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Nu'alolo Trail is a 7.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length 7.5 mi Elevation gain 2,578 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Forest Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy No dogs
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290

Directions from Waimea: Take either Highway 55 0r 550 to the highway's junctiom above the Waimea Canyon. Continue up the hill towards Kokee State Park. Drive along the highway past the Halemanu Valley Road for around 11/2 miles. This will place you at the turnoff for the Kokee State Park Headquaters. Travel along a short paved broad meadow into the Kokee Lodge parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (293)
Photos (411)
Recordings (186)
Completed (604)
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Kaylee Vandjelovic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

Challenging yet rewarding hike! Try to go early to avoid the heat. Highly recommend!!

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Phillip Putman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
Hiking

To my mind Kauai is the jewel of Hawaii, rugged with breathtaking beauty and thankfully relatively unspoiled given its popularity as a vacation destination. This trail is always top of my ‘to-do’ list, and one of my all-time favorites. As a creature of habit, I confess I’m most likely missing equally amazing trails, but I’m a sucker for this one. It’s not for everyone though. A fair degree of fitness and stamina is required and not for the faint hearted. Drop-offs toward the lookout end of the trail can be daunting if you have an aversion to heights. The following gear is highly advised. Good boots and socks. Hiking poles. A hat. A decent day pack with a light rain jacket, just-in-case. Food to keep you going and water to keep you hydrated. Always carry spare. All you have is all that’s available. This may also help someone less prepared. A baggie for your garbage. Please always pack out what you bring in. Postpone if the weather has been particularly rainy. From the trailhead you will start with a pleasant walk through a wooded area where you get the reason why this Island featured in the Jurassic Park movie franchise. Beasties not withstanding you will begin the descent which can be treacherous owing to exposed tree roots which can be very slippery when wet. Care is advised. Finally, you start to get glimpses of the Ocean where the trees make way to the open path for the last section before you reach the end of the trail. This is where the payoff begins with wide open jaw-dropping views inland and out to sea. At the viewpoint you can enjoy lunch or a snack, rest-up and enjoy the constant helicopter traffic flying overhead, out to sea, returning and then swooping down into the canyon before flying off to make space for the next flight. When you’re ready to return, you can decide if you want to use the same route or take an excursion. In my opinion the latter is easier, so if it’s wet or you’re tired you may want to do this. There is a marked trail that will take you to the Awa’Awapuhi. This is pretty with a waterfall, but mostly wooded. At the Awa’Awapuhi trail you can go to the viewing area, or hike back up the hill (or both). The Nu’Alolo will have spoilt you and the view though still amazing somehow does not have the same impact. Super nit-picky, I know. Taking this route back will return you to a different trailhead where you will need to walk back to your car via the road, so some caution is advised. Walk towards oncoming traffic, so you can see cars from further off and more importantly, they see you. Should you return via the Nu’Alolo, be prepared for a good old slog back to the trailhead. Rest often and take snack breaks.

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Lesya Estrada
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
Hiking

Probably my favorite trail on this island. The hike is not easy. Hiking sticks are great addition. Bring plenty of water and food. Go all the way to the end as this is where the out-of-this-world view is. If you are not in great shape, you may want to stick to easier trails. This one takes stamina for sure and pretty much the whole day.

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LeAnn Gaspar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 6, 2020
Hiking

The trail was perfect today. No mud at all as there has been very little rain lately. Definitely take time at the end of trail to take it all in and be prepared for the very intense hike back to your car. Brings snacks and lots of water!!!

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Charlie Kale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 17, 2020
HikingMuddy

Muddy, but absolutely worth it. Amazing hike.

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Nick S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 5, 2020
HikingMuddy

Mud, mud and more mud. The first 1.3 miles will take you through ankle deep mud and slop. After that, you’re in the clear. Take a walking stick from the trail head (20 or so there as of 3/3). Definitely wear hiking boots or bring athletic shoes you are OK with ruining. Hike took 2:10 out 1:50 back including water breaks. Remember to factor in some time at the end soaking in the incredible view.

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Alice P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownScramble

absolutely stunning views! this is Kauai, mud is going to be part of the adventure! ankle deep at times, highly recommend trekking poles or at least a couple of decent sticks, there's about 15 or so decent ones at the trailhead as of 28 Feb 20. the first 600m took me 20 minutes in the mud so be careful! going back up easy if you've got poles or sticks. views are phenomenal, just don't blow off!

