username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
Awaawapuhi Trail - 3 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
5 triplogs
  All Months
5 Triplogs
Jan
0
Feb
0
Mar
1
Apr
0
May
0
Jun
1
Jul
1
Aug
0
Sep
1
Oct
1
Nov
0
Dec
0
 

Mar 18 2019
fricknaley
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,724
 Triplogs 2,762

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Awaawapuhi TrailKauai, HI
Kauai, HI
Hiking avatar Mar 18 2019
fricknaley
Hiking6.46 Miles 1,959 AEG
Hiking6.46 Miles
1,959 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
with the Napali coast and Kalaua trail still closed, this became the hike we definitely wanted to get in.

we had a picture perfect weather day. the way down had some mud, but it wasn't as crazy as it often is (i'm told). a lot of the hike is through dense forest. it opens up a little bit here and there towards the end. and then the end hits you like a frickin ton of bricks. probably as good of a payoff viewpoint as i could imagine. absolutely stunning place!

top 3 lunch spot all timer.

it's a brisk climb back up, but everyone was just fine. the trail dried up a little too.

there are some excellent hikes up in koke'e state park. it's a nice drive up there too. we headed down to the lodge afterwards for some cold drinks. wonderful day
_____________________
hi
1 archive
Oct 21 2016
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Nualolo - Awaawapuhi LoopKauai, HI
Kauai, HI
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2016
chumley
Hiking10.42 Miles 2,512 AEG
Hiking10.42 Miles   5 Hrs   3 Mns   2.38 mph
2,512 ft AEG      40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The rockstar Kalalau Trail might be the gem on Kauai, leading to the spectacular cliffs of the Na Pali Coast, but the Nualolo and Awaawapuhi trails are pretty close since they approach the same area from above, dropping from the 4000 foot high Kaunuohua Ridge to about 2500 feet above the coast with scenic cliffs that drop to the amazing valleys and Pacific Coast below.

I had read many things about this loop, which links the Nualolo and Awaawapuhi ridge trails with the Nualolo Cliff Trail and a portion of road walking to connect the trailheads in a ~12 mile loop. Upon arriving however, it became apparent that this loop is no longer possible as signage clearly indicated that the connecting Nualolo Cliff trail is closed due to a landslide. Upon returning home I learned it has been closed since 2014. Prior to that it was closed from time-to-time as conditions changed and was always marked as dangerous.

So my plans had to change, and I set off on the Awaawapuhi Trail planning on an out and back. It was raining as I started, but descending off the mountain, the rain stopped and the clouds cleared within the first mile or so. This trail is in excellent condition. It is wide and the slope is moderate. Eventually the forest canopy opens and I could see the cliffs of Na Pali as well as back up to the still cloudy, rainy forest where the trail begins. The trail ends after 3.25 miles at a signed view point where it forks to two separate views. The right fork ends at a sheer cliff looking down into the Awaawapuhi Valley and the ocean below. The left fork continues beyond the viewpoint fence down the ridge, becoming ever steeper and narrower. I did not go as far as some others have gone here. It's a 2-foot wide ridge with 1500-2000 foot cliffs on either side. The exposure here is not for the faint of heart!

I turned around and began my climb back up. At the junction for the Nualolo Cliff Trail, I contemplated the signs and decided to explore the trail, content to turn around if I found myself in uncomfortable terrain. Much of this trail is still in fine shape, though it is evident it hasn't seen regular travel in over two years. There were sections of thick overgrowth, and three drainage crossings that were all but completely lost to nature. From time to time I would see a ribbon tied to a tree or a small cairn, indicating that others have made the traverse, or at least the same investigation I was embarking upon. The first drainage had an odd fence that seemed to serve no purpose except to hamper my travel. I figured out later that the Park Service had installed it for that very purpose! :oops:

About 1.75 miles in, I reached the area of the landslide and erosion. Signs still stand from before the closure indicating the danger. I investigated, and it didn't look too bad, so I continued on. There wasn't much tread and there's not much of anything below the trail. A slip here would certainly be your last. But it was dry and I felt that crossing wouldn't be terribly risky, so I carefully shuffled across until reaching the old warning signs for those approaching from the other side. From here it was less than a quarter mile back to the Nualolo Trail (and another one of those odd fences :-$ ).

It's half a mile down on Nualolo to the Lolo Viewpoint, which is spectacular. The Awaawapuhi view is stunning, but Lolo extends farther toward the coast and has views up the Na Pali Coast that can't be seen from Awaawapuhi. Clouds dropped in and out, and showers and rainbows surrounded me. I waited 15 or 20 minutes hoping for the coastal views to open up, but it seemed to be pretty socked in toward Haena so eventually I just started my way up again.

The lower section of the Nualolo Trail is near vertical. It climbs directly up the ridge with no switchbacks. It's slippery and difficult. There are a couple of 200+ foot climbs in under 1/10th of a mile. The slope moderates later on but I was tired. About a mile from the end, I reached the forest, and it started raining. Apparently that's the way it had been up here all day. There's a final climb to a ridge before dropping down to the trailhead just below the Koke'e State Park Lodge where I met up with 9L and Claire who had done a couple of other hikes during the day.

If you're going to attempt this loop -- which for the record I absolutely do NOT recommend to ANYBODY not named BobP or JJ -- I would do it the opposite way I did. Down Nualolo, across, and up Awaawapuhi. For the smarter out-n-back, choose Awaawapuhi for the more pleasant trail and outstanding views. For the more difficult trail and spectacular views choose Nualolo.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Double Rainbow Rainbow
_____________________
Profound observer
1 archive
Jun 09 2016
MikeS
avatar

 Photos 99
 Triplogs 866

male
 Joined Mar 18 2012
 Goodyear, AZ
Awaawapuhi TrailKauai, HI
Kauai, HI
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2016
MikeS
Hiking6.90 Miles 1,975 AEG
Hiking6.90 Miles   2 Hrs   7 Mns   3.26 mph
1,975 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this trail a couple years ago. Nice trail but the real reward is at the very end where you get to go out on one of the Na Pali Coast narrow spines with 2,000 drop-offs on each side. Check out my 1 minute video so see what it looks like. Let me know what you think.

https://youtu.be/Ok ... HW4M
_____________________
Subscribe to my adventure videos at: [ youtube video ]

Follow my adventures on Instagram at: adventures_az
1 archive
Jul 29 2014
MikeS
avatar

 Photos 99
 Triplogs 866

male
 Joined Mar 18 2012
 Goodyear, AZ
Awaawapuhi TrailKauai, HI
Kauai, HI
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2014
MikeS
Hiking6.30 Miles 1,926 AEG
Hiking6.30 Miles   1 Hour   27 Mns   4.34 mph
1,926 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great little run. The first 2.5 miles feels like you are running through the forest, lots of roots on the trail then at mile 3 it opens up and you see amazing views of the valleys below. At the end of the trail I hiked out on this spine on a ridge that had a 2,000 foot drop off on both sides of the spine and the trail narrowed to less then a foot in spots. I was glad the wind wasn't blowing. I will attach a picture of the spine.
_____________________
Subscribe to my adventure videos at: [ youtube video ]

Follow my adventures on Instagram at: adventures_az
Sep 01 1991
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Awaawapuhi TrailKauai, HI
Kauai, HI
Hiking avatar Sep 01 1991
mazatzal
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles
1,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
We took Awaawapuhi trail out to the overlook above the Na Pali coast: just amazing views. We also did part of the Nualolo trail.
Later we took a hike along Poipu beach near where we were staying.
_____________________
2 archives
average hiking speed 2.38 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker