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.
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!