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Great walks on the Garden island

Being a nature enthusiastic myself, a simple walk in the park satisfies me. However, what Kauai as to offer is way more than this. All around the island, the climate varies a lot and makes the island unique . Gorgeous landscapes are easily accessible by foot and every single hiking trails are worth the sweat. However, I definitely have some favorite hikes.

Awa’awapuhi trail (6,4 miles roundtrip)

Awa’awapuhi trail is one of the multiple trails in Waimea Canyon state park. It is situated on the left side of the canyon, between the campground and the Kalalau lookout. The trail is not really difficult, but it can get really muddy in the winter months. This is definitely one of my favorite trail on Kauai. The trail itself is not scenic since it is pretty deep in the wood, but the final lookout makes up for it. After 3,2 miles downhill, you will have an incredible view of the kalalau valley and the beautiful blue water of the pacific. If you are adventurous enough, you will definitely want to walk at the very end of the rocks to have a 360 view. Pretty scared of the heights myself, it took me a couple of minutes and a lot of encouragements to go on the final rocks but it was totally worth it.


Ho’opi’i falls hike ( 4,4 miles roundtrip) 

Kauai isn’t call the garden island for nothing. Its luxurious vegetation and waterfalls all around the island makes it the perfect place to enjoy nature. Ho’opi’i falls are not that touristic and that is what makes them really enjoyable. The hike can be challenging in some parts (you’ll have to climb some rocks and slippery steps) but you’ll definitely appreciate the journey. The hike to the falls is pretty incredible since you’ll be walking in what reminded me of a Disney movie’s enchanted forest.


Two falls are on your way, the first one is more accessible so there is normally more people at this point. You’ll be half way to the second fall, and in my opinion, half way to the most beautiful fall. The second fall is a little bit harder to access, you might even feel like it’s a dead end, but just follow the sound of the water running and you’ll find the fall. It is a perfect place for swimming and you’ll probably be able to enjoy it with no one around.


Canyon trail (6 miles roundtrip) 

Situated in the Waimea Canyon state park, the canyon trail is a great hike if you would like to appreciate the canyon landscape outside of the crowds. It’s a pretty easy hike but it can get really hot during the day and the majority of the trail is expose to the sun. You should bring a lot of water and a hat to make the most of your walk.


Kalalau trail (22 miles roundtrip) / Hike to hanakapi’ai falls (8 miles roundtrip) 

The Kalalau trail is one of the most beautiful hike in the hawaiian islands and probably one of the most scenic trek in the entire world. The trail is located on the north shore of the island and starts at Ke’e beach. It goes all along the famous Napali coast and finishes at Kalalau beach.The Kalalau valley and beach are only accessible by this trail or by boat. The entire trail is 22 miles roundtrip but you can also choose the alternative of only hiking to Hanakapi’ai falls (8 miles roundtrip). Hiking the kalalau trail can be pretty dangerous and many people have died on the trail. You should plan your trip in advance knowing permits are needed past Hanakapi’ai. Also, what I definitely learn while hiking the trail is that packing lightly is essential. Our initial plan was to hike the entire trail, but after going to Hanakapi’ai falls, we instantly decided not to do it. You should only bring essentials in a small backpack to avoid problems. Apart from this, the Kalalau trail was one of the best experience of my life. You won’t see a view like this anywhere else. If you are lucky, you might even see a couple of whales jumping around along the coast.


Only going to Hanakapi’ai fall can be a good alternative for people that want to  be out of the trail at the end of the day. Like I said, you should pack really lightly to enjoy the trail. The first 2 miles to Hanakapi’ai beach are pretty mellow, but it’s the 2 miles going up to the falls that are way harder. You’ll have to cross many streams and climb slippery rocks. However, the fall is definitely worth the scratches. Hanakapi’ai fall is unreal and the hike makes it even more special.


Even though I could not go all the way threw the Kalalau trail, I still had a wonderful time and this only means I’ll need to come back to finish what I’ve started on the Kalalau. Hiking was the ultimate highlight of my trip in Kauai. Those hikes are all pretty incredible and they will all challenge you in a different way.


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