Best bird watching trails in Kauai, Hawaii

724 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Kauai with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Kauai, Hawaii
Top trails (17)
#1 - Canyon Trail Black Pipe Trail Loop
Koke'e State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(121)
Length: 3.7 mi • Est. 2 h 22 m
#2 - Waialeale Blue Hole Falls Trail
Līhu'e-Kōloa Forest Reserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(45)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 2 h 57 m
The trailhead for this trail is difficult to reach and other hikers start on Kuamoo Road. Using a guide is recommended for this hike. It can be grueling if not in shape. Wild orchids, ferns, waterfall, mud up to your knees, all combine to make it unforgettable...heaven on earth.Show more
#3 - Kuamo'o Trail to Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mountain)
Nounou State Forest Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(111)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 39 m
The Kuamo'o Trail is one of three trails leading to the top of Sleeping Giant on Kauai's east side. Note that this trail leads only to the junction with the northside trail. It's a fairly easy hike along a pasture, across a pretty stream on a high wooden walking bridge, then winding through overgrown jungle. The trail is well marked, but be aware of mosquitos if there has been a lot of rain. After two miles you meet the trail coming in from the north. It's another 1.5 miles to the summit from there. The only real view is when you stop about .7 miles in at a picnic shelter. It's 2.1 miles each way if you only go to the junction. Show more
#4 - Kuilau Ridge Trail to Moelepe Trail
Līhu'e-Kōloa Forest Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(74)
Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 9 m
This is a wonderful hike that offers beautiful views into smaller valleys as you hike.  Show more
#5 - Iliau Nature Loop Trail
Waimea Canyon State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(80)
Length: 0.4 mi • Est. 12 m
#6 - Kilauea Lighthouse
Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(62)
Length: 0.4 mi • Est. 13 m
A short paved trail leading to the historic Daniel K. Kilauea Inouye Lighthouse (built in 1913) and a great location for spotting nesting sea birds and humpback whales. There is a $10 entry fee (or a National Park pass gets you in free). Open hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Closed on Federal Holidays. Accessibility: There are two designated handicapped-accessible parking spaces in the parking lot. The trail surface is paved asphalt and typically at least six feet wide. If the path is too steep, a golf cart is available to assist those with mobility disabilities at the Fee Booth.Show more
#7 - Mokolea Point Trail
Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(64)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 24 m
The rugged cliffs of Mokolea Point, part of the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge, is home to dramatic tide pools and the abandoned Kihili Rock Quarry, with views extending across Kilauea Bay and beyond. The hike follows an old rutted road to the quarry overlook and beyond to the tidepools. Kahili Rock Quarry sits along the rugged cliffs of Mokolea Point, part of the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge. The abandoned rock quarry overlooks the crescent-shaped Kilauea Bay from above the outlet of the Kilauea River. The views extend across the bay, which is rimmed by groves of ironwood trees, to the forested windswept cliffs along the bays southeastern edge and beyond. During the summer months, when the ocean is calmer, the lava bench also provides access to an amazing array of "breathing" tidepools, emptying and filling with each wave. The road to the promontory starts in Kilauea and runs about a mile before it's no longer maintained, and the mud-filled potholes become treacherous to cars. You will need a 4WD vehicle to go any further or you'll need to park and continue on foot or mountain bike. Half a mile further, the road opens onto a plateau overlooking Rock Quarry Beach (a.k.a. Kihili Beach) with a nice view across the bay. If you made it this far with a vehicle or bike, park there and continue on foot. Stop anywhere to take in the sunrise over the bay. (This is really the only point on the north side of Kauai where you can see the sun rise over the ocean... the lighthouse doesn't open until 10am.) From here you can see the partially submerged lava-ledge. It sits 20-feet above the sea, but the incoming tidal waves are often twice that height, drowning the rocks before receding to reveal a series of roiling tidal pools. Some are even big enough to soak in during low tide in the summer months, when the ocean is calmer. If you feel ambitious you can continue along the sharp, slick boulders for another 1/4 mile to reach a trench about the size of a hot tub which fills with thrashing sea water each time the ocean comes in, before receding back with the tide. Sea life is often caught in the strong tides being shoved up through the pools and become briefly trapped. Rock Quarry Beach (a.k.a. Kihili Beach) looks pretty appealing from Mokolea Point, and you can reach it by scrambling through the underbrush and down the cliff near the parking plateau and then fording the Kilauea River outlet, but for easier access (including a parking lot), you'll need to head back to Hwy 56. Show more
#8 - Waimea Canyon River Trail
Waimea Canyon State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(22)
Length: 10.4 mi • Est. 6 h 45 m
Beautiful hike down from Kokoe Road into Waimea Canyon. Very steep for the first 2 miles but then relatively flat once you reach the river. Great sight seeing on the way into the canyon. Bring plenty of water as it is very hot in the summer. Recommend getting a camping permit a few weeks in advance as they tend to go quickly during camping season.Show more
#9 - Hanalei River Kayak
Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(20)
Length: 12.1 mi
Leisurely kayak up the Hanalei River into the National Wildlife Preserve of Hanalei. Relatively easy kayak up the still waters of the Hanalei River. Pass under one of the many one lane bridges of the Prince Kuhio highway 56.Show more
#10 - Lumahai Beach Walk
Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(15)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 46 m
Please note the waters here are extraordinarily dangerous and swimming is not advised. There may be closed signs posted due to conditions that day.Show more
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