Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp

MODERATE 97 reviews
#4 of 13 trails in

Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kekaha, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1620 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

Combining two of Kauai's best hikes take us from dramatic coastal cliffs to an exotic boardwalked swamp trail. Kauai, the oldest and westernmost inhabited Hawaiian island has a terrain and climate like nowhere else. This hike combines some of the best features of Kauai into an unforgettable hiking experience. Take a westerly drive around Kauai until you run out of road and you'll find yourself at the Pu'u O Kila Lookout marveling at the views of the plunging cliffs of Kalalau Valley on the fabled Na Pali Coast. Exploring beyond this point is achieved only on foot, so strap on those hiking boots. The trail starts at the end of Waimea Canyon Drive (550) at the Pu'u o Kila Lookout. Views of Kalalau Valley. Pihea Trail intersects Alakai Swamp Trail and continues to the Kilohana Lookout. Views of Ha'ena and the North Shore are visible from Kilohana, clouds permitting.

2 days ago

Nice hike. It was a different kind of hike with all the boards but still enjoyed it. Didn’t see too much the clouds were very low.

3 days ago

Go early, before the clouds settle in and you will be rewarded。

hiking
7 days ago

A beautiful hike, splendid views, an all around awesome time and time we'll spent!

hiking
7 days ago

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9 days ago

We did this today on 11/12/17 and it took us 2,5 hours out and 2,5 hours back. Due to the rain it was very muddy on the first 1/3 of the trail. Slippery. Definitely bring hiking sticks and wear sturdy hiking boots. After that it is a never ending swamp land with boardwalk. Some are slippery and some are loose. Be careful not to fall in. At one point you have to pass a small river which has nice rocks to step on. Lots of wissen stairs as well. It was a long and you think you never get there. Finally at the lookout at 11:30. Not rewarded with a nice view due to the clouds and fog. We waited even 45 min. Nothing. We headed back. Bring lots of water, hat, sunscreen and food/snacks. You will be hungry for sure. Also start our early. Don't go to late because it can get rainy. I would never do this one again after some rainy days. Just very uncomfortable to hike/crawl through the steep and clay/mud part in the beginning. Not many people on the tail at all. Don't do this alone if you don't know hiking well and the weather is unpredictable up there. Also the swamp land didn't had much to offer as a look out at all. Nothing scenery on the hike. It's really the lookout in the end!

12 days ago

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2 months ago

We were looking for a hike that was decently lengthy but didn't take all day. This one definitely fit the requirements. Once you make your way toward the swamp along the boardwalk, it seems as if there is no end in sight and you'll walk along the swamps for eternity. However, there is an end and the view overlooking hanalei bay is incredible. Be mindful of some of the boardwalk is a little loose. I stepped in water a couple times and soaked my whole foot, my shoes were not waterproof. We used a Garmin to track the distance and it was closer to 9 miles round trip.

hiking
3 months ago

The beginning of this trail has the best view you can see of the kalalau valley. This is at the end of the road at Waimea canyon state park and offers exponentially better views than the lookout point earlier down the road. You can go about half mile in to see the views, and as you go further, you get to where it becomes the swamp after about 2 miles in. Wear some grippy shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

Phenomenal. Best "Moderate" hike on Kauai so far! We loved the variation in geology and topography.

hiking
3 months ago