Steep hike with great views at the top.

Trail Report
Friday, June 15, 2018

Beautiful hike! Definitely worth the ~4 mi round trip and ~1000 ft in elevation gain (my gps recorded 1.75 mi, so I think it was a bit off) Took me 45 min to get to the top at a brisk pace with no breaks. An hour or so back down going slowly and taking my time to enjoy the view. It hadn't rained in a couple days, so tennis shoes were fine. The parking lot was half full by 8AM. Parking lot was completely full at 10AM.

The hardest part in my opinion was the 20 ft scramble up some rocks between mile marker .5 and .75. There is more scrambling to get up to the top (after the picnic clearing, about 1.75 miles in), but it isn't as steep as the first scramble section. Totally doable if you're in decent shape/aren't afraid of heights.

Some tips:

Don't hike in flip-flops or barefeet. The trail can be muddy and filled with rocks and roots. I saw 7 people in bare feet (presumably because they had worn flimsy sandals or flip flops?) and 2 people in looked like a horrible hiking experience! Tennis and sturdy sandals seemed okay for today since it was relatively dry, but hiking boots would be best for a muddy day.

Bring enough water-- one liter minimum! It gets really humid and hot. Several people didn't have any water...didn't look like fun :p

Bug spray or pants unless you want red itchy bites all over your legs.

Leave early -- I wish I had started the trail at 7AM instead of 8AM to avoid more of the sun and a crowded trail. You could do Nounou West Trail instead to hike with fewer people and on the shady side of the mountain, but you wouldn't get any ocean views until you got to the top.

Remember to practice Leave No Trace ethics, like not cutting switchbacks. Looked like parts of the trail were eroding because people did this.

No bathroom at the trailhead, so go before you start hiking.

Bring a summit beer and enjoy the view!

Muddy, mosquitoes, and no views for the first 2+ miles. Just not a lot to like for a while. Would be a very easy walk in the woods if not for the mud. As long as you keep moving at a quick pace the mosquitoes will leave you alone, but if you stop for 10-15 seconds they will be all over you.

Mud is bog like. Not too deep, but squishy. You have to go slow to keep from getting mud all over you.

Only the last 3/4 of a mile is somewhat challenging and interesting with views of the mountains, valleys, and ocean.

Beautiful views! Not too mudy when we went, although it was raining in the morning. Got hot in the afternoon, wear sun block. Not well signposted, but ok.. make sure you pass the picnic table, best views after a little climb

Quick but beautiful hike. Definitely head to the very top - past the picnic tables. Light scramble towards the top. I’d rate this as moderate vs ‘hard’.

360 beautiful views at the top. A perfect length day hike. There was some mud and mosquitoes so wear bug spray. This isn’t the hike to wear your white shoes. Definitely worth your time.

It was a good climb and a friend and I did it at dawn to reach the peak as the sun came up. We did go off trail due to missing a sign and arrow in the dark - took a shortcut, went vertical and took a third of a mile off the distance up. Breathtaking views and well worth it!

It is a pleasant easy trail with a nice view on the East coast. It is a nice classic trail, but I didn't have the same "wow" effect as during the trails in the Koke'e national park.

Good hike, pretty views! make sure you have the right shoes and water. It will be slippery after rainfall. There is some rock scrambling involved. At the top it is easy to miss the trail to the left that goes to some cave tunnel viewing points with a cooling breeze rushing through.

nice hike, challenging but not difficult. Good for the whole family

Great hike, lots of exploration after the main trail. Only a few muddy spots. One thing to keep in mind, about 3/4 a mile on the trail you approach a steep face to climb that's actually the trail. Children, elderly or people without climbing skills could get hurt. I did not see this mentioned anywhere. Overall very nice hike, could be hot in the afternoon.

Great views, lots of shade, and a little scramble at the top

My first hike on Kauai and it was really nice. I'm not sure it should necessarily be hard, as I'm a pretty amateur hiker and didn't find it too bad. You will probably need proper hiking shoes if it has rained, I made it to the second turn and couldn't walk up a slope in my sneakers, and actually went and bought hiking shoes.

The rock climbing aspect is very minor. Pro-tip: you'll come across some picnic tables near the top, where I and some others were temporarily fooled into thinking we were at the top. The views were nice, but it would have been a let down. Don't be fooled, keep going and you will be rewarded.

super fun hike, definitely worth the effort!!!

