Nu'alolo Trail

HARD 51 reviews

Nu'alolo Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kekaha, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until December. Horses are also able to use this trail.

7.0 miles
2463 feet
Out & Back



horseback riding

nature trips




wild flowers



no dogs

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.

12 days ago

This would get 5 stars were it not for the saturated ground from 5 days of rain. The first 2 miles are basically jungle decent. In the rain there are some steep downs. I slipped twice. Thank God for the roots on the sides! I would wear better grips shoes and having poles next time. I had to climb on all 4s uphill a few times.

The last 2 miles follows the ridge line through smaller upland trees and brush. Not as wet and some good views start to emerge. There is a slightly technical decent for about 200 feet and then it’s basically all beautiful. The 1 mile views across the canyon are incredible. Totally worth the jungle wetness of the first part. I was first to the trail at 8 and saw no one until the way back then I saw about 8 people.

30 days ago

Great hike with amazing views at the end. Views look across to the Awa’awapuhi ridge and along the Nāpali coast. Some steep sections that would be very difficult in the mud at the top and bottom of the trail. Middle section is fairly easy but also quite wet due to the gully’s that the track passes through, all safe though. It appears the middle of the track has recently been cleared and widened. The climb out has some steep sections that would be very difficult to navigate when wet, in moderate to dry conditions they are fine though. Enjoy!

1 month ago

Love this hike! Best hike on the island

2 months ago

To set the stage....I am in decent physical condition... average...but carrying about 30 pounds extra and am 53 years old. I enjoyed this hike and found it challenging but not for the fitness aspect as much as the trail condition. As other reviews notedit is wet, muddy and steep...I found the descents much more frightening than the climb. I would highly recommend trekking poles for folls in average shape and those who are not descended from mountain! I bought one walking stick at the Kokee Museam and it saved me a dozen times on the hike.

It was wet and mucky for much of the hike but no surprise as you are walking through the rain forest. Best part? No possibility of a chance encounter with a snake.. 'Why not?' you ask.....'Kauai has NO snakes!'...Yep...true....tropical rainforest, sand, sea, and zero truly is paradise!

I stopped at 3 miles and turned back due to dense fog and only saw 8 people the entire trek...felt 100% safe hiking solo...but was aware and attentive...

3 months ago

One of the most exhilarating hikes on the island. The view of NaPali cost from. 2200 ft ridge is not to be missed! Hike in morning before PM clouds and/or rain move in. Recommend trekking poles for steep pitches of mud

3 months ago

Awesome hike. For added fun, trail run down but be prepared to slow down for the slippery sections. You’ll get muddy on this one.

4 months ago

What an amazing view. Worth the trip. As far as difficulty depends who's eyes your looking out. I'm 62 wife 60 generally good health for our age. Going out not bad. Coming back for us a little different story. Just have to take your time and rest if you need it. Especially the last climb that you know is coming. Our daughter and fiancé went with us and are in early 30's and hikers so like other reviews no problem.Once again when you get out on that ridge and see the Napoli Coast it's worth every step

5 months ago

Great view at the end. Started early (6am) and was back around 10:30 without seeing a single person on the trail. The trail has no technical difficulties (beside the mentioned muddy and slippery parts), i would rate it rather moderate than hard...

5 months ago

The trip out is not very interesting in mid Sept the flowering plants were over. The view once you reach the lookout were incredible and worth the journey. Reviews were accurate this would be time consuming and dangerous in wet weather. There are areas of erosion that would scare people afraid of heights. There are signs saying the Nu'alolo Cliffs trail is permanently closed. That trail is a different trail and is closed but you can hike the Nu'alolo just fine as of Sept 14th 2017. Trail is packed dirt covered with leaves which turn muddy and slippery when wet. Also this is a muti use...meaning we saw and dealt with horses. Riders were considerate but road apples and torn up paths are possible. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

5 months ago

Fabulous trail with breathtaking views at the end. It's a tough trek back out because you are going back up the 1500 feet you went down on the way in. You will be fatigued when you get back to the parking lot but it is totally worth it. Only complaint was all the sightseeing helicopters flying by out on the point. One after another. Take LOTS of water. This place is no joke and you will dehydrate fast.

5 months ago

Easy to moderate on the way down and difficult going back up. A great day hike. The views of the Na Pali coastline at the bottom are absolutely stunning and worth the hike.

5 months ago

Beautiful trail with very few people early in the morning. Need to be patient with no views for a long time

6 months ago

coming back is brutal.

8 months ago

The awesome view at the end makes the trail totally worthwhile. On a dry day, it's steep and tiring at times, but I wouldn't call it unusually difficult or dangerous. That said, I'd avoid this trail on a rainy day or even if it's rained recently. The steep grades would be a huge pain...and potentially dangerous... in rain or mud.

I suggest bringing at least 2 quarts of water per person.

8 months ago

Mostly covered until the end. You could do a 10-mile loop of this trail and the Awa'awapuhi Trail (plus walking back along the road) by taking the Nu'alolo Cliff trail. It's closed because it's seriously eroded and dangerous though. The park staff should fix it because it makes for a great loop, taking on both trails in one swoop.

8 months ago

the road is closed. but if it doesnt rain, it s easy. ;)

11 months ago

Love this hike...difficult but great views of the Napoli coast. We went on a humid rainy day, so that made it more intense and difficult. The thickness of the forest is impressive, you soon realized how far away from civilization you are. Plenty of fruit to snack on (guavas), all you need a good pair of hiking shoes and plenty of water.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Strenuous but worth the time and effort. Going down is a breeze and takes no time. Did struggle a in the beginning on our journey home but once we hit the 2 mile marker on the way home it was cruising. Wouldn't suggest this trail if it rained recently, huge ruts could have been tricky. Bring enough water and bug spray.

Friday, November 11, 2016

This strenuous hike has a huge payoff in the form of stunning views of the coastline and valley. My boyfriend and I finished this trail in a little under four and a half hours. We went out on a clear day, so our views were unobstructed by clouds or fog. The trail to the cliffs was a pretty steady decline, so be prepared for a corresponding steady incline on your way back. Wear appropriate footwear and be conscious of any rainfall. We went on a dry day, but the trails looked like they could get washed out in a second in bad weather.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fantastic hike. I did it back in late 2013, and would have done the grand loop that included the cliffs trail as well as the Awa'awapuhi but the cliffs trails had just been closed.

The first about 2.5 miles are not that bad, but it is a constant down hill. After that the come out of the forest and are greeted to some amazing views. After you past the Cliffs trail intersection the views down into Nualolo valley are simply stunning.

If you can stomach it, make sure to make the trek to the Lola Vista, the trail gets far more treacherous, at one point are are on a rather thin ridge and a slip in either direction would result in some serious pain or maybe even death. But once you get to the vista the view is incredible, seeing all the way down the opposite side of the Nepali coast.

If the weather begins to turn on you make sure to get back to the forest portion fast, it turned on us and we experienced a solid 2 hours of constant, often torrential rain all the way from the edge of the forest to the trailhead. The trail begins to get difficult to traverse because the trail became a log flume but at least we were out of the open where the risk of falling only meant a potential scrape or bruise.

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