Explore the most popular forest 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful end muddy start :) Plan on bringing water and snacks because it doesn’t feel like 2.6 miles. The left side of the trail is the best to stay on for less boulder hopping until you get to the first waterfall. After that stay to the right for the last 1/2 mile to the big falls. My husband and I are pretty experienced hikers and I would only recommend this trail for someone who likes adventure and who hikes often. The waterfall was amazing and totally worth it :)

3 days ago

This hike was awesome if.... you like trail blazing. My family loves getting muddy, walking creeks, and breaking bamboo. We went with no water or snacks (only 2.5 miles), but we regret that. It takes longer then you think because you are constantly trying to decide which trail to take. You will usually have three options: left side of creek, right side of creek, or creek walking. There is usually a fastest route, but in the end they all work out.

Not sure what the excitement is about this trail. The water was muddy and I've seen better waterfalls and found this disappointing--along with the other 6 of us who were very hopeful. Definitely take the bug repellant and you can skip the swimming/rope into the water--too fast of water, not to mention it's not anywhere near clear, thus not safe to jump in since you wouldn't see what you are landing on. Take an extra pair of shoes for the return drive as you will get muddy.

It was a nice hike but you really have to follow the instructions on the way up! Bring a lot of water! It is really hot! It is way better if you have hiking shoes because it is really muddy sometimes! The view is really nice! You can see mountains, the sea and the town of Kapaa! It’s a 360 view! You have to make it to the top!

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail and views throughout the hike. Definitely feels like you're hiking through the Jurassic Park movies, very cool. A bit muddy here and there but that was expected given that we're hiking on one of the wettest islands on earth. The slope is not steep making it a relatively easy hike, slightly muddy areas can be slippery and we had a few people in our group slip once or twice and get covered in mud. There is a huge eucalyptus tree that fell across the trail that you have to either go up and around or climb over which could be a bit precarious for older folks. Younger kids will probably enjoy the challenge and stomping around in the mud.

We completed the hike in about 3.5 hours taking our time and made it to the bridge where the Kuilau trail meets the Moalepe trail before turning around. Most of the trail was dry or damp and only a few areas were really muddy so bring good shoes and prepare to get dirty. Also, a little bug spray will help keep you from being eaten alive in the wetter parts of the trail.

easy but fun hike to the top and for how short it is the views are absolutely awesome not to mention being along the ridgeline up top was a blast

Fantastic hike! Scenery was out of this world and the falls were spectacular. It was slippery as it had rained most of the day and the trails down to the falls were steep but the views were definitely worth the mud and the effort.

hiking
13 days ago

Never made it to the falls. Didn’t find the app until after we did the hike and may have made it to the falls if we did have the app because the trail was not marked well and hard to find in many cases. Had no idea how this was rated before we went and would not have gone if I had because we were not prepared at all. Otherwise I am pretty proud of myself that at 57 I made it as far as I did. Climbing boulders, logs, and mud up to my ankles. Definitely a challenge.

Very muddy and slippery you will get dirty. My kids did in bare feet maybe better

My husband and I did this hike in the afternoon- we are most definitely amateur hikers. We were not intending to venture past “the infamous picnic tables” at the top but the weather was perfect! We decided to go as far as we felt comfortable and safe...as many of the previous reviews have said the little bit of scrambling you have to do to get to the top was not bad at all! We were so glad we decided to keep going! Just be aware that the “real estate” up there is pretty small so be aware of your surroundings- had it been raining I doubt we would have gone to the end.

Great trail with excellent views for most of the way. Good shade and only muddy in a few patches.

hiking
17 days ago

Loved the hike. Only slight drawback was the mud in several locations. We quickly learned to embrace the mud instead of attempting to avoid it. Make sure to go right before the picnic table to continue hike to the bridge.

We completely failed at this hike today. Got about an hour in and the trail stopped. The river was raging from all the rain and we couldn’t figure out a way across. Passed one group heading in as we were leaving. Hoping they made it and post some pics for us! We will definitely try this one again!!

Great views!!! Can be slippery in spots if it has been raining.

This hike is gnarly. First you should know that the waterfall in the photo is the “hidden falls” waypoint about a half mile after the trail ends. Our group was on a time constraint and made it to the Makaleha Falls but not the hidden falls. If you only plan to go this far the views aren’t worth the effort. We were disappointed that we had made it as far as we did and didn’t have the time to keep going. The trail isn’t marked very well and you will constantly be searching for a new path. Our group underestimated the true difficulty of this trail and probably would have chosen something that would have been a little easier or more pleasant. It truly is one of the hardest trails we have done. Prepare for a muddy mess and about 4-6 hours to complete.

Absolutely beautiful! I went at about 1:30 and was back at my car by 3:00. There is some rocks to climb up but it manageable. Definitely recommend!!

An enjoyable walk on a path that wasn’t that muddy but I suspect it would be if it had rained recently. Some trees down cross the path at a few places but not really a barrier. Bit steep right at the end. Good falls with a rope swing someone has put up but watch out for the submerged rock about 10ft/3m out scout that out first you don’t want to hit it!