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Gaelic Grimm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 26, 2020
HikingMuddy

Great hike. You just have to accept mud on hikes in Kauai. Overall it was a nice dry trail, there was just over a mile overall of mud. Beautiful forest to start the trail, with amazing views of the coast at the end. Save your water for the return trip.

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Alison M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
HikingMuddy

Sections of the hike were super muddy, don’t wear shoes you can’t get covered in mud! The mud mostly clears up after the first mile. The views at the end are unbelievable - allow yourself enough times to sit and admire them. Took us about two hours each way - about 4.5 total.

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Richard Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
Hiking

Amazing views at the end. Coast line, canyon, and waterfall are all visible. No way around the mud but manageable. I think it adds to the experience. Took about 4.5 hours with 25 minute stop at the coast. Started just after 9 am and didn't see any other people.

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Steve Doberstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 14, 2020
HikingMuddy
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Patrick Muller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 30, 2020
HikingMuddy

Since it’s a canyon you climb down first and climb back out. The first 3.5 miles is all downhill. Pretty muddy for first mile and very slippery. However, the view at the end is pure amazing. I mean, incredible views that are life changing. However, climbing back out was challenging and the last mile is muddy. Tl:dr best views of all hikes but muddy and difficult climbing out

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Myriam Burns
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 24, 2020
HikingMuddy
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Sarah Broesch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 21, 2020
HikingMuddy

Great hike with rewarding views at the end. We started early, around 8 and only saw 2 other people. Parking lots was full, although small when we exited at noon. Trail is muddy in spots but we expected that. Could here a flurry of honey bees gathering pollen from the trees above. Very neat.

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Joanne Templeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 12, 2020
HikingBlowdownFloodedMuddy

This is a probably 5 on a sunny day. We went on a rainy day. Very slipper.y. Our group of 6 had a range of abilities and footing was the biggest worry. Very wet & muddy. Out of 6 of us, 3 fell 3 times. Everyone else fell at-least once. Rain and clouds deny you a view. Thankfully no one got hurt and we have some great memories, think “Romancing the Stone” (the slide with Michael Douglas & Kathleen Turner)..

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Jeff Salin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 11, 2020
Hiking

When it’s raining, tough hike. I agree with the other reviewer. Mike 3 to the end, if it’s wet can be almost impossible to make it back up. I have it a three because the view was spectacular. Greens, greys, reds. Just awesome. But go on a sunny day.

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Sam Kotlove
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 11, 2020
HikingMuddy

This trail is extremely challenging when muddy. I don’t mean muddy like your shoes will get ruined, muddy as in there were moments we weren’t sure we could make it back. Up until you get to mile 2 it’s fine, it’s just wet and there’s nothing interesting to see. Around mile 3 there are some steep run offs that are nearly impossible to go down not on your butt and even harder on the way back. The end view may have been worth it if it’s clear, but for us it wasn’t. I would only recommend this trail on a dry, clear day. Otherwise there are many better options that are way more worth your time. Trust me.

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A K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2020
HikingClosed

Closed right now for efforts related to the recent helicopter accident. Normally beautiful.

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Lorenz Magaard-Romano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 31, 2019
Muddy

very muddy but stunning views absolutely worth it ! would recommend going early in the day before it gets too hot. @official.lrnz if you want to ask anything else :)

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Skye Russell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 22, 2019

Looking for some hikers to join on this trail Dec 23-29! instagram: @skye.russell

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sujee Sel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 21, 2019
HikingMuddy
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Reed Stiles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 14, 2019
HikingMuddy

Whoa! Slippery, muddy, and straight down. And then of course, it’s an uphill climb on the way back out. It was a treacherous and wild hike to some amazing views. Took around 4 hrs in total. Not sure it’s possible to hike it in heavy rains. We hiked past the official end point and got some cool coastal views. We each fell down 2 times on the way out because it’s so slippery (even in high end shoes)

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Rich Hedrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2019
Hiking

Wet Muddy Slippery going down Views are amazing Downhill there means uphill back Workout Bring lots of water 5 Stars!

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Raffael Held
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 7, 2019
HikingMuddyWashed out

Anspruchsvolle Tour , gutes Schuhwerk zu empfehlen und evtl. Gehstock! Die Aussicht ist es wert. Insgesamt ohne Pausen hin und zurück ca. 3.5h !

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Jon Giffin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 3, 2019
HikingMuddy
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