Nu'alolo & Awa'awapuhi Trail

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

It is about 1.5 hours to drive to Kokee State Park from the capital Lihue. It is recommended that hiking enthusiasts rent a cabin from Kokee Lodge (about 100 €/night). The cabins are fully equipped with self-catering. 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 manageable for everyone.

The Nualolo Cliffs are among the most spectacular natural phenomena in all of Hawaii. The jagged cliffs, eroded by water, drop more than 600 meters into the deep. A natural wonder like no other 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 on the left. It is only identifiable by a white painted iron pipe labelled "Nualolo" standing in the tall grass. The variety of plants on the trail is enormous, ranging from ohias 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 by helicopter.

What we say

This tour is certainly one of the most beautiful hikes on Kauai. I have walked it several times. You should inform yourself about the conditions in the Kokee Museum, which is located opposite the Kokee Lodge. This hike is not feasible after heavy rains because parts of the trail even slide off sometimes. Especially on the "Nualolo Cliff Trail" part that branches off at the "Nualolo Trail". Whether you want to go for the combination with the "Awaawapuhi Trail", is up to your 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 in the park and almost only manageable if you have rented a cabin at Kokee Lodge and don't have to drive back to Waimea or the valley afterwards. In addition to that, you should not be scared of heights. If you "only" want to hike the big highlight of the tour and 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 water (at least 2-3 litres)
  • Sunscreen and hats
  • Sturdy footwear (preferably proper mountain boots with a solid sole)
  • Possibly hiking sticks
  • Either in the early morning hours or towards the evening. This is when the light conditions and shadows 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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