Established in 1972, Hanalei NWR is the oldest of Kaua
Beginning of the trail was very muddy. The way up to the first look out ( bench) was ok if it's wet it can be a bit slippery. However if someone want to do the whole trail be aware. It's slippery, the path can be very narrow and one has to slow down In order to make sure where to step. Couple of place are a bit sketchy. On my way to the end a couple of people turned around because they thought it was too dangerous. I don't think the view at the end was worth it. Again, the first lookout I would recommend but not the whole hike.
Being an avid hiker for many years (2-3 day/wk), in good shape, in my early 30's. One of the more challenging trails I have done on the island. I hiked at an aggressive pace, so it was a great workout. The first 3rd of the trail is pretty straight foward, I agree with some of the other reviews though, once you ascend higher up, the trail becomes more narrow, and less pronounced. If you stick with it, you get amazing views of Hanalei Bay; it's definitely worth the effort, and loved the hike. Highly recommended it, but if it has rained within 24hrs of your hike, the trail may be a bit slick in areas, and cause it to become more difficult.
We are in our mid-fifties and found this to be both challenging and not as much fun as we had hoped. In mid-March and with recent rains, much of the trail was very slick and parts were treacherous. Poles and good boots recommended - at least we found they helped a lot.
The view of the coast, sweeping from Hanalei Bay off to the east were wonderful.
This wasa frustrating trail. The views often were very good, and the first mile of the trail was fine, albeit a tad muddy in spots. Once you get further in there are the occasional spur trail, and it is not a real heavily traveled trail so overgrowth can be a problem. We pushed on but once we got to what I believe the 4th rope, with no end in sight we decided to turn around.
Not a bad trail by any means, but considering how many absolutely PHENOMENAL trails are on Kauai it isn't the best choice.
This is a great way to spend an afternoon and get a little exercise in a pretty place. It would be a good family activity as well. There are really no good spots to beach the kayak and take a break so you are pretty much in the boat from beginning until end unless you paddle out toward the bay.
The first 1/2 mile of the hike was extremely muddy, which is to be expected this time of year. Wear shoes that cover your ankles and bring plenty of mosquito repellant! After you get past the first little bit of the trail, it begins to get very steep before it levels out. It also is much dryer as well making the hike much more enjoyable.
Overall, try it out. the views are great and it's only about a 60-90 minute commitment. If you aren't staying in the North Shore, I wouldn't drive far to do this hike. If you're down south and you want to drive to the North Shore to do a hike, do the Kalalau Trial. I'd drive and fly from anywhere in the world to do that one!
Cat S. on Okolehao Trail
The bench is gone. We went as far as the 8th rope section. The view is awesome!
Great hike. Very muddy. We forgot to grab a walking stick and wished we had! The bench at the second plateau has been broken... bring a nailgun and you could make future hikers very happy! This is a popular spot with locals because it's off the normal tourist hiking route.