Explore the most popular Camping 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.

Great views and crazy cardio. Pack light!

Will reopen in mid-June according to DLNR.

My brother and I did this when I came home from Afghanistan in 2011. Absolutely breathtaking on every level. Plan on at least 2 if not 3 days in the valley (not counting hiking time). Once you set up camp, find the hippie highway and look for outlaw pools. If you hang out there long enough, one of the hippies living in the valley will sell you weed. The only downside is the abandoned hippie camps full of trash you’ll run into deeper in the valley. If you’re a comfortable swimmer, swim around the west end of the beach to Honopu, which is another Valley with an arch and waterfall on the beach.

19 days ago

Our first trail on Kauai. Great introduction to the terrain. Made it to the river, which we found worthwhile - felt great to soak our feet. Hiking poles were a tremendous help. Great views the whole way.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views of the canyon. It’s straight down to the river and then straight back up. Coming up there isn’t much shade. The river wasn’t all that impressive, in my opinion. Also all trials says the trail is 4 miles round trip but it’s actually 5. It’s 2.5 to the river and 2.5 back. Just a heads up.

1 month ago

This trail is categorized as "Hard" but being a very less than novice hiker, I would say it's more moderate. I wore my KEEN water shoes like I did when hiking to the Hanakapiai Falls last year. It was nicely overcast with a few sunny spots. Perfect, as large sections are fully exposed and not protected by tree shade. The trail was very dry, luckily, but super slippery due to lots of loose gravel on the steep way down. There were lots of reassuring markers and stacked rocks along the way. Beautiful, lush canyon views. Wild goats and chickens. The 2.5 mile trek down to The Waimea River was absolutely worth it! Easy to hop rocks to the center of the beautiful, serene, babbling river. Made a few stacked rock towers! (I love and collect rocks!) We were the only 2 people there. Amazing moments in nature. The ascent was a bit brutal. Should've brought my waking stick & more h2o. We wanted to continue to the right of the river, leading to Waimea Canyon, but we got a late start(1:45) and were low on water. Another time.
3 1/2 hrs with lots of stops to soak it all in and capture the moments with pictures, of course. Good shoes, lots of h2o & start early. Enjoy!

Amazing experience! Don't underestimate the trail. Do your homework. Come prepared. Do it! Hike of a lifetime!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome as always

The road in is in very good shape today, lots of pot holes in the first 100 yards then washboard. Can be done in a rental car no problem, if you go fast enough you just hit the hi spots.

2 months ago

Beautiful views of a distant waterfall. The drive there offered nice views as well. I recommend going early, as the parking is really limited. Also, someone’s car was broken into while we were there, so beware of the thieves. I found it to be more moderate that hard.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views at the top, but not really worth hiking below the tree line. There are a lot of better hikes on the island, even with the closures. Loose dirt made the trek down slow, and the ascent is a tough climb. Down in about 1:30, back up in 1:10.

Beautiful beach, nice walk! Road not too bad in!

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is a beast! We lucked out with dry ground. I can’t see how it can be done safely with mud. The views are amazing! I disagree with other reviews on the forest. I feel it’s worth every second to be in the stone still forest. It was amazing... probably my favorite part actually. Pack plenty of water, a camel pack would be ideal. Wear shoes with good traction, red mountain is slick with loose dirt. I’m strong, I hike seasonally, not super fit (gym 3 times a week) but I made it with minimal soreness. I totally thought it would be worse lol. Total time in was 2.5 hrs and out in 1.75. The way back was all business pacing up the inclines. I too was grateful I didn’t have to be rescued! You leave this trail feeling like a total badass.

Beautiful, challenging, slippery, and a grind. Did it one year ago. I am in my 60s and trained. It was an excellent challenge, every step requires focus. You will be present or else.....

We were planning on going to this hike again this year, January 2019, but the road just past Hanalei town is closed to through traffic. We parked and walked for about 1/2 a mile to get a look at the construction/work going on. Only trucks and heavy machinery, hauling lots of dirt, moving large rocks etc. heard it is closed until Summer of 2019. I believe some people will still get there by sea, but once open, that trail is going to be a bit more tough as the foot traffic will be about 95-98% less than normal for roughly a year.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this camping near the river at the end. It takes about 2 hours to reach, and 2 hours out. The trail wasn't so hard, but I suppose it can get muddy if there was a lot of rain. The views are nice along the way, and the campground seems to be often empty, which is nice. But a lot of mosquitoes.
Parking wasn't clear - you park by the side of the road.