Lots of downed trees to crawl over and under but wasn’t overly challenging. Trail was also a bit muddy from rain night before, and bug spray (mosquito repellent ) would be SUPER helpful! We really enjoyed the short hike and thought it was a great first day “starter” trail.

Beautiful hike although very muddy. I would highly suggest not wearing boots or tennis shoes. I wore chaco’s and did just fine. Hiking poles would be a good idea if falling is a concern of yours. I personally didn’t use poles and I fell once. It’s a great starting hike for getting to know the island.

hiking
24 days ago

Easy but muddy trail. I was prepared for the mud from previous reviews (waterproof) hiking boots and poles helped a lot). The fallen tree was still there but okay to get around by going behind the tree roots. Ventured beyond the picnic area to the waterfall before turning back A nice short walk for a relaxing but muddy day :)

Beautiful panoramic scenery with bird sounds. Muddy at several points.

hiking
25 days ago

Amazing hike and just as difficult as everyone says. Something I wish someone had told me before I went, when you see the concrete with rebar sticking out of it in the middle of the river, CROSS HERE! It will save you a ton of hassle, unless you are incredibly adventurous. Also, if you begin to climb in elevation and you are getting away from the river, you are definitely going the wrong way. Stick to the river no matter what. My wife and I somehow picked a trail that started to go up like stairs and the mosquitos were in swarms. My favorite hike of all time but very difficult. Took a total of 6 hours after swimming in the incredible waterfall pool for about 30 minutes. We both decided we would do it again no question. We also hiked the Kukui Trail, wouldn't do that again.

Cool short hike. It’s 3.3 miles with 971 feet climbing to the giant’s nose. I did it 3 times and got the same stats each time. The lower 1/2 mile can be slick after rains. Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Go past picnic tables to the nose of the giant. Best views are there

Beautiful views. Not too challenging. But as of 6/20/2018 there is a giant fallen Eucalyptus tree blocking the trail about a half mile in. Quite challenging to get over or around it when wet. My wife and I made it and continued on to the picnic tables. Love this hike and hope they clear the blockage soon.

Steep hike with great views at the top.

Trail Report
Friday, June 15, 2018

Beautiful hike! Definitely worth the ~4 mi round trip and ~1000 ft in elevation gain (my gps recorded 1.75 mi, so I think it was a bit off) Took me 45 min to get to the top at a brisk pace with no breaks. An hour or so back down going slowly and taking my time to enjoy the view. It hadn't rained in a couple days, so tennis shoes were fine. The parking lot was half full by 8AM. Parking lot was completely full at 10AM.

The hardest part in my opinion was the 20 ft scramble up some rocks between mile marker .5 and .75. There is more scrambling to get up to the top (after the picnic clearing, about 1.75 miles in), but it isn't as steep as the first scramble section. Totally doable if you're in decent shape/aren't afraid of heights.

Some tips:

Don't hike in flip-flops or barefeet. The trail can be muddy and filled with rocks and roots. I saw 7 people in bare feet (presumably because they had worn flimsy sandals or flip flops?) and 2 people in flipflops...it looked like a horrible hiking experience! Tennis and sturdy sandals seemed okay for today since it was relatively dry, but hiking boots would be best for a muddy day.

Bring enough water-- one liter minimum! It gets really humid and hot. Several people didn't have any water...didn't look like fun :p

Bug spray or pants unless you want red itchy bites all over your legs.

Leave early -- I wish I had started the trail at 7AM instead of 8AM to avoid more of the sun and a crowded trail. You could do Nounou West Trail instead to hike with fewer people and on the shady side of the mountain, but you wouldn't get any ocean views until you got to the top.

Remember to practice Leave No Trace ethics, like not cutting switchbacks. Looked like parts of the trail were eroding because people did this.

No bathroom at the trailhead, so go before you start hiking.

Bring a summit beer and enjoy the view!

Muddy, mosquitoes, and no views for the first 2+ miles. Just not a lot to like for a while. Would be a very easy walk in the woods if not for the mud. As long as you keep moving at a quick pace the mosquitoes will leave you alone, but if you stop for 10-15 seconds they will be all over you.

Mud is bog like. Not too deep, but squishy. You have to go slow to keep from getting mud all over you.

Only the last 3/4 of a mile is somewhat challenging and interesting with views of the mountains, valleys, and ocean.

Beautiful views! Not too mudy when we went, although it was raining in the morning. Got hot in the afternoon, wear sun block. Not well signposted, but ok.. make sure you pass the picnic table, best views after a little climb

Easy trail that is shade with two waterfalls. The second waterfall has a rope swing into the river. This was one of our favorite hikes in Kauai with our teenage boys. This trail starts in residential area, which confused us at first.

Quick but beautiful hike. Definitely head to the very top - past the picnic tables. Light scramble towards the top. I’d rate this as moderate vs ‘hard’.

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