Awa'awapuhi Trail

MODERATE 265 reviews
#2 of 15 trails in

Awa'awapuhi Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kekaha, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2125 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

hiking
13 hours ago

Excellent trail. The views at the end of some of the best Ive seen. There is a very narrow knife ridge with 2,500 foot drops on either side that is super cool to go out on. My 9 yo girl and 16 yo son were so stoked! Climbing back to the road was a bit tough since we can had done the Nu’alolo Trail and the cliffs connector trail for a total of 13 miles. Well worth it.

hiking
4 days ago

Amazing view at the end of the trail.

hiking
9 days ago

The distance quoted for this hike is about right, but not the elevation change (it is definitely less than 2125feet...). The views from the end of the trail are spectacular, but note: you HAVE to go all the way to the end!! The trail doesn't reward you with the views until you've done the full distance!
We actually took the Nu'alolo trail out, then took the Nu'alolo Cliff Trail across which links up to the Awa'Awapuhi Trail. The views from both the Nu'alolo and the Awa'Awapuhi lookouts are very different, so I really recommend doing both trails if you can.
You can then either walk along the road back to your car parked at the start of the Nu'alolo/Awa'Awapuhi trail, or just hitchhike - you'll probably be picked up within a minute by one of the many friendly tourist cars going past.

9 days ago

Best trail I’ve done on Kauai so far....beautiful views!!

hiking
11 days ago

My husband and I hiked this trail on a beautiful day in Kauai. There was very little mud, so we didn’t have to slip and slog through any red mud, as other have noted on wetter days. The hike itself does not have many vistas, but it is still a lovely walk through many different micro habitats. The big payoff of this hike is most certainly the end. The view took our breath away! It was simply gorgeous. Hiking back up proved to be the hardest part, there was a lot of up to get back to the top.

hiking
12 days ago

This was the most breathtaking hike that I've done with my family. We love taking active vacations together and this trail made for the best addition to our most recent Kauai trip. It took us about 4 hours roundtrip, including a fairly significant stop at the end of the trail to have a snack and enjoy the views. For this hike, definitely watch out for slippery/steep spots towards the end of your descent. These are much easier on the way back up. Also, make sure to take some food to recharge before you turn back to start the substantial ascent back to the trailhead. Absolutely incredible.

12 days ago

Don’t know how you’d give this less than 5 stars. Relatively easy hike. I added the Nu’alolo loop to it - made for a bit better exercise (about 13 miles total). I’m 51 and in decent shape - it was definitely doable with a little left in the tank.

12 days ago

INCREDIBLE

16 days ago

We did this hike yesterday (June 5). The overlook of the Na'poli coast was sooooooo cool! We allocated 4 hours to the hike, but that was with hanging out at the bottom.
Going in was a pretty steady downhill. There was a lot of mud for about the first 1 1/2 miles. When we went, there were a ton of walking sticks at the entrance. If you're worried about falling, I would grab one. I'm a pretty experienced hiker and I never use walking sticks, but after falling on a muddy hike earlier this week, I decided to use one. It made all the difference in the mud.
Overall, it was an awesome hike and I would highly recommend it.

hiking
18 days ago

Amazing pretty easy trail. The hike took us about 2:15 hours walking, but we had a pretty good tempo. The view at the end is amazing: you see the mountains and the sea. You don't see well the Napali coast (for that you need to go to the Nualolo trail), but the view on the mountains and canyons are breathtaking.

19 days ago

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW Maybe the best hike in Kauai

19 days ago

Trail is really good. But if you made Kalepa ridge trail not so far from Awaawapuhi - you can give it only 4. But I would recommend make it both. Na Poli cost views is fantastic.

hiking
21 days ago

I don't understand how anyone can give this hike less than 5 stars. The ending is just beyond incredible. It is indescribable. It is overwhelming! It's just so much to take in. You see the helicopters down in the valley which look like ants. Why pay hundreds of dollars to access that ridge when you can hike it for free? The hike is about 7 miles long. It will take an average adult between 2-3 hours to get there and 1-2 hours to get back. If you are fit, it will take 1-2 hours to get there and 1-2 hours to get back. My friends and I took 2 hours to get there and 1.5 to get back. We walked at a very nice pace with no rush and still passed people on the way there. I recommend going there early in the morning before 7 or 8 am as many more people will come between 10am and 3pm and there will be no parking and the trail will be crowded and the ridge will be too. You definitely want to be alone on the ridge as lots of people will want to take their picture on the ridge. We arrived around 8am and had the entire ridge to ourselves for about an hour. We spent a lot of time on there, taking pictures and flying a drone, and a few people got frustrated with the amount of time we took on the ridge! We still however took our time, because we beat them there. Do you need walking sticks and all that hiking stuff? Not really. There are no crazy inclines or declines. If you don't have good balance, you might slip a few times! The trail is really muddy. My girlfriend hiked the entire thing barefoot. Shoes are nice at the end when it gets rocky. Also, if it is foggy or cloudy, stay there and wait it out! When we arrived, it was super foggy and it began to pour, but we waited it out and it cleared and became sunny! We even had the privilege of seeing a rainbow in the valley! One more thing, if you plan on doing many hikes, do this one last!!!

21 days ago

I was debating whether to give this three or four stars. The lack of a fourth star is at least partly my doing.

It's a decent hike and the view at the end is amazing. The problem is the hike isn't really anything special 3 miles out or 3 miles back, so it all hinges on the view. if you go on a day where its cloudy, it's tough to say it's worth it.

We did wait 20 minutes and got some clear viewing, but only about 3 or 4 minutes.

Overall, I'd say this isn't a hike that you can plan in advance to do on a certain day. You need to be flexible and do it if conditions are right. We were about halfway out and it really cleared up (the views of Waimea on the drive out were amazing), had we gone then it would probably be 5 of 5.

