Okolehao Trail

Suitable for:
Active vacationer, Nature lover, Couples
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Hardly known and hardly anything going on
Insider Tip
Allow time:
3 Hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:00 Clock
Suitable for:
Active vacationer, Nature lover, Couples
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Hardly known and hardly anything going on
Insider Tip
Allow time:
3 Hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:00 Clock

Profile of the hike

Distance total
8,69 Kilometer
Distance uphill
4,21 Kilometer
Distance downhill
4,2 Kilometer
Altitude meters uphill
746 Meter
Altitude meters downhill
- 747 Meter

Okolehao Trail - Description

In itself, this hiking trail in the north of Kauai is not particularly long at 9km, but with 750 meters of elevation gain it is quite steep.

From the east coast in Kapaa one drives Hwy. 56 (Kuhio Hwy.) in northern direction. Not far past the posh town of Princeville you cross the Hanalei Bridge. Immediately after this bridge turn left into Ohiki Rd. Here you can visit taro fields. Taro is an ancient crop that was often grown in moist valleys in early Hawaii. It is a tuberous plant similar to the potato and is often featured in Hawaiian meals. The taro fields in Hanalei Valley, which are also a popular photo and postcard subject, are among the largest in the Hawaiian Islands.

Take Ohiki Rd. to the gravel parking lot, where you can also park your car. The Okolehao Trail starts at a small bridge across the road that crosses a small river. The lower part of the trail is maintained by Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, the higher part by Sierra Club Kauai. After heavy rains the trail is not doable, the red clay then becomes very slippery. However, there are nets attached to the ground at the beginning to prevent bad slipping. At the edge of the trail are always mile markers, so you can estimate approximately how far you still have to go.

The trail is very steep and quite sweaty, but rewards with a green "Aloha" wooden bench and sensational views over the North Shore, Hanalei Bay and Princeville. There you can have a wonderful picnic before the steep climb begins.

There are many Koa trees and False Staghorn fern growing. From there, the climb gets even steeper and the trail goes over large roots and forest floor. The trail also gets narrower and narrower and winds its way further up through lush vegetation. If it has rained the days before, you can always see waterfalls pouring down the steep, overgrown cliffs of the mountains.

Theoretically, you can walk as far as you want and what your condition gives. The surrounding green scenery is unique and the exertions are quickly forgotten.

What we say

This hike requires good physical condition, as it is very steep and strenuous. The best way to do it is to stay at the North Shore, Hanalei, or Princeville. Once again, you have the opportunity to dive deep into the bombastic nature of Kauai. For nature and hiking lovers a real insider tip.
Our checklist & tips:
  • Enough liquid (at least 2-3 liters)
  • Mosquito spray
  • Sturdy footwear (preferably proper mountain boots with a solid sole)
  • Possibly hiking poles
  • Early start is recommended because the hike is very sweaty

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Map and contact data

4726 Ohiki Rd, Princeville, HI 96722
Longitude: -159.46720911853012
Latitude: 22.18783582842731

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