Awa'awapuhi Trail Hiking Trail
Waimea Canyon State Park, Kokee State Park
- Destination: Hawaii
- Season: January-December
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 7.4 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 10 meters
- Duration: 2-3 hours
About Awa'awapuhi Trail
This trail gives you a clear overview on the west side of the Na Pali Coast and the Waimea Canyon area. The end of the trail leads to cliffs on the sea side. The beautiful nature and mountains that rise up from the sea, are a must see on Kauai. If you have little time and have to choose one trail, then this is your trail!
From Lihue, take Kaumualii Highway 50 to Waimea. Turn right and enter Waimea Canyon Drive. Drive almost to the end of the road until Awa’awapuhi trailhead, the parking lot for the trail is at the start.
On the island, it is wise to rent a car. The public bus does not run often and drives only between the larger towns on the highway.
The trail is only marked in the beginning but it is easy to follow even when there are no markers. The trail starts on the left side of the parking lot and starts by going through the forest. As you move closer to the sea the vegetation slowly gets smaller and smaller.
The first part of the trail decreases gradually. After that, you come across different parts where you have to climb down over some tree roots. Watch out, in some places at the beginning of the trail it can be very muddy.
When you almost come to the end, the mountain becomes narrower. This means that you have an abyss on both sides. Be careful and only go as far as you feel comfortable.
- No drinking water along the trail or at the parking lot.
- There no public toilets along the trail or at the parking lot. You can use the toilets on the Kalalau Lookout, which is a two km drive away.
- You will find shops along Kaumualii Highway.
Where to stay
You can choose from one of the many hotels on Kauai. The island is not big, the maximum distance you can travel is two hours, one way.
The island also has several camping sites. The closest ones can be found around the State Park and Salt Pond Beachpark. You need to obtain a permit in Linue to stay at these campsites.
Questions or comments? Let us know.
By Nadja Kroon
World traveler originally from the Netherlands.