Kalepa Ridge Trail

HARD 29 reviews
#5 of 14 trails in

Kalepa Ridge Trail is a 1.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kekaha, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
685 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

muddy

over grown

scramble

no dogs

Difficult trail along Kalepa Ridge above the Kalalau Valley in Kokee St. This park features spectacular views.

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing views. There are a couple camping areas as well. Highly recommend this hike, however it does get fairly narrow with some erosion on parts of the trail.

15 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

22 days ago

Vitals: I'm 32 years old, 5'10", 185 lbs. if I had to describe my hiking prowess, I would call myself a "vacation hiker." I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and Merrell All-Out Blaze water shoes for the hike.

Ok, enough about me, onto the hike. Showed up at 9:45 am on May 31st and could barely see my hand in front of my face the clouds/fog were so thick. It was also lightly drizzling. So we left and came back at 1 and could see for miles. Such is Kauai! So don't give up if you get there and the weather is poor, give it a few hours and try again. But absolutely wait for clear skies. Can't imagine this Trail being worthwhile when the fog has rolled in, also, you'd probably fall off a cliff with such poor visibility.

The Trail is fairly strenuous, but mostly on the way back out as it's primarily downhill going in and of course, uphill coming out. But the Trail is so short that even the really strenuous parts on the way out only last for so long. Trail is ridiculously easy to follow, never was there even a moment of wondering "which way do I go from here?" As is the case with many trails (including pretty much every national park in the US), there are opportunities to die if you don't exercise proper caution, just don't be a fool, and you'll be fine! Only one side at a time has a dropoff, hug the opposite side and you'll be ok. Ground was dry when we went, so that made things nice. The underbrush was the worst part of the hike, scraping and scratching my shins as we went, but no lasting marks. It mostly was terrible because I had a bit of sunburn on my shins.

Did the whole thing in about an hour and a half, 1 mile each way. As a side point, we passed two girls, one barefoot, along with their off-leash dog, at about the .90 mile mark. Not saying I recommend it, just saying the Trail isn't as dangerous/ominous/foreboding/impassible as some may make it out to be.

Oh ya, almost forgot to mention....THE VIEWS! Dear lord, the views! Never seen anything like it in all my life. Absolutely incredible and worth every ounce of effort. You will not regret it. Even if you can't go the full 1 mile in, just go until you aren't comfortable going on and you will still see some of the most incredible views of your life!

hiking
25 days ago

Low key but it has tons of potential. The weather wasn't ideal for us but the hike was sweet nonetheless. The few glimpses between the clouds to the valleys and coastline down below made it worthwhile. It was even raining on us but with trail runners most of the trail wasn't terribly treacherous. It would be cool to do it on a dry day as you could proceed past the end of the trail to get even better views.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was hard but well worth the effort. For a middle-aged pudgy guy who's done many expert trails in South Dakota and Maine this was probably one of the hardest. But all you had to do was take your time and the pictures are worth 1000 words. Novices can do the trail as long as you take your time watch your footing and use your brain. Plan on about two hours round-trip.

hiking
3 months ago

Not for the faint of heart, but amazing views! Very narrow trail with steep ledges. We started about 3:00 pm. It was clear when we started then the mist came in so that we could not see anything below the trail. Mist cleared right at the end to reveal some breathtaking views and stayed that way for our hike back up. Wore shorts and got a few scratches from the brush but totally worth it.

3 months ago

short but hard and worth the views.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is a little crazy but it's well worth it if you're up for the adventure! You'll find the entrance behind the green fence at the Kalalau lookout. You'll descend through trees for a good amount of the trail - and thank goodness the trees are there because the trail is steep and muddy, you'll find yourself catching on to trees and roots to not fall. Be prepared to get dirty. It flattens out after a bit and the views are absolutely amazing. I would also recommend wearing pants because you have to hike through a thin path in brush which can scrape up your legs. Enjoy!!!

3 months ago

Incredible hike with the most Amazing views of the Napali Coast from above. Great cardio workout as it's mostly uphill when returning. Enjoyed the conversation with other hikers along the way. Aloha

3 months ago

this is actually a 3.2 mile round trip. very beautiful and dangerous if you go past the "end" of the marked trail. must be dry conditions

5 months ago

5 months ago

Beautiful ! Even though the fog rolled in on us, it made for some great photos and we had rainbow halos around our heads when we looked into it. Trail is strenuous in spots coming up, but easy to step aside and take a break if needed.

hiking
5 months ago

Best hike in Kauai hands down, unmatched views and a quick out and back. Would recommend to just about anyone with reasonable experience.

hiking
5 months ago

My girlfriend and I were recommended to do this trail by a friend local to the island when we came here on vacation. We've done a fair amount of hikes both together and with others and to be quite frank this is the most rewarding one we've ever been on. It's not very demanding at all, there's really only one spot towards the end that's a bit steep but it's certainly doable and it's quite short, maybe 5-10 mins to get past it.
Most of the trek is relatively flat except for the very beginning and the aforementioned spot toward the end. But that breathtaking moment when you come out of the brush onto the ledge at the end is more worth it than words can describe.
There are a couple spots where the trail is right next to the cliff but so long as you aren't running the trail I don't see how you could even fall off.
We read/heard the trail isn't well maintained and hard to follow but it most certainly is very navigable for even the most novice of hikers. It's very clear where the trail was the whole way.
It is unmarked and you've got to hop a little fence to get to it but it's not that difficult and is very worth it. As you come to the top of the Kalalau Lookout, all the way to the rails, look to your left and you'll see a green rail/fence that you can easily climb up, it's maybe 3 or 4 feet tall.
We did the hike after a very heavy rainy season but it hadn't rained in a couple days, there were 3 or so muddy areas but other than that mostly dry. We do highly recommend wearing proper hiking shoes.
To go up and back down, it took 2 1/2 hours. That was with plenty of stops and pictures.
Happy trails!

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely one of the best hikes in Kauai and of my life! Best bang for your buck!

7 months ago

Amazing views