Alaka'i Swamp Trail is a 7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Waimea, Hawaii, Hawaii that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Length7.0 miElevation gain1,332 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsBird watchingForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (32)
Photos (315)
Activities (16)
Completed (105)
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Sabrena Camp
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Bird watchingMuddy

The trail was very well maintained considering how fast the wood rots out there. We had a blast but accidentally started at the Pihea trail and took that to the end and back making it almost 10 miles round trip. Plan to get wet! We started at 8am and the view at the end was covered in a cloud but we still loved it. So many forest birds flying around!

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Jane Belzberg
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Hiking

Amazing hike - hard to understand how anyone would not find the hike “picturesque?” Gorgeous ferns, trunks covered with neon lichen and little worlds of orange and green moss abound! A virtual fairyland! The least interesting part (IMO) is the view at the end - it’s nice, but on this hike - it’s truly the journey and not the destination!!

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wm banks
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely great trail especially if the sky is clear at end! We drove 4wd in from dirt road across from the lodge. Signs were removed and it was difficult to know where to stop for the trail head. I purchased a map from the lodge that helped. If you get to river crossing you’ve gone too far. Absolutely need a 4wd with skills to use it if you want to come in from this direction. Otherwise come in from the end of the paved road.

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Kassidy McCowan
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Hiking

Hiked this 11/20 with our daughters (11,9,8). 1. This hike needs to be done earlier in the day 2. Try your best for a clear day or at least intermittently sunny. It rained the entire 4 hours we were hiking and once we got to the lookout, we couldn’t see anything. 3. The first mile is pretty straightforward and easy. Then comes a boardwalk section with a gradual incline. Then a steep decline boardwalk section where the boards are old, broken etc. Then an incline and decline that is straight muddy, rocks, etc. Then the last mile-ish is flat boardwalk. 4. You will get muddy and most likely feet wet on this trail. Even if it hadn’t been raining the whole time, our feet were still soaked. 5. Some of the boards have been replaced but in many places they’re broken, deteriorated, or non existent. The footing can be very tricky in many places. 6. You’re in a swamp. There are no views until the lookout. Don’t expect a picturesque hike. 7. Despite that it was a cool adventure and very different type of hike than we’ve done before 8. Driving to the hike....you will need 4wd or truck to get back to the trailhead. We couldn’t even get all the way to the trailhead in our suv because the road had huge deep mud/water ruts. We had to walk an extra half mile due to that.

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Claire Kudika
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HikingMuddy

This was such an incredible hike. it was unlike any scenery I've ever seen before, and even with the cloudy overlook, it was without question my favorite hike of my visit to Kauai.

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Bryan Buckingham
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Camping

Great trail on a good weather day. Pick a clear day out there because it’s almost always nicer at the trailhead and usually deteriorating near the end of the Kilohana vista. It’s best to go early on most days. Mostly flat boardwalk with a valley and river crossing.

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Larissa Rossen
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HikingMuddy

The trail is mostly board walk which has slowly degraded over the years. Many sections are now broken so it can be a bit of an obstacle course. It took us under an hour to get to the end view point which was misted in. We wait for 40 mins and then finally had a 10 sec window of view to Hanalei which was spectacular. We walked back in 30 mins. Some sections are quite slippery and experienced members slipped over so be careful. It rained on and off all day. The swamp section of the hike is quite a unique environment. The drive out was also fun. A great day!

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Emily Stallings
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HikingMuddy

My husband and I did the complete Alakai Swamp trail later in the afternoon. The first 15 minutes or so is just the trail with no boardwalk, and some parts are overgrown/muddy but not too bad. The trail gets better the farther along you get, where there is actual "swamp." Some of the boards were pretty slick (old wooden ones), and I definitely slipped and got a big raspberry and bruise on my left cheek. If I had to do this again, I'd probably start with the Pihea Vista Trail part then connect up to the Alakai Swamp. Beautiful view at the end! Also, definitely recommend 4WD if you are going to drive to the Alakai Swamp Trail Head. Out and back took us 3 hours. There were surprisingly few bugs on the trail, which was great.

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Greg Bilsland
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FloodedMuddyOver grown

My wife and I did the western portion of this trail after dropping down from the Pihea trail. The trail is beautiful and truly gives you the chance to witness some of Kauai's unspoiled wilderness. We were the only people on the trail for the three hours we spent. This gave us a chance to observe some endemic birds including many apapane and a couple Kauai elepaio. The board walk is being replaced in a few places, so there are some rotted and slippery boards. Recommend high traction shoes and possibly poles. Make sure to wash off your shoes since the native ohia trees are vulnerable to rapid ohia death and can infect trees on other parts of the island. Enjoy!

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Julie Riely
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Hiking

We must have hit a lucky weather pattern because we had fantastic views all directions along the ridge. Birds sang to us often on the trail but they were shy and didn’t show their full- selves, except the white-tailed tropicbird that flew overhead. The road in was too steep and rutted for our rental car at one point, so we parked and walked .75 miles to the trailhead. Loved this hike.

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. .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2019
HikingMuddy

Indigenous birds that can be seen nowhere else in the world. Very muddy. Up and down steep hills. Cloud filled.

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Rachel McLain
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HikingMuddy

Trail definitely makes you pay attention to your footing! Starting out, slippery descents and ascents can be a fun challenge! Beautiful scenery on this unusual hike. Can be pretty wet ( we got rained on quite a bit). If you’re lucky you can get a beautiful view at the end before heading back...be patient...the clouds move quickly!

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Martin Hodges
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HikingMuddy

Unique hike. Interesting terrain you probably won’t experience anywhere else. Big payoff view of Hanalei Bay at end IF you are not fogged in. Best to go in morning. Don’t step off steel/wood path or you’ll sink in deep mud. Worth the effort.

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David Garfagnoli
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HikingMuddy
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Evan Harrington
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Hiking
First to Review

Interesting day hike through a high-elevation swamp. I have to hand it to the trail crews, those walkways must have been extremely difficult to place up there. Worth the trip, but don't count on amazing views because it tends to be VERY overcast up there.

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Ashley L
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HikingMuddy
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Darren Geng
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Hiking
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Bryan Buckingham
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Hiking
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Kyle Forker
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Hiking
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Lani Ridings
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Hiking
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Spencer Ahrens
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Hiking
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Eric Howard
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Hiking
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Steven Collens
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Hiking
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M Co
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Hiking
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M K
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Hiking
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Andrew Dalton
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Hiking
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James Dalton
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Hiking
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Adam Dunn
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Hiking
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