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

Drove up the first ranchland section in my 4WD Pilot (not lifted), a bit hairy in sections (rocks & drops) but almost made it till the forest line, had to park before the last hill due to mud. Started the hike at the red gate around 1pm (couldn't start earlier due to my schedule, but wish I had). Weather was cloudy/foggy the whole time with light rain. Took about an hour from the gate to go around 3/4 mile on the main trail to the windy ridge line. I was walking carefully so as not to step in the mud puddles in the trail, but it gives you an idea of how much time it can take to navigate the trail carefully. When I got to the ridge, I followed a trail to the right (east) along the ridge, and as I was following trail markers on trees, I spend another hour and a half or so traveling just over a mile or so (This section of the trail is less muddy), and found myself back near the start! The mist is so thick here it Is hard to keep going the direction you want. And when I returned following markers on the path I had taken, I noticed how many trails spurs there are with markers. Got back to my vehicle just after 5pm. It was quicker going back, as I didn't care so much about getting muddy. Slipped into one mud spot that was up past my knee (yes, 2 ft. deep). With all that said, the forest here is beautiful, and unlike anything I'd seen while living on this island the last 30+ years. Will come back and make it to the summits next time, now that I have more of my bearings. Only attempt this trail if you enjoy suffering, and if you do, it will be worth it!

Fun flowy trail for mountain bikers

Beautiful hiking trail. We went to the falls, alongside the cliffs for astounding views into the canyon that you cannot get from the lookouts. We are in average shape, early 30’s and hiked this in about 3 hours with plenty of stops for pictures along the way.

2 months ago

Most of this trail belongs to the Waimea Canyon Trail (from Puuhinahina lookout to Waio'po parking lot). About half of mile of this trail is on the main road in the park, Koke'e Road--potentially dangerous when visibility is low.

In addition, this trail while do-able for all ages, isn't "easy" by any means--requires crossing streams and drastic descent in elevation.

Great views. We went to the falls with lots of stops, about 3hrs. We had to reschedule a lot of activities due to flash flood warnings. Trail was muddy but for any experienced hiker totally doable in wet weather. although we only had some light rain while on trail. Do not miss the views of deep in Waimea canyon! Wether this hike or another.

Ok to stop at if you are driving by a way but not a destination. A bit of history. Is really just a stroll around some old rocks and a read about what was once at this site

Took us 7.5 hours / 6.5 miles, although we did take our time in the beginning, and we had our 2.5 year old.

I DO NOT recommend doing the forest. Until then, it was a pleasant uphill climb on green pastureland with beautiful scenery of 3 volcanoes. Moderate difficulty, with a few steep parts.

Once in the forest, though, it quickly got more difficult. Narrow, rocky, muddy trail not maintained well. We pushed forward, wanting to reach the destination / turn-around point provided by Alltrails. It got even worse, more muddy (even though it's been a relatively dry winter and no rain recently), and we lost the trail a few times. My wife even fell backward into a deep puddle and was soaked with mud. We finally got to the destination -- and there was nothing there! No lookout point, just more forest. We did enjoy sitting in the cushy moss having lunch in the shade, but it was underwhelming to say the least, especially given how hard we worked.

We tried to take the trail going down, and it veered northwest, which was ok with us, as long as we were on a trail and ideally not the one we came up on. But we eventually lost it, which meant lots of bushwacking through dense brush. Fortunately, we had my GPS to navigate back out of the forest to a hole in the fence to the pastureland, took some ladders over barbed wire fence, and all the way back down (well, actually, we were lucky to hitch a ride in the back of a pick-up for much of it).

While it was scenic and quite an adventure, I do not recommend going into the forest or spending much time there. I wish this was clearer to us.

Great hike to the small water fall...very cold in Jan. The views along the way are fantastic. Stop at the cliffs overlook on the way to the water fall. It’s about 4 miles round trip.

6 months ago

Very disappointing to read about all the car break ins that occur. This seems to happen at just about every hike I have read about.

The Canyon trail his great! You can reach a small waterfall in which you can swim. The back pipe trail is not really interesting except if you want to be out of the crowd.

We sooooo enjoyed the views from this Trail. Some challenging mud slides but a rope to pull you up. Thanks Waimea Canyon for showing us your beauty - Mahalo!

Well worth the pain of up and down. the Vistas at the top were spectacular and the waterfall was literally "Kool" so if you take the hike make sure you enjoy a refreshing dip to cool you down for the hike back to the road. This is one of our favorite hikes on Kauai. Thanks Mother Nature for such breathtaking views.

8 months ago

Feels like you’re in heaven.

Very good hike with great views and two waterfalls. Better with the Black Pipe loop than just an out and back.

Went up on a super clear morning which was nice for a view 100% of the time but somewhat scorching hot as the breeze was minimal and no shade for about 2 hours hiking up the hill. (I was training with a large backpack which slowed me down some and I suspect most people without a heavy pack on would make it up faster).

Once we made it to the tree line, my big black pooch, and I saw a boar and a few hunters. We didn't want to get caught in the middle of anything and quickly got away from the area back down the hill. So beware of that, especially if you have a dog that could be mistaken for a black boar or that gets lost on hikes chasing after pigs or their smells. I'd do this again, maybe without the dog and earlier in the day to avoid the heat. Didn't make it to a waterfall or anything other than the tree line. Great views.

10 months ago

The road portion is 2.5 miles from the boy scout camp. Look for a clearing on the right immediately after a bridge. This will take you to Koolau Summit and Trail. Once you reach Black Juction marked by two wooden signs, veer left if you want to go an old helipad with a view. Veer right to continue on the summit trail which will take you to Pu'u Hina in about 1.5 miles. At Pu'u Hina , you can turn around or continue to hike along the Koolau Summit. Very overgrown and muddy. If you miss the critical junction, the road will take you all the way to Kahuku. So, remember to look for the junction off the road at 2.5 miles from the camp. This is not the state maintained Kaunala trail I am talking about. The complete loop as depicted on the map is the Kaunala Loop trail. The actual Pupukea Summit Trail goes to the helipad and ends there.

10 months ago

Reading these reviews I think that most of the posters have this trail mixed up with the Kaunala Loop trail. Both park at the same spot, both begin on the same paved army road, but the Loop Trail is the "real" state trail. This "summit" trail is supposed to be just a long slog uphill on the old Army training area roads. Unfortunately looks like a lot of posts here are describing the Kaunala Loop Trail.

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Very cute and pleasant trail. Very interesting.

11 months ago

Very interesting place. Nice hike.

Neat history, certainly a bland hike for the adventurous type, but it's island identity.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Gorgeous views.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Wow just wow. All the good things in the other reviews are true!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

There are more trails in this area than Alltrails is showing us. I did a larger loop that included the Kumuwela Trail, which I started by Camp Slogget. Take a snapshot of the trail map at the park lodge (or buy one) for better details. Be sure to hit up the vistas just southeast of the waterfall!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nice interpretive nature trail. Very easy. Many trees to identify.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Late afternoon walk to the tree line. Got there at sunset and back to the truck just before dark. Nice views.

Friday, April 14, 2017

This hike was the last one I did during my trip to Kauai. I will say the Black Pipe portion of this trail is pretty mediocre, but the rest of it is incredible. If you're up for some exercise, this is the way you should experience Waimea Canyon. It becomes much more impressive and magical the farther you get away from the overly crowded lookouts. Also, Waipoo Falls at the end is amazing. Totally worth the effort. Check out my blog post for more on this hike!


pile of rocks......Pretty boring.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nice trail. Would say easy versus the moderate as shown. Nice way to spend an hour and a half or so in the sunshine.

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