For breathtaking views on your next Hawaiian vacation, consider taking a day hike on the Garden Island, Kauai. Though you may not be ready to hike up the side of a mountain, stretching your legs, these Kauai hiking trails allow you to admire the island's natural beauty. A Kauai hike may be just what you need during an excursion. Here are four unforgettable Kauai hikes that are short, easy to moderate in skill level, and offer beautiful vistas worthy of a really long postcard.
Mahaulepu Heritage Trail
Starting at Keoneloa Bay, known locally as Shipwrecks, along the western boundary of the Grand Hyatt Kauai, follow the coast north along the water's edge for this four-mile round-trip hike along the last accessible undeveloped stretch of coastline on the south shore. Along the way, immerse yourself in the rich history of this ancient trail that boasts ruins, lithified sand dunes, a cave, and beautiful sea cliffs. This Kauai hiking trail is easy — just watch your footing for uneven ground and roots. It shouldn't take you more than a few hours to complete, unless you decide to spend some time on Mahaulepu Beach.
Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast
The Kalalau Trail is a 22-mile round-trip trail for experienced hikers. Don't be intimidated, though. There are several shorter trails that provide stunning views of the Na Pali Coast. Ambitious hikers can do the four-mile round-trip journey to Hanakapi'ai Beach. It's best to get to the trail head, located at the parking lot for Ke'e Beach, early in the day to take in the best views of the island. If it has been raining a lot, take extreme caution, as the trail can be very slippery. In addition, remember that you shouldn't cross the creek if the water level is too high, or if it's raining, as flash flooding can occur.
Wai Koa Loop Hike
This private five-mile loop starts at Kauai Mini-Golf and Botanical Garden in Kilauea, along the Kuhio highway. This easy Kauai hike winds through farm fields and groves, and has a lovely detour to an old dam that offers a quiet place for contemplation. Enjoy the panoramic vistas of the mountains on this one-and-a-half-hour hike.
Kauai Biking and Walking Path
Starting in Kapaa, follow the coast north along the bike path with view of the cliffs and bays of the east side. The path is 4.1 miles one way, so it can be up to an 8-mile round trip. The terrain is flat, so this Kauai hiking trail is appropriate for most abilities and is heavily traveled by locals and visitors alike. Please note that bicycles use this trail, too, so be aware of passing cyclists.
Enjoy one of these day hikes on your next excursion to Kauai, and always remember to bring water, wear appropriate footwear, and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun (and occasional rain).