Hikers will find paradise in Kauai. There is a lot of excitement waiting for you if you fit this description. I will advise that you begin with easier hikes if you are a beginner in order to have a safe experience. The seashore views and waterfalls demand a delightful excursion despite the slight elevation rise. A few kilometers further along the trail, you will see the beautiful view of Mount Hihimanu, Mount Namolokama, and the source of the Waioli Stream. The Hikes on Kauai’s north shore are so beautiful to withhold, there are also a lot of things to admire in Kauai while hiking.

The trail’s 13 km of muddy ground in its entirety. You can cut your hike in half by turning around after you have taken in the sights rather than hiking to the other side of the island. Find out in this article about the hikes on Kauai North Shore.

#1. Kalalau Trail

Image Source: Kauai

One of the Hikes on Kauai North Shore is the only land-based route that leads to the stunning Napali Coast the Kalalau Trail. The voyage is not for the faint of heart, despite being gorgeous. You need only do this hike if you are physically fit because it is lengthy and difficult. Keé Beach is the start of the 11-mile Kalalau route, which leads to Kalalau Valley. Average hikers will need at least a few days, while hikers with experience can finish the entire stretch in just one day. In addition, only Kalalau Beach and Hanakoa Valley provide camping facilities. You need to also have a permit for overnight camping if you want to hike past Hanakapiai Falls.

Meanwhile, the penalties for being caught without permission are severe. Because permits are frequently sold out more than four months in advance, make sure to make your reservations well in advance. A certain number of rangers is also assigned to patrol the area, ensuring both environmental protection and hiker safety. Na Pali Coast on the other hand follows a path for 11 km on the rugged coastline walk. For the first 4.5 kilometers of the hike to Hanakapiai Falls, you don’t need a permit; however, after that, you do. Inaccessible Kalalau Beach, located below Kalalau Valley, is where the walk comes to a conclusion.


#2. Hihimanu Ridge Hike

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The Okolehao trek has hikes on Kauai North Shore and the Hihimanu Ridge trek share the same starting point. After passing the bench where the Okolehao route ends, you climb higher. From this point on, the terrain steepens, becomes slicker, and includes a number of rope parts. The trip had more than 40 separate sections where using ropes to climb the muddy trail is necessary.  As you get closer to the summit, you will see Twin Peaks, which resembles Oahu’s best trek, the Olomana trek, in appearance. After several hours of hiking, you will reach a little leveled-out platform at the summit. Under the two trees, Tibetan flags hang, and you can see from miles into the valleys on either side.

On the left is the Hanalei River, and on the opposite side are waterfalls pouring over slopes. As you move along the course, it gets trickier and more dependent on the ropes. There are places on this challenging military-style hike where the incline can reach as high as 80 degrees.

#3. Okolehao Trail

hikes on kauai north shore
Image Source: Kauai

Hikes on Kauai north shore, close to Hanalei, is where you will find the Okolehao Trail. Once you are here, there are so many hikes that you cannot forget, especially the five-mile hike. One of the hiking paths on Kauai’s north shore, the Okolehao Trail,  is only a short distance from Hanalei. This is likely the best hike you can take on the Kauai north shore, except for a hike along the Kalalau Trail or to Hanakapiai Falls. You climb 2.5 miles up the Okolehao route and 2.5 miles back down the same path on the out-and-back trail. The mile markers, however, appear to stop after mile 1.75.

Anyway, if you are looking for a difficult hike on Kauai, this is among the best. The hike is more challenging than the one that follows the Hanakapiai Falls path and is moderate to difficult. The first mile is a hard hike through flat terrain. There are no vistas along this section, and you must first put in some labor before you can enjoy the benefits.

The taro fields and the well-known Hanalei Bay can be seen from the first viewing point, which is located underneath the power lines. You can also reach the overlook with a bench by continuing on the trail a little bit. At a height of 1250 feet, this last lookout point serves as the destination. Hanalei Bay can be seen clearly from this vantage point, which also serves as

#4. Powerline Trail

hikes on kauai north shore
Image Source: The Circuit Trails

This trail is accessible from both ends and extends from Kauai’s north side to its upper-east side. In particular, this trail begins in Princeville and extends all the way to the Keahua Arboretum in the area of Wailua. The lush interior beauty of the Garden Isle is what you will see between the two points. Being aware of the drop-offs throughout the way is important because the trail is a bumpy dirt road. In order to connect and maintain electrical lines to Hanalei, this dirt path was built. Up the road from the Princeville Ranch stables, on Kapaka Street, the Powerline trail begins.

Drive two miles to the parking area, then begin the journey. While you might begin on the east side, the most beautiful. Despite the small elevation rise, the seaside views and waterfalls demand a wonderful trip. You will be treated to a beautiful vista of Mount Hihimanu, Mount Namolokama, and the headwaters of Waioli Stream a few kilometers further along the trail. 13 km of muddy terrain make up the trail. Once you have taken in the scenery, you can shorten the hike by going back instead of continuing on to the opposite half of the island.

