Kauai. The Garden Isle.
If you enjoy hiking, you’ll love Kauai.
There are endless trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls all over the island. If you’re visiting during the winter months, get ready for mud. Lots of mud.
The famous Kalalau trail should be at the top of your list of places to explore when you visit the island.
If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, visit Hanakapi’ai Falls.
You’re looking at a two mile hike to Hanakapi’ai beach, and another two mile trek to the Falls for a total of eight miles roundtrip.
The beach is a nice resting spot, but you won’t be able to swim in it as the rip currents are too strong.
Prepare for rain, wear good trail shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks. The trail is considered moderate but the mud and multiple river crossings make this a very challenging hike.
Flash floods are a real possibility on this trail so watch the weather and heed the warning signs. Be smart and don’t go beyond your physical capabilities.
We arrived at the Kalalau trailhead around 9am and were able to snag a parking spot in the overflow lot.
It’s best to get there early to beat the crowds, otherwise you’ll have to park far up the road and walk to the trailhead.
Our plan was to go all the way to the Falls and have lunch. Despite the treacherous mud, we completed the trek in 5 hours roundtrip.
There were many people we met along the trail who turned back before making it to the Falls because they were “crunched for time.”
Don’t be one of these people! Give yourself adequate time and go all the way, you won’t regret it.
There were frustrations along the trail but it was certainly worth the effort. Be prepared and remain patient, you’re on vacation after all.
One interesting thing you’ll notice on Kauai are the wild chickens and roosters all over the island.
They are everywhere; lurking in parks begging tourists for crumbs, crossing busy roadways forcing you to slam your brakes, and digging in trash cans searching for scraps.
We were able to find some privacy on the island and had this waterfall all to ourselves for a few hours.
If you’re willing to be adventurous and go off the beaten path, you’ll discover some very special places on Kauai. We got lucky and had this perfect spot all to ourselves on Christmas Day.
Kauai has some great Scuba diving spots. We did a couple of dives with Fathom Five Divers and enjoyed checking out Sheraton Caverns, a popular site located a few miles offshore.
Queen’s Bath is a tide pool in Princeville where people come to cliff jump and swim. We almost skipped it because we’d read it was too dangerous to swim in the winter and figured it wouldn’t be worth the effort to get there.
Waimea Canyon, located in Koke’e State park, is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It’s at the top of every tourist’s list of “must see” attractions, and there’s a reason for that. It’s absolutely awe-inspiring! Check out the trails around the area and set aside a few hours to explore. You won’t be disappointed.
The Kauai Humane Society offers a unique opportunity for visitors to take a dog on an adventure for the day. They provide towels, a water bowl and treats. The dogs wear an “Adopt me” vest which makes for a great conversation starter. This helps the dogs have a better chance of getting adopted.
We decided to borrow a dog on our last two days on Kauai and it was a blast! We took out Winston our first day and all he wanted to do was eat hot dogs and sleep in the car. He was adorable and sweet, and we loved him.
The next day we took out Maui, who was a little more willing to adventure with us. He is also a fan of hot dogs. We took him to PetCo to get some toys and treats, and then we went for a walk. For some reason we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave Kauai without him, so we adopted him and brought him back to Alaska with us. He’s adjusting well to life in Alaska.
We had a wonderful time in Kauai and highly recommend it the next time you’re considering an island adventure of your own.
~ S & L