Great hike with an even more amazing view! This was our first hike we took on our trip and it did not disappoint.

We did this hike as soon as we got off the airplane. An amazing introduction to Kaua’i! We went when it was a little drizzly so it was a bit slick but totally worth it. When you get to the picnic table you can keep going up to the top of a very scary rock. My husband loved it and I was terrified but we made it up and down with little issues. It is definitely harder if you trek farther than the picnic table. A little more like climbing than hiking. We are not super experienced hikers though and only came out muddy :)

Not too muddy when i went. Only a few places you need to climb rocks. Make sure and go past the picnic table and shed so you can walk out onto the ledge. 360 view.

Breathtaking views! Definitely worth the hike up. A little congested with people so try to go early in the AM. Steep but nothing too crazy hard - gets your heart pumping and there are a few instances where you need to rock climb etc. Trail is marked pretty well but we were told to stay to the left when you hit a “T” towards the end. Pack a lunch and a beer to reward yourself at the top because the views provide the best place possible to enjoy a meal and take it all in :) also beware of after rain mud - it made the trek up a little tricky but it’s only in the beginning and walking stick helps. Enjoy!

Absolutely LOVED this trail. Was not too challenging but did have moments in which you really got your heart beating and even have to rock climb etc. I would rate it as moderate but the view at the end is anything but. It’s so beautiful and breathtaking. Pack yourself some lunch (and maybe a beer to treat yourself) because those views are worth taking in during a meal :) I wore regular tennis shoes and was fine. Just beware of after rain muddiness - having a stick helps. enjoy!

Beautiful hike with an awesome 360 degree view. Trail was a bit damp but I wouldn’t call it muddy. Take the little side trails/shortcuts if you want a little extra challenge and some climbing! Lots of people on this hike. Go early!

awesome trail to a great overlook.

This trail was pretty busy today, but had a great time. Labeled as Hard, which I agree, but only as far as the handful of areas you need both hands to scale a rock face. Otherwise it's not technical at all. If it rains or had been raining recently, it will be slippery.

The view from the top is pretty amazing assuming you go all the way to the rock outcrop.

Nice hike, not too challenging. Great views but definitely slippery in certain areas so make sure to wear proper hiking shoes.

This was a very nice hike. Shade most of the trail, but with glimpses of great views along the way. The main attraction is when you reach the top of the rocky outcrop. It's a little challenging to get to it, with some technical rock scaling involved. But not something to keep you away unless your afraid of heights. Once you reach the covered picnic area your almost there. Keep going towards the pinnacle by crossing the grassy area and back into the woods. This is where you come to the most challenging part of the hike, the rock climb.

If it's been raining or going to rain, the trail will be slippery (Hawaiian Ice). For us, it had rained a bit the evening before, so some muddy areas and a few areas that were slippery and needed extra care. The trail is not marked that well and you can get off-trail by taking a few well warn paths where people have wandered off looking for a better view. The trail was well used the day we went. The parking area was also full with overflow into the street. All-in-all a very nice hike. Ware sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water, maybe a walking stick and be ready for a stunning view from the top! It only rated 4 stars in my review since it didn't have a key element, a waterfall.

Trail was a great hike. Not too difficult, but some climbing in a few spots. Trail was dry but after a couple minutes of rain, it became a little slick. Not too bad though. Views are great. Nice slow pace to enjoy the flowers and birds and still only took a couple of hours. Make sure you check the caves at the first peak. Other than that, great hike.

Fantastic hike!!! One of my favorite on the island. Venture to the right past the bench and climb to the top. Takes a little bit of rock climbing skill and the top is a little precarious but any careful hiker will be ok. View and breeze at the top were totally worth it. Pretty easy trail and mostly shaded until the top.

Beautiful trail and a great trail to get warmed up for Kauai! a bit tough going up with some rocks to climb up and down but the views are impeccable!!

This trail is a MUST!!! Absolutely breathtaking. A great half day hike. If you’re looking for hiking in Hawaii, this will give you everything you could hope for.

Beautiful view, especially on a clear sunny day!

Good trail. Was pretty dry most of the way. Not too difficult but had some steep spots.

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