Kukui Trail [CLOSED] is a 5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Wainiha, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 2,162 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. An incredible experience of Waimea Canyon's west side, this Kokee State Park trail drops 2,000 feet to the canyon floor. Travel through a forest of Kukui and other upland trees stopping at viewpoints of the canyon and distant waterfalls along the way. River at the bottom. Camping by permit at Wiliw

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This trail has a beautiful payoff but be aware that the toughest part of the trail is in full sun so doing it early in the day or later in the afternoon is advised. Starts out as a downhill over red dirt and ends in a beautiful forest of Kukui Trees. I took my dog and he did good. I would advise only for experienced and confident hikers.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Good trail steep on the way up bring lots of water

Foret dense a la fin. Bien jusqu'à 1.75 miles.

hiking
washed out
4 months ago

Fun trail to the river and back. the first 1.5 mi is pretty smooth dirt, albeit quite washed out. then you finish in progressively thicker grass and hitchhiking/burr seed plants.

hiking
muddy
scramble
4 months ago

Beauty starts at the top as you descend down into canyon. All photos opportunities can be done within first 1-2 miles down. Once you get down the 3 sets of mud dunes straight down it leads into a shady forest area which becomes a scramble for a bit and then starts to become muddy and trail narrows with overgrown brush. Climbing out is the tough part and after some mildly tired legs it can be a bit demoralizing. Mud dunes are straight up and they seem to be never ending. Then the switchbacks come and, again, seem never ending. Nice workout but climbing out is tough.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Was lucky enough to hike between down pours, super slippery when wet, but WOW, the views of Waimea canyon, as soon as you go below the trees the views are gone until you get back. The trail goes to the river and ends. If you just want the views, skip the portion down into the trees

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked about 2 miles down on January 10. In and out of the canopy, but some great views along the way. Muddy/slippery in a few spots but nothing serious. We had a sunny day and I suspect it would be much more challenging in wetter conditions. Tough hike back up!

hiking
muddy
scramble
4 months ago

Hiked the first couple miles of this trail where the views are the best. Still very muddy.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

Second time I’ve done this. Agree with other reviews that this hike is most interesting, most awe-inspiring during the first two miles while you’re still above the tree line. I still go to the river though. Just remember that it’s all downhill on the way out, so all uphill on the way back. A short hike down the canyon gives you amazing views of the canyon. Doing this hike as early in the day as possible helps with making the return; most of the trail is unprotected from the sun. Be careful parking on Waimea Canyon road near the nature loop that precedes this trail. Don’t leave anything in your car. There are break-ins, unfortunately, from time to time.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
5 months ago

Took away one star because once you're below canopy theres is a bunch of overgrown vegetation and bugs nipping at you. Gorgeous, stunning views until the canopy. Great and tough climb for the view! Heard a goat but didn't see one

We were not in the market for a big hike - just trying to get out of the rain on the east side. We did have proper hiking boots on & water. We did about a third of this hike and it was absolutely stunning and perfectly satisfying. Folks coming up reported rough going at the bottom, so we just did and much as we felt like, knowing it would be UP all the way back. The views! The little nature loop at the top (.4 miles) is also really cool, with some of the flora identified, with some background information.

hiking
5 months ago

Not entirely worth the effort. The end is just a river. Nothing super special, currently muddy in a lot of areas.

5 months ago

Looking for hikers to join on this trail Dec 23-29. I have no car but plenty of nature enthusiasm to spare instagram: @skye.russell

no shade
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

Like some reviews allude to... The prettiest parts of the trail are in the beginning. Once you descend below the tree-line it gets gnarly. It was so overgrown I had to literally crawl... I gave up after 0.25miles of mindless bushwhacking. Beautiful view of the canyon as you descend though, just watch your footing!

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

You don’t have to worry about water until the very end at the creek. We did a hike the other day and I switched to my keens instead of my boots. We made it .25 miles in and I went back to the car to grab my boots and trekking pole. On the way down I would’ve bit it so many times without my pole and proper shoes. Everyone else I saw had tennis shoes other than my boyfriend and myself but we would rather be safe than sorry. Here is a list of things I advise for this hike that helped us on 81 degree day with some mud: Hiking boots Trekking pole Lots of water (I had 1.5 liters, I’m 140 and 5’9” and it’s the first time I have ever ran out of water on a trail...with one mile left to go) More water than you expect to bring Bug spray Light long sleeve/pants (for the forest part closer to the end, lots of mosquitos and overgrowth of plants to the point that I couldn’t see the rocks on the ground and was tripping over them. The plants rubbing and open skin to bugs made for an itchy hike down to the water). Snacks to stay fueled, I took a ginsting energy gel Water shoes, maybe bathing suit if you want to get in the water at the end but it’s not very deep Micro spikes for mud, if you’re clumsy like I am Band aids for blisters on feet Tape in case someone rolls an ankle, learn NOLS J wrap I wore my Apple watch and monitored my heart rate for when I thought it was an appropriate time to rest Once you see the trees and you’re still on the canyon part is when you want to put on bug spray if you don’t have it already. The last thing you want to do is stop moving while sweaty to spray for bugs. Things to be aware of: Heat No drinking water Mosquitos Red ants Mud/rocks We heard a mountain goat and lots of chickens but didn’t see any. The views are absolutely stunning! It’s so worth it but it’s definitely a butt kicker. I’m about to put cbd lotion on my legs and compression leggings! Safe and happy hiking to you all.

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Beautiful and challenging hike through the canyon. Lots of switchbacks through the rocky clay slots at the top, and an abundance of overgrowth on the trail towards the bottom of the canyon. Lots of mosquitoes as well so if these things bother you, best to avoid this one. I was drenched in sweat also as this is pretty grueling heading back up to where we parked, but for me, hikes like this are totally worth every drop of sweat, bug bite, bruise, etc. the views are amazing at Waimea Canyon!

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