17 hours ago

1 day ago

Great trail that leads to a nice waterfall. The 100 year old trees throughout the trail are massive and beautiful. My wife, 10 year old son and 6 year old daughter handled it with no problem. Pack some snacks and bring water. $5 for parking or you can park on the street before the park and walk up to the hike. You will get muddy on this one and make sure your steady with your footing because the rocks will be slippery in areas. Make sure to stop 3/4 of the way up on the right is a cool area to take a break and build a rock teepee by the stream.

The hike can be challenging at times, especially at the crater. When we went, we weren't aware of how high the trail actually went so be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, maybe a lunch. There's some parts of the trail that are almost vertical and the rope on the trail is needed. Also, at the crater the trail gets very narrow and steep, pretty sketchy. But for anyone looking for a challenge who has the better part of the day open, I would highly recommend this hike. Pack more food and water than you think you'd need, it's very steep and tiring.

Very easy and children friendly. The waterfall at the end was nice and you were able to swim in the shallow water. It was slick in some places. Beautiful sites.

Only go if it has been raining for a few days prior or the waterfall at the end is a joke. Can be muddy and slippery at certain points

What a fun trail! Hard uphill and your shoes will get wet, make sure you have bug spray and an idea of your route!

3 days ago

Worth the hike and less muddy than some of the other trails after a rain due to the some rock on the trail. A few mosquitos to plan for--but not too bad. In the end a beautiful waterfall.

as good and easy as it gets for families and little ones.

very muddy. if bringing kids i would recommend them being allot older.

5 days ago

Know thy self. Know your skills. Know your abilities.

Speaking as a semi-casual hiker, this trail is among my all-time favorites, but it comes with caveats.

1) This Trail is Unauthorized: It's a little off the grid with limited parking, which means there's a good chance you'll never pass a fellow hiker along the way, which is pretty cool. However, its unofficial status also means safety is not guaranteed. Of course, the same can be said for any National Park trail as well, but the risk is multiplied in Ka'au's case. Ropes are provided in most tough areas but definitely not all and the ribbons used as trail markers are usually placed frequently enough to find your way but there are still some times where you must meander a little on your own.

Essentially, the sign at the trailhead is to be taken literally. Hike at your own risk. If the trail has experienced any sort failure or weakening, there's a chance no one's going to warn you or stop you from going.

2) This Trail Can Be Dangerous (and Super Muddy) When Wet: My hat goes off to hiking pros who've lived and been through these types of conditions on hiking trails before but for me and my travel buddy, this was easily the muddiest and dirtiest hike of our life. If it's rained in the area recently, you're going to be in for a muddy time. We tried to avoid the mud for the first mile or two but quickly found the exercise to be futile. Instead, you just have to own it and accept that your hiking shoes and probably most of your lower torso is going to be caked in mud by the time it's all said and done (bring a second wardrobe to change into at the end of the hike... and towels... and something to sit on for the sake of your car seats).

Now for the danger. We'd heard that a wet Ka'au could be a dangerous Ka'au, so we proceeded with caution when we noticed a rain cloud above the crater. And quite truthfully, 90 percent of the hike up felt pretty safe, all things considered. But just when you start to wonder if everyone else was exaggerating about the negative effects of water on the trail, things will get hairy. There's a lot of clay here and wet clay combined with hiking shoes also caked in clay means there's going to be multiple moments where you either won't have the grip needed to ascend or you'll find yourself sliding downward on your butt and in peril.

3) Seriously, Know Your Limits: Again, we're not hiking pros, so this is more for folks like us, who've tackled a few cool hikes here or there but for whom it's not a daily passion. We loved this hike. Climbing the waterfalls via rope-walk is one of the coolest things I've ever done. It all seemed a lot more do-able than I thought it was going to be.

Until it wasn't.

Once we hit the crater, we made the decision to hike it clockwise. It was still wet and muddy, but we powered through and felt pretty good about ourselves. About 60 percent of the way around, however, things really began getting dicey. Just before reaching the three peaks, and shortly after the path narrowed severely with cliffs along each side, we began running into a number or ascents that did not have ropes or clear grabs where typically there had been before. After a few of the scarier hiking moments we've ever experienced—and after seeing the remnants of a recent landslide just off the third peak—we realized it was likely in our best interest to turn around and re-trace our steps. After miles of most of the trail making sense and offering all the proper help when needed, it seemed as though we suddenly hit an area that came up empty - no rope, no roots, no branches, zero traction, straight up. Tough pill to swallow when we felt so close to finishing up the trail proper but as tourists with solid-but-not-awesome hiking skills, we realized we probably pushed it further than we should have in the first place, considering the weather and trail condition.

4) Hiking the Waterfalls Isn't as Rough as it May Seem: This was our favorite part of the hike. Pictures and videos can make these climbs appear to be quite a tall order (steep, wet, long) but they go pretty quickly and smoothly, assuming you're concentrating and utilizing the ropes. You cover a lot of ground in a hurry. Such a fun and unique experience.

5) Time of Hike Varies Greatly: We read a few reviews that stated this was a 5-ish-mile hike that would take between 4.5 and 5 hours to complete. Definitely possible. But if you're more of a go-with-the-flow-and-soak-it-in type, you could push 6 hours plus, particularly if you stop for a snack, a photo op or two, or end up doubling back after realizing you can't climb that clay slide of doom.

6) This Hike is Awesome: This was easily one of the most memorable trails we've ever tackled, right up there with the Redwoods, Angel's Landing, and Smoky. You really do have to be aware of your own limitations here, or at least the limitations being imposed upon you by the environment and climate. If you've got that

nature trips
5 days ago

Great family hike. The kids lived it.