First Camping Trip in Kauai

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Since we landed in Kauai about a week and a half ago, we have been itching to go get out and go camping! We were ready to wipe off the dust on our summer camping gear since the last time we went camping in the backcountry was in Alaska in 20 degree weather! Needless to say much different gear is needed and we were totally ready for a change! We packed up our bags with our camping gear and headed out for a 2 day 1 night adventure.

The first day we woke up and headed straight to the Waimea Canyon with intentions of hiking the Kukui Trail (a 5 mile round trip strenuous hike down into the canyon) but by the time we meandered up to the trailhead it was getting later than anticipated. So instead we drove up a littler further to the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout were we started our hike on the Canyon Trail which ends at the top of the 800 ft waterfall called Waipo’o Falls. We were very surprised at how many people were on the trail, it was the most “touristy” trail we have been on yet since we arrived, but worth it as we reached the top one of the highest waterfalls on Kauai. Lucas braved the frigid cold water and took a dive into the pool of water from the waterfall which was pretty refreshing after the hike there.

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After we oohed and awed over the views from above we made our way back to the top, stopping along the canyon rims to take in the amazing views of the canyon and the Kokee rain forest. A great overall hike for any age, and with the spectacular views, its a must for anyone able and willing!

After our day hike we made our way down to Polihale State Park to set up camp and spend the night right on the beach! It is  located at the end of Highway 50 and is accessed down a very bumpy old sugar cane haul road. Polihale beach is the longest stretch of beach in Kauai and is the last beach on the west side, marking the start of the Napali Coast. We set up our hammocks and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the 7 mile stretch of white sandy beach and the massive waves from the incoming storm which was a few days out. By far this is our favorite beach on the island, and completely worth every pot hole and bump on the 5 mile dirt road leading there! We received a lot of strange looks and people smiling when they saw our little car driving out there, where most people only go with a 4×4 and car rental companies have strict policies against taking their vehicles out there. We were pretty impressed with our little Ford Fiesta we bought!

As we woke up to the sound of waves and the sun slowing rising, we packed up our stuff and headed up the mountain once more into Waimea Canyon to do the Kukui trail going 2,300 ft (2.5 miles) down into the canyon. Literally when the guide book said down, they meant DOWNNNN all the way! It was steep and pretty slippery with loose rock because it has been dry the last few weeks. There were not many people on this trail, we might of seen 10 people the entire day there and back. On the way down there were fantastic views of the canyon and we saw a lot of different vegetation as we traveled through the shaded cool forest, oh and a random goat head on the trail! Super random and quiet disgusting, but Lucas thought it was cool! As we reached the 2.5 mile marker we were greeted by the Wiliwili camp where we found a citrus tree and a cold river where we relaxed at after the intense 2.5 mile downhill hike, slowly preparing oursleves for the grueling hike back up! All in all the entire hike took about 5 hours RT, needless to say we were completely cooked and ready to head back to the house for a nice warm shower and cozy bed.

Our two day adventure was one for the books with so many amazing sights and some great hikes! We can not wait to get on some more trails and explore more of this island!

 

Kumo’o Nounou Trail (Sleeping Giant)

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My cousin (Autumn), my wife (Cynthia), and myself (Lucas) started the Sleeping Giant Trail at a yellow gate off of Kumo’o road. In the book “The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook” (very useful and a must have in our opinion) states the trail is moderately difficult but steep!

The first mile and a half was very easy. It was relatively flat with a nice long bridge and good tree coverage for a shaded hike. We saw well over a dozen chickens crowing their okole off (“butt” in hawaiian lol). The next mile was almost all uphill with a couple switchbacks and great views! Little berries that came from the Lilikoi tree covered the ground and ranged in colors from yellow to red, they smelled like a grape infused with beer. Along the trail we met several really nice people ranging in ethnicity and age, a few locals as well as travelers.

We reached a point of the trail that we thought was the top it had picnic tables and a shelter which opened up to a nice open spot with a great view to the left of Kapa’a! We took a short break and continued up the trail to the giants face which was only another quarter mile or so. The last hundred feet was us scrambling up a couple rock faces and then it opened up to a 360 degree view of most of the east coast!

The Guidebook had a pretty accurate description of the trail being steep and moderately difficult at times. We spent a total of 4 hours hiking 5.9 miles round trip, every step was completely worth it.

As of now we are in awe about how green and beautiful this island is, we love the people and how active you can be on the island. We will continue to write about more hikes and adventures we plan of doing! 🙂

Our Newest Adventure – Kauai, Hi

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We have been planning this trip for about 6 months now. Taking our time finding cheap plane tickets, to getting all the right gear narrowed down in our 50 liter carry on packs for our next adventure on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii!

Our adventure started out at 4am EST with two flights, 12 hours of flying, and a 58 minute layover landing us in Kauai at about 3pm HST (about 8pm EST). From research and word of mouth we were told the landing strip on Kauai was very short and sometimes looks as if your not going to make it, so of course I prepare for the worst 🙂  To be honest when the pilot said prepare for landing, I was freaking out as I looked out the window expecting to see a large clump of land but instead all I saw was ocean! My heart was racing and just before the wheels touched down, I finally caught a glimpse of part of the runway and was immediately relieved! On top of a smooth flight, as we were landing, a humpback whale breached and gave us a very welcoming Aloha!

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Lucas’ cousin Autumn picked us up from the Airport and drove us around the island a little bit, stopping at The Menehune pond lookout and around town. After a long day of flying we were ready to settle in at Autumn and her Husbands home. We are very thankful they are letting us shack up with them until we find our own Hale (house). We are so excited for our adventure here on the island and can’t wait to share more with you guys!