Explore the most popular trails near Kapaa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Kapaa, Hawaii Map
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Super easy walk in a beautiful rain forest with views of Mt Waialeale almost the entire trail. We wanted something easy in between awa'awapuhi and alakai swamp hikes. There is a cute little waterfall at the end. The hardest part of the trail is getting over a huge eucalyptus tree that blocks the trail. Other than that, this is an easy hike for the whole family. Turn right at the picnic table to continue on to the little waterfall. The trail connects with the Moalepe trail just past the waterfall. We continued a bit further on that trail but did not see anything too different or special, so we turned around. This trail is perfect if you like forest hikes, shade, and amazing views of the wettest place on earth.

One of the best hikes on Kauai! Moderately challenging due to the incline but easy enough to complete in a couple of hours. Absolutely beautiful views of Kapaa. The hike to the picnic tables is easy enough, though can get complicated if the ground is slick (but it’s Kauai and slick hikes goes with the territory).

The hard rating is for those who hike beyond the picnic tables onto the giant’s face. There’s a sketchy section of rock climbing complicated by muddy terrain that leads up to a narrow, wind swept ledge with an incredible view. This section is definitely not for those afraid of heights, but for those who push though, one of the most rewarding and beautiful views on the south of the island await!

3.5 stars! Super muddy at first then leveled out and became a beautiful forest trail. Gradual uphill slope and then very uphill for almost a mile.
Beautiful diverse trees. Do it early!!!

In my opinion, this is the 3rd best hike in Kauai! Not too bad getting to the picnic tables. Most people thought that the picnic tables was the summit - or the end of the hike. To get to the summit, you have to keep going past the picnic tables. This part is why the trail is labeled “difficult “ and not “moderate”. The view is spectacular.

The hike up the sleeping giant was amazing! Initially it can get very humid under the cover of the canopy, but becomes very exposed further on the ridge so remember sun block. There is a short “scramble” after the picnic area, which is not difficult at all. Many people like to hang out along the sketchy ridge of rocks, because of the beautiful view but if you keep following the trail up the ridge to the right you you’ll get views inland, with less folks and flat open landing area to stand/sit/eat/take pictures. A must do in Kauai, bring water, sun block, snacks and stay on the marked trails and you’ll have an amazing experience!

There are three different ways to hit this trail, and the longest and most interesting (and muddy) is off Kuamo’o by the horses (just past Opaekaa Falls). The shortest and second favorite is off Lokelani in the Wailua Homesteads. My least favorite is from sea level, through the Wailua Houselots simply because you’re in full sun the whole way and it can get really hot.

This is a fabulous trail, relatively easy, with spectacular views. My only recommendation is to forego walking on the “neck/head of the giant” as the trail is super narrow and the drops are shear. We have lost a few along this section (past the picnic tables) and it’s devastating.

Great hike and a regular/staple on my “to do” list.

Nice trail. Beautiful views—go all the way to the end! Need shoes with traction as it is slippery in parts even though it hasn’t rained in a few days.

Best to do this trail when it’s dry. Can get very muddy in wet conditions. Some rock scaling at the end but not too bad if you’re in decent shape. The views at the top are definitely worth it.

Nice short hike. Great views at the end. Muddy but could have been much worse if it were raining. Very few people at on the way up at about 2pm, packed on the way down.

Miles 3 and 4 are quite nice. Turned around at mike 5 once the pavement ended

Nice hike! Perfect if you only need to fill a few hours. It certainly wasn't difficult but then again it was perfectly dry when I went so a muddy wet trail would definitely make it more difficult.

If ever in Kauai take this hike for one reason... incredible ocean views from the hikes peak.. Level of skill is rated appropriately (moderate). The lack of elevation is surprising thinking you achieved higher. Two or three spots along the moderately groomed trail where you are actually rock climbing a 5’ wall. the rewards on the peak are well worth your sweat from both the task of the trail and humidity. Trail is extremely popular on weekends

This was a fun hike, not too challenging except in slippery spots. The views from the top are breath taking.

Amazing view if you can scale a rock wall to get to the viewpoint, very slippery wear hiking boots or shoes with a grip

hiking
21 days ago

Moderate climb with a service road trail. A bit slippery after a rain but the view towards the top were amazing. Myself and two friends did it Barefoot style with no issues.

hiking
22 days ago

Went in the worst condition, was pouring rain the entire time and the river was very rapid. But... I didn’t want to give up, I met a group of 4 that said there is only dead ends and I was confused, somehow we all must missed the trail and I went on my on way. I totally missed out on this waterfall and went much deeper in the forest where I found another waterfall, huge one! Can’t find that hike here on the app so I guess it’s not meant to hike, anyhow it was the craziest hike I done in my life and there was sometimes I felt giving up, my girlfriend told me she was only 20 minutes away calling the rescue team ha!...

Anyhow, don’t try this hike when it’s very bad weather condition you might find the way I did and that one is not meant for hiking, the river took me twice and that was the scariest I ever experienced.

If anyone know the name of the waterfall I went to, please let me know! I can’t seem to find it on google or here.

Amazing first hike on the island. You can't go wrong. Views are spectacular.

