Being centrally located on Kauai has been a wonderful thing! On days off when we want to get out and hike we can choose to go all the way North or all the way West on the island all in about an hours time. With so many hikes available on the island we have tried to hit the top rated ones that the locals or guidebooks have mentioned. Kalepa Ridge Trail is one of those amazing hikes that a local said to not pass up. (It is also spotlighted in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook)
To get to this trail you must drive to Koke’e State Park in Waimea. The beginning of the “trail” is located at the Kalalau Lookout, just behind the fenced area on the left of the lookout. The first part of the trail is wet, muddy and steep. Prepare to test your hiking skills during the first .5 mile but once your past that it opens up to incredible views of the Kalalau Valley. The rest of the hike down is pretty mellow as you weave in and out of brush and trees and along some pretty high drop offs along the edge of the trail as it follows the ridge on the way down. Trekking poles or a walking sticks are highly suggested.
On our hike we came across a family of wild goats crossing the trail. We sat and watched them for about a half hour just as they roamed around and eventually settled down to soak up the sun on some rocks on the side of the cliff. We made our way to the end where we both sat in awe at the panoramic views of the Kalalau Valley and Napali Coast. We even got to see some people on the Kalalau beach (we will be making our hike there in March!)
Overall the Kalepa Ridge Trail is a short but moderately difficult trail in some spots. The views are to die to for though, this is definitely a trail that we will be hiking again.