That said, if the hike is that finicky I cant give it a 4 or 5. You're all in for 6 miles for one moment at the end.

Also, for anybody not willing to walk past the gates, the view isn't as spectacular.

hiking
21 days ago

My wife and I were the first on this trail at about 6:30-7 AM. The trail is a steady decline until you reach the vistas. We walked out past the vista to a point along the ridge where someone had previously built a fire. I recommend venturing out to this point as your views of the cliffs and coastline are much better.

We also completed the loop with Nualolo trail. The connecting trail has been lightly traveled because it was recently re-opened, but it takes you down into some of the valleys and alongside ridges. The variety of landscapes covered really made this connecting trail special. However, once reaching the end of the Nualolo Trail, it was obvious we should have just hiked it by itself. It takes you substantially closer to the coast and allows you to look back inland at the Awa'awapuhi Trail vistas. We hiked back out the Nualolo Trail to the trail head (caught a ride back to our car at Awa'awapuhi Trail). It was about a 10.5-11 mile hike that took us about 6-7 hours total. It was a little much for us, and we're both 25 and in decent shape. If you're used to hiking 10 miles, complete the loop! If not, I would just choose Nualolo.

26 days ago

Beautiful hike! You go through the woods and fern alleys. The view at the end is spectacular.

hiking
26 days ago

One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! Be careful if it is rainy

hiking
29 days ago

Still a lil muddy around 11:30, but the roots give good areas for traction. Dried up on the way back around 2:00. The view at the end is the best I’ve seen. Words and pictures can’t do it justice. If you only have time for one hike this is the one.

1 month ago

a recent shower made the first half (downhill) portion a little treacherous for footing but proper hiking shoes made it bearable. we braved the narrow trail after the gate but this is not necessary to get the amazing view of the coast and sheer vertical drop. this trail may have ruined many a future hike ie views simply don’t get better than this

1 month ago

No view until the very end. BUT WORTH IT!!!! So happy we trekked the 6.25 miles for this view. Completely incredible. Very steep, must be in decent shape with proper footwear and poles.

1 month ago

Went yesterday and the trail was dry for the most part, some muddy sections but not bad. We were the first ones there.. got there at 645am and finished at 930am out and back. The amazing views of the Na Pali is so rewarding at the end!

1 month ago

Those cliffs! The view ! The most glorious hike ever ! Definitely a must do !

hiking
1 month ago

GORGEOUS. One of our favorite views of the island. May 2018. We started around 10am and got back around 12:40. Spent around 30 minutes just drinking in the view. Going past the guardrail is dangerous, especially if it's wet. People have died here. But the views....my gosh. The way down is easy: we ran the whole way. The way back is relentlessly up. Not terribly steep but gets a little tiring in the hot muggy forest with no down at all. We stopped at Kalalau Lookout after getting back and it was completely fogged in. If it's foggy when you get out there, wait as long as you can: the fog can suddenly lift even if it seems like it'll never change. The weather out here is very changeable and the view is completely worth it. I'd wait up to 3 hours to see it.

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I just finished hiking the trail. It was muddy at some spots on the way down and I slipped pretty good. The viewpoint at the end was all cloudy, so we couldn’t see down very far (might have been a good thing because it is very narrow at the end). The way back felt like it was all uphill and it was tiring. Grab a walking stick from the trailhead for extra balance. Overall, it was worth it but we are worn out

1 month ago

Hiked it. Started out looking like the perfect day. Got to view point. Fogged in and dripping. Waited 50 minutes and headed back. Oh well. Can't win them all. Great exercise.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing. The weather has been crummy all week but yesterday it didn’t rain, so we decided to pull the trigger and attempt Awa’awapuhi this morning. Left Kapaa early, got to the trailhead around 6:15am and were the first ones there. The path was well defined, including mile markers, and the mud was tacky and I managed to stay upright all day even in my Tevas. Be aware that the hike down to the vista pounds on the knees after awhile. We got down to the vista right around 8am, going at a slow/moderate pace to avoid slips. We were the only ones down there when we got there, and continued on past the guard rail to the end of trail. Definitely take caution, the path is no joke. We loaded up on some pretzels and almond butter and enjoyed the view for about 25-30 minutes on our own. Absolutely spectacular, it was by far the best view we saw on the island. On the way back up we probably saw 45-50 people so it is 100% worth it to wake up and get moving early early. Enjoy and be safe!

hiking
1 month ago

The pay off in the end is beyond worth it! We just trekked it last week. It took about 1 hour and 30 minutes at a moderate pace took about 30 minutes at view point and a little longer on way back 1 hour and 40 minutes. I don’t get to hike as much as I like so it was a little challenging. I would rate moderate to hard. There is a good amount of elevation change. You go down in the beginning so be prepared for the going up. Make sure to bring a good amount of water the right hiking shoe and definitely trekking polls are key. It’s a spectacular view that you won’t regret!!

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy as expected great views with clear skies. Fiancé and I hiked with tennis shoes 1:45 out 1:30 return have a change of shoes or bags for muddy shoes and clothing. Got on the trailhead at 8am on a Monday little to no other hikers. Passed multiple people on return. Weather forecast is tricky cloud coverage can vastly change from the local Waimea Canyon forecast. Most difficult aspect is the mud and slipping factor. Multiple vistas at end of trial depending on bravery/risk tasking. Overall definitely worth it.

1 month ago

This trail is awesome I did it with my parents and it is worth the view ! I highly recomand !

1 month ago

Awesome hike, beautiful trail, no mud, nice grade, 4 hour, out and back. Incredible views of the canyon. Great hike.

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