Nu'alolo & Awa'awapuhi Trail

Suitable for:
Active traveller, nature lover, couples
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Rather unknown and little going on
Insider Tip
Time needed: 1-2 hours
4 hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:30 o' clock
Suitable for:
Active traveller, nature lover, couples
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Rather unknown and little going on
Insider Tip
Time needed: 1-2 hours
4 hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:30 o' clock

Profile of the hike

Distance total
16,75 Kilometer
Distance uphill
6,98 Kilometer
Distance downhill
7,85 Kilometer
Altitude meters uphill
842 Meter
Altitude meters downhill
- 843 Meter

Nu'alolo & Awa'awapuhi Trail - Description

From the capital Lihue it is about 1.5 hours drive to Kokee State Park. Hiking enthusiasts are recommended to rent a cabin from Kokee Lodge (about 100 €/night). The cabins are fully equipped self-catering cabins. Mornings and lunches can also be eaten at the nearby lodge, but it closes early in the evening.

With 11 km and 550 meters of altitude this hike is well doable for everyone.

The Nualolo Cliffs are among the most spectacular natural phenomena in all of Hawaii. The jagged cliffs, completely cut by water channels, drop more than 600 meters into the depths. A natural wonder without equal in the Na-Pali Coast area.

The trail begins a few meters below Kokee Lodge on the right. The entrance to the trail is in a parking lot and there on the left. It is only identifiable by a white painted iron pipe labeled "Nualolo" standing in the tall grass. The variety of plants on the trail is enormous, ranging from ohia's to palms of every kind to ferns and beautiful flowers. The big highlight is the view at the end of the tour into the Nualolo Valley, which can otherwise only be seen from the air in the form of a helicopter ride.

What we say

This tour is certainly one of the most beautiful hikes on Kauai. I have walked it several times. Either way, you should inform yourself about the conditions in the Kokee Museum, which is located opposite the Kokee Lodge. After heavy rains this hike is not feasible, also because even sometimes parts of the trail slip off. Especially on the part of the "Nualolo Cliff Trail" that branches off at the "Nualolo Trail". Whether you even want to venture the combination with the "Awaawapuhi Trail" is up to your own assessment of physical fitness. With 17 km and 850 meters of altitude (about 6 hours), and partly very narrow paths, the complete trail is no walk and almost only doable if you have rented a cabin at Kokee Lodge and do not have to drive back to Waimea or the valley afterwards. In addition, you should be free from giddiness. If you "only" want to hike the big highlight of the tour, to have a look into the rugged Nualolo Valley, the shorter "Nualolo Trail" (11 km, 550 vertical meters) is recommended. However, it leads back the same way as the outward route. As with all hikes, an early start makes the hike less strenuous in the sun and high humidity.
Our checklist & tips:
  • Enough liquid (at least 2-3 liters)
  • Sunscreen and sun milk
  • Sturdy footwear (preferably proper mountain boots with a solid sole)
  • Possibly hiking poles
  • Either in the early morning hours or towards the evening. Then the light conditions and shadow plays are the most beautiful.
  • For experienced hikers we recommend the combination with the Awaawapuhi Trail (17km, 850 meters altitude difference)

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Map and contact data

3600 Kokee Rd, HI96796
Longitude: -159.66012755272217
Latitude: 22.129044884246124

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