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Makaleha Trail is a 4.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kapaʻa, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.2 km Elevation Gain: 258 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

A must do trail for advanced hikers. This trail ends with 3 waterfalls and if you want to continue for another .5 mile, you will end at another waterfall. Lush green forest, cool stream and after 1.5 miles, you will see the first 3 waterfalls. You will climb over boulders in the stream and on top of branches of fallen trees. Optionally, you can continue on another .5 mile to the waterfall on the right. Jump in the ice cold water for a nice swim.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
2 days ago

Very difficult trail unless you’re an experienced hiker, even then it’s a bit tough. You WILL get wet, muddy, and have to climb over rocks. Like other reviews and the description say, don’t trust the map’s accuracy 100% for following the trail, as there are a couple points you need to cross the stream. The arrows are hard to find at times, carved into the trees. Once you get to the fork in the stream keep right. Towards the end you need to walk up it. All that said, that trail felt like it was straight out of a movie (my wife said survivor), and the view of the waterfall in this valley is so incredibly rewarding. Well worth the cuts and bruises!

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

This trail is hard. If it is your first time READ THIS: IF YOU FOLLOW THE PLANKS TO THE PIPED SPRING YOU ARE NO LONGER ON THE TRAIL. It seemed like a lot of people made this mistake as we did - you will find some odd paths from here but it will be taxing on your experience. The trail crosses the stream to the left instead of going to the right towards the spring. As you go, look for arrows carved into trees to help you find the correct path, look for areas on branches and rocks missing moss - this trail is definitely an adventurous one and not for the inexperienced just due to difficult navigation, wet and steep conditions, and small obstacles. you will find yourself climbing rocks, roots, etc. Super cool if you are into it. the flowers, bamboo and the waterfalls add to the adventure!

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
12 days ago

An honest review: This hike completely destroyed me. Both physically and mentally. At one point I called out for Jesus to take the wheel. Not kidding. I thought about turning around several times but legitimately didn’t think I could make it back on my own. My only hope was to get to the waterfall and pair up with someone coming back. They are not kidding when they say the trail is virtually non-existent. Not only will you constantly question whether you are on the right path or not, but you will have to get on all fours at some points, scale slippery rocks on the river, pass dense bamboo forests and more. The entire time I was thinking no way is this hike going to be worth it...but, when you get to the waterfall....it was. It took me almost 2.5 hrs to get to the waterfall alone. Going back was a breeze, took an hour tops. Bring lots of water, snacks, and shoes that handle well in the water and mud. I hope this review helps someone like me that thought “oh 2.6 miles, easy!” Wrong. Prepare yourself. When in doubt, direct yourself back to the stream and keep moving forward, if I can do it, you can do it.

hiking
bugs
muddy
13 days ago

This was an amazing hike. It’s “short” but pretty hard so it took us a lot longer than our normal pace. The trail is not marked clearly and in many places you have to make your own. Definitely worth it and recommend it for those looking for an adventure! NOTE: make sure to pack tons of bug spray

hiking
muddy
18 days ago

hiking
over grown
scramble
19 days ago

Get ready to be on all fours and get lost a couple of times ;) wear good hiking shoes or water shoes. Nor for you if you have trouble bending down, climbing, jumping. Def. nothing for kids and/or kids in a carrier. It was very fun and beautiful!

hiking
bugs
scramble
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Who likes a lot of mud, puddles, climbing over rocks and crawling through the undergrowth is fun ... river crossings as well. The waterfall in the end? Well, if the water were clear. Recommend shoes that protect the ankle (avoid open cuts). Pay attention to stone figures that point the way.

hiking
bugs
muddy
scramble
25 days ago

Tough trail but well worth it.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
scramble
29 days ago

Amazing trail! Lots of muddy scrambling. Prepare to get dirty and wet, but worth it to when you get to the falls. There are lots of trails and splits, basically for different seasons (the higher trails are for the wetter seasons) but they get you to the same place. A little great adventure!

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