Also, camped down there to do the two extra trails on the river (north and south), I'd say skip that and make it just a day hike to the river and back (see reviews why). And if you want more, go south!

hiking
3 months ago

It's about 2 hours down to the river, and 2 hours back up. The trail is fairly easy up to that point...but then. I don't know if it's because it had rained a lot, but following the river wasn't that easy, and involved A LOT of river crossing where hopping from one rock to the other isn't possible - got to have river crossing shoes. The views along the way were nice, but maybe not worth that effort.

See kukui trail for the starts.
But once you reach the river and go north, that's where the trouble starts. First, you'll need to have river crossing shoes (you can't just hop from rock to rock). I think 4 river crossing (x2 if you come back). ALSO, at one point after the second campground, you end up in a very dense jungle. There MIGHT be another way, another trail, I don't know. But there were signs that it was there (including an actual sign saying this was the trail, and you could kind of see that this was the way of lesser resistance, but still, it was very hard). It was dense foliage, walking at much slower pace than 0.5 mile/hour, and the foliage would cut you along the way. I had rash all over my forearms and legs for about a week... Maybe wear long sleeves? Anyhow, be prepared, or find a better route!

hiking
3 months ago

Hike down to the river is about 2.5 miles making this a 5 mile out and back (for planning purposes). The hike down provides some pretty good views, but once you get 1.5 miles on they disappear. You wander around trees and brush until you find the river. Way back is tough for sure. Took us an hour and 15 minutes to hike down and hour and twenty to hike back up. Mahalo!

3 months ago

Car thieves are prevalent in this area; beware! We had our car broken into and everything valuable was stolen out of the trunk, along with another car parked next to us. Would not recommend camping here overnight for this reason. The Canyon is indeed gorgeous, but perhaps you’d be better off just stopping by the roadside to take in the views.

Not recommended, especially in winter! Car thieves are prevalent and will break into your car- our window was smashed and everything was stolen. If it rains then the river crossings turn into raging torrents that will either prevent you from continuing or will trap you from being able to return until the waters recede, typically after twelve hours (happened to us). Half a mile of this trail was solid overgrowth of plants shoulder-high with burrs that completely scratched up our legs and arms. The waterfall is nothing special, maybe a five foot drop. On the plus side, we did see beautiful views, wild boars, and many plants including coffee trees, citrus and banana. It just wasn’t worth losing everything that was in our car!

3 months ago

Just did this hike today. We were very fortunate, it was a beautiful clear day going down with amazing views of the canyon. A cloud cover and light showers rolled thru on the way up. Made the Trail slippery, but also provided a nice respite from the sun. I would rate this a difficult trail because of the tricky footing along with the killer workout on your legs and cardio if you aren’t prepared. This trail encompasses a wide variety of terrains. There are the typical Kauai hike areas, rooty and steep but not too difficult; there are wide open rutty red dirt areas (like Pihea), a little tricky to navigate the best path; there are some exposed, scree areas. The path is relatively wide so it’s not too scary; and there are some small bouldery areas reminiscent of climbing up a creek bed. I agree with the reviewer who said it was difficult to follow, but it was never hard to know if you were getting off course. There are ribbon trail markers and you just keep going down. At the end, you will get to Waimea river. It is amazing. Relaxing. Great place to sit and take in the quiet and view of the tall canyon surrounding you. There are several camp sites at the end and near the river. They were nice, but would be too warm and buggy for me.

3 months ago

Good and challenging but poorly marked trail. Mid section is very hot and steep but finishing is a great feeling

Best a hike can get! Incredible views

Started after military section and enjoyed a long, leisurely day walking the beach.

We have just done it today. 12/10. It was absolutely doable by a 2wd car.
The view was great but the waves were too big for going far into the water.

on Kukui Trail

4 months ago

Hiked this - beautiful views of the canyon

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike! It was actually “easier” on the way up, than the way down. We are used to hiking 13ers in Colorado, though, so it might be more difficult if you are not in decent shape. Make sure you bring shoes with good traction, because it’s very slippery (mud and loose rocks) in certain places. We both had running shoes, and that was a mistake. Took about 1.25 hours to get down, and 2 hours to get back up. Start early and bring plenty of water!

trail closed until summer 2019

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