the sun shines through. While this is not a long hike, you may want to plan for a half day, so you can enjoy a picnic lunch at the summit.
The Wailua Falls Hike is another waterfall hike in Kauai. The distance of this trail is quite short. However, there is a steep incline that can be very muddy and slippery. Therefore, it is best to use caution when venturing out on this hiking trail. While the view of the waterfall from the viewpoint is stunning, I recommend going down to the bottom where the pool is. You can carefully go behind the falls to experience the rush of water from a different vantage point. Or you can simply swim near the edges of the pool, as you relax to the sounds of the rushing water.
If your family loves adventures, the Makaleha Falls Hike is one you will never forget! The trail is just over two and a half miles and leads you through a muddy jungle. This hike can be challenging with its boulders, massive roots and vines, and mossy rocks. There are multiple river crossings, so make sure you wear shoes and clothing that you don’t mind getting wet and covered in mud. The numerous waterfalls at the end make the entire journey worthwhile.
Many people think that the Ho’opi’I Falls Hike is over-rated, but if your family has seen Jurassic Park, it is a must-do. This hiking trail in Kauai is short, but it gives you the opportunity to see two waterfalls. The first is perfect for cliff diving, as long as you are with a local who knows where the rocks are located in the water below. The second waterfall is the one that was used in Jurassic Park.
One of the most popular hikes in Kauai is the Hanakapiai Falls Trail. This trail will take you all the way to the Hanakapiai Waterfall, which is more than three hundred feet high. This trail along the Napali Coast will have you climbing uphill, as you deal with roots, mud, and boulders. The most stunning part of the trail is in between Ke’e Beach and Hanakapiai Beach. The red rock path is quite the contrast to the sparkling blue water of the ocean. You must remember to take your camera with you when your family hikes this trail to the waterfall.
Over in Koke’e State Park, you will find the Honopu Ridge Trail. This trail is five miles long and is well-marked. There are multiple low-lying shrubs and plants along the trail, so it is recommended that you wear pants for the hike. I recommend you choose a nice clear day to hike the Honopu Ridge Trail. If it is too cloudy, you won’t be rewarded with the fabulous views!
These are some of the best hikes in Kauai and you can see that many of them lead to beautiful Hawaiian waterfalls. I would love to know if any of the hikes in Kauai would be on your list of things to do during your next family vacation on this Hawaiian Island. Or if there is another hike in Kauai you have been wanting to do with your family? I would also love to know your thoughts on other activities you are interested in when vacationing in Hawaii.
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