Long time no see. I have been so slacking on my hiking challenge and I hate it! The weather has prevented much hiking around my neck of the woods and I miss it so badly. Being in nature, the sounds, the smells, being away from the stresses of everyday life. I feel like I am having hiking withdrawals. I also sometimes get frustrated because I don't feel safe hiking alone and I don't really have a hiking buddy. I guess I need to just start forcing people to come with me. Maybe I will tell them we are going for coffee and just drive for an hour to the hiking trails:) Is that considered kidnapping?
Anyways, for my 3rd hike in my 12 hikes in 2012 challenge I am going to tell you about the Pihea Trail in Waimea Canyon, Kauai. The most beautiful place on earth. Kauai is my favorite place. Since I love to be active, this is the perfect place for me to be. Snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, etc.
The Pihea trail is approximately 2 miles one way from the Kalalau Lookout to the Alaka'i Swamp Juncture, but you can continue on to the Kilohana Lookout for 3 more miles to make it 8 miles round trip if you want. We didn't have time for that this time.
The trail is well maintained and was quite busy the day we were there. After the first mile you will steadily incline until you reach your destination. I would consider this hike moderate in difficulty since some spots are quite rocky with roots galore. You will want to watch your step and be careful especially when coming back down.
I didn't take any pictures of the actual trail, but look at these amazing views!
Make sure you bring enough water since it is guaranteed to always be pretty warm. Can you imagine anything better than this?
There are bathrooms in the parking area at the Kalalau Lookout and don't worry, there are plenty of spots to stop and take in the views. I would definitely take children on this hike, but I think anyone under 5 would have a hard time with the elevation gain and the rocky path towards the top.
To get here take Hwy. 56 South until it merges into Hwy 50. Drive all the way south and west past the town of Waimea until you see Waimea Canyon Drive (Hwy. 550) to the right. It is a rather unassuming road and you have to watch for it. Go right and up and up onto Waimea Canyon Drive until you enter Kokee park and go to the park headquarters to get more information on the park's trails.
I hope to get a hike in soon in Oregon, Vancouver, and Nevada. If you have a favorite hike in one of these spots, let me know. I love to hear about your adventures and favorites!
Have a great day and Happy Hiking!