Pihea Trail Hiking Trail
Trail from Pu’u o Kila Lookout
- Destination: Hawaii
- Season: January-December
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 3.6 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 90 meters
- Duration: 2-3.5 hours
About Pihea Trail
Do you want a nice view of the Na Pali valley without having to climb a lot? Then walk this trail to 1.5 kilometers and turn around. You will be rewarded with a lot of nature. Do you also want views over the rainforest? Then climb through and be amazed by the amount of forests. A good trail for young and old, but make sure to wear good shoes.
From Lihue, take Kaumualii Highway 50 to Waimea. Turn right and enter Waimea Canyon Drive. Drive to the end of the road, where you will find Pu’u o Kila Lookout with beautiful views from the Na Pali valley.
The trail is well marked and you will find different signs along the trail. The trail starts right after the Pu’u o Kila Lookout.
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 starts right by the lookout. Look for the sign telling that this is one the wettest places on earth. The trail starts by crossing a plateau, where you already have a beautiful overview of the valley. The trail stays flat for the next 1.5 kilometers, but be careful because it can be very muddy! Later it becomes steeper and you have to scramble over the stones and tree roots.
Halfway along the trail, you come across an exit. Follow the trail to the lookout, as it takes you to the peak of the Pihea. This last part is also steep and you have to scramble. At the peak, you have beautiful views over the Na Pali valley as well as the rain forest of the Waimea Canyon.
- Drinking water can be found by the parking lot.
- Hiking shoes are a must because it is always muddy.
- There no public toilets along the trail. You can use the ones at the parking lot next to the Pu’u o Kila Lookout.
- There are campsites in the State Park, but you can also camp at Salt Pond
- You will find shops along Kaumualii Highway, in Koloa and Omao.
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
Questions or comments? Let us know.
By Nadja Kroon
World traveler originally from the Netherlands.