The trail entry was a little hard to see but easy enough to walk down. If you stay along the water it’s less muddy, and a lot easier.

The trail was hard to find but thanks to the other reviews we found it pretty quickly ! I thought the trail was okay but I wasn’t amazed by the view. I was under the impression the trail would lead to the bottom of the waterfall not the bottom.

Would love to do this hike when dry. It was storming today so we went when it cleared up in the evening. Trails were super muddy it became pretty treacherous. Incline is tough going up but enjoyable, going down was very slippery cuz of the rain. We’re going to try this one again, weather permitting, and if we have time.

TIPS:
Wear shoes that will allow water to easily flow through. You will be stepping in a lot of mud and wading through water. Trying to avoid this will slow you down and hiking boots will get soggy wet and uncomfortable.

Begin this hike early in the day. We started at 11am which was way too late. It took us about 3 hours to get 7/8ths of the way there. We had to turn around with about 1000 feet left or risk getting caught out there with fading light.

Check the weather. We did this hike the day after a heavy rain. After reading some reviews here we anticipated ankle deep water, we ended up wading through waist deep water in about 4 locations.

All told we didn’t finish the hike. The trail toward the end was totally indistinguishable and we had no desire to continue to trudge through the river and boulders in hopes of making it to the falls before dark. It took us 3 hours in and only an hour and a half out, 4.5 hours in total. Along with wading through the river we also had to duck and climb over hundreds of tree branches and roots along a very vague trail.

The experience was great and beginning earlier we would give this trail another shot. But the trail isn’t marked hard because it’s strenuous, it’s marked hard because there are parts that require skill and an able body along with a keen sense of trail finding. It is certainly not recommended for someone looking for just a decent workout on the way to a cool waterfall.

Grueling hike to the top but the photos from the top make it totally worth it. IG: @0utd00rwan3r3r

If you are a tourist, don't go out of your way to go to Ho'opi'i Falls. There are many more beautiful waterfalls on Kauai that deserves your cameras time and attention. It probably deserves three stars but the trailhead was across the street from where I used to live, so it was a great reason for my friends to come over, and for that reason it gets four. Kipu Falls was an infinitely better waterfall with a couple rope swings which I would recommend tourists to go to instead, but I guess too many people died there from jumping and landing on rocks, or swinging and hitting branches that had fallen into the pond. I remember one guy climbed up on the branch above the rope swing and it broke and he died. So the trail there is closed.

Gorgeous and mostly shaded. I’m in pretty good shape. Took me just under an hour up all the way to the nose and about 40 min back down. I can see how it would be a little treacherous if it were wet. Views on the way up are pretty as well. I’d rate this moderate not hard.

hiking
30 days ago

Beautiful but dangerous hike. Don't attempt if you don't have real hiking shoes: you will slip, fall, get scratched, bruised up, etc. Please be very careful as some people broke their legs and slipped very bad. Overall, it's definitely a jungle adventure and you will get a real good workout: think jumps thought trees, hiking thought the mud, walking through a thick bamboo forest, swimming in waterfalls, climbing, balancing on rocks and more. It's a very beautiful hike! Do your research and don't get lost (it's very easy especially on a way back).

This trail is not hard, a big part of the trail in the forest, you can feel a quiet atmosphere, it feels like good, the 360 view on the top looks beautiful, oceans and mountains of Kauai

Excellent views even when a little cloudy. It was muddy when we went so that along with the incline made it difficult but worth it.

The view from the top was not as dramatic due to cloudiness but still breathtaking. High winds made me feel uneasy at the summit so I didn’t get to take it in as much as I had planned.

Go off the beaten path just below the summit to find and open sky cave - that was my favorite part!

Quick hike - took a couple hours. Would highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult hike in that the trail is not clear, you will end up rock hopping, climbing under and over trees, route finding, getting muddy and questioning your path constantly. If you lose the trail you can stick to the river and continue up but you will find several spots challenging and slippery. Watch your footing closely. Start by following the fence around the water tower to the main trail on the right side of the river. Cross the river at the concrete slab with rebar sticking out and enter a beautiful bamboo forest. After the bamboo forest you come into the dry creek bed but make sure to go to the left at the cairns. This will save you a lot of time as you will be following a trail through the jungle trees rather than rock hopping and wondering where the trail is if you go right at the cairns. Next make sure you recognize the fork where the canyons split and go right. There are 2 smaller falls to the left but a difficult trail and small falls makes it not worth it for me. Follow the canyon to the right and it’s only 20 mins to the falls from the fork. Surely an adventure and the falls at the end are pretty unique. Do this if you want a challenging hike that will feel like an adventure with few people around.

Absolutely beautiful hike! You get nearly 360 degree views of the Island at the top. We highly recommend this hike! Pay attention when you’re coming back down the mountain as it splits - one direction goes down the east side and one goes down the west side of the mountain. There isn’t a sign when it splits, so just make sure to watch for the split and go the correct direction back to where you parked.

Often quite wet. Kinda like a jungle maze sometimes. Had a hiker slip on rock and split forehead requiring stitches. Pretty waterfall and pool at the end.

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