Read Also: BEACH CAMPING IN SAN FRANCISCO: Top 12 Campgrounds

#5. Hanakapiai Falls Trail

Image Source: Hawaii Guide

One of the different Hikes on Kauai North Shore is one of Kauai’s most well-traveled trails that beginner hikers can easily attempt. With its frequent elevation change, this simple to moderate hike will put you to the test. The trail, though, can become slick and a little bit dangerous if it rains.  The first 4 miles of the Kalalau path are made up of the Hanakapiai Falls trail, which serves as an early reward for hikers. Also, the route begins in Haena State Park, which is also where the Napali Coast and Kalalau trails begin, at the end of Highway 560.

Eight kilometers round trip separate the trip to the falls and back. The Napali coast and the coral reefs at Keé Beach are very beautiful and are visible from a height of almost 400 feet reached over the course of the first mile. An ordinary hiker can complete the first two miles, which lead to the Hanakapiai beach, and enjoy the beautiful views. Additionally, the majestic Hanakapiai beach is a great place to relax after a hike.

However, as numerous signboards around the region warn against, swimming on the beach can be harmful. The hike becomes more tough and taxing in the final two kilometers up to Hanakapiai Falls. All but experienced hikers head back from Hanakapiai Beach. Take a moment to decide if you want to continue the hike for the last 2 miles. The Hanakapiai stream runs alongside the less well-marked trail that leads to the falls. Along the trip, there are many stream crossings. Flash floods are possible in the streams, therefore proceed with extreme caution when crossing them. The 300-foot waterfall that rises from the mountains will gently welcome you after all the effort.


#6. Kuilau Ridge Trail

hikes on kauai north shore
Image Source: Tripadvisor

Consider hiking the Kuilau Ridge Trail in Kauai if you are looking for quick but exciting day hikes. Hikers starting at the Keahua Arboretum enjoy the benefit of starting at an elevation. As a result, you start to receive views right away. The track can be muddy, especially after rain, like many Kauai trails and the track can at times be a little difficult to follow as a result.

Any difficulties with getting around, though, are worthwhile as you walk through old forests while taking in views of distant mountain ranges. The trip here is more stunning than the goal; the trail does not lead to a dramatic conclusion. However, the route is open to the public and is accessible to both young and old. resulting in the ideal family outing.

#7. Nualolo Ridge Trail

Image Source: MyHikes

This is one of the hikes on Kauai’s north shore. Challenge yourself on the Nualolo Ridge Trail if the Honopu Ridge Trail is not hard enough on your legs. Beginning with a steep descent and even better views of the Na Pali Coast, one of the hardest walks on Kauai begins. Although muddy downhill routes through the rainforest can be hard on your legs, you will come across numerous breathtaking views along the way.

Go ahead and take a break here to take in the vivid hues and rest your aching muscles. Soon, rocky meadows take over, letting you see more of your surroundings. Even the rare I’iwi honeycreeper will be seen. You can enjoy paradise in privacy because the hike’s difficulties discourage many who will like to hike.

#8. Wai Koa Loop

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As one of the hikes on Kauai’s north shore. Both bikers and hikers will like this 5-mile circle on Kilauea. Starting out in the Kilauea Woods, with its towering Albizias and Norfolk Island Pines, is a wonderful introduction to the trail’s abundance of lush vegetation. In addition, the West Makaleha Mountains provide the first broad views and put everything in perspective as the trail continues through the largest mahogany forest in the US, which is home to some 86,000 Honduran mahogany trees.

As the journey continues, hikers will pass neighborhood gardens, guava orchards, and a sizable hydroponic farm that provides many neighborhood restaurants with greens. The journey’s high point will be the historic stone dam overlook and gardens, which are located past Kalihiwai Lagoons, and were once used for the production of freshwater prawns and are now home to tilapia, bass, and koi. This dam, which is more than 130 years old, was built to provide water to sugar plantations in earlier times.

#9. Awaawapuchi Trail

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The well-known Awaawapuhi Trail is among the top hiking routes on Kauai for day hikes. Like many hiking paths in Kauai, you will follow a ridgeline with a constant view of the Na Pali Coast insofar as you are in Awaawapuchi. Following about 90 minutes of breathtaking downhill hiking, the trail ends at the designated viewpoint.

The ridge also ends with a stunning view and abrupt drop-offs on all sides. More can be descended, although doing so involves deviating from the track and can be difficult because of the way’s breakdown. Enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains on your way back to take your mind off the calf-burning climb up the Awaawapuhi route.

#10. Makaleha Falls Trail

Image Source: Avenly Lane Travel

The Makaleha Falls climb, one of Kauai’s best hikes will be remembered as much for the muck as for the waterfalls. The entire hiking track is beside the Makaleha Stream, and there are multiple water crossings along the way.  People of various skill levels sometimes find themselves doing the hike because of the breathtaking falls, but it is challenging for a reason.

Expect to spend some time ducking through useless branches and scrambling over wet rocks while trying to stay on the trail. After all, you are going to eventually see the captivating two-tiered falls. And finally, after passing a location where people can jump over cliffs, you can continue to Hidden Fall.

What Is the Most Famous Hiking Trail on Kauai?

Out of all the hikes in Kauai, the Kalalalu Trail is the most popular to explore. Meanwhile, this trail takes 11 miles to hike from the Napali Coast.

What Is the Shortest Hike to the Waterfalls in Kauai?

Queen’s Bath Trail is a short, simple out-and-back hike in Kauai and one of the island’s shortest hikes.  

What Hikes Require a Reservation in Kauai?

The Kalalau trail requires a reservation before you can hike here.

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