Friday, March 16, 2018

Hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai Island

I was climbing Mt. Baldy in Southern California and started chatting with a couple who were doing a training hike for the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. I was immediately mystified by their description of this epic trail, so I started planning my Kauai adventure.

I went online to obtain my permit and was surprised to see it booked up solid for 6 months. I bought one for September 30, 2017 and made my travel plans.

Airfare and hotel booked, I boarded a plane for the long flight. I landed, got off the plane and found myself in an open air airport right on the ocean and immediately felt relaxed. Jumped into my rental car and headed for the trailhead to scope it out since my hotel check-in was a few hours away.

I immediately loved the little island, there was no crowding, no tall buildings and lots of greenery, ocean views and wide open spaces. Bliss.
I checked into my hotel and immediately walked the beach and wandered by the pool. There were chickens and roosters everywhere on Kauai.
I had a rest day on Friday before my Saturday hike and I wanted to see as much of the island as possible.

I headed out to the Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. I was not disappointed.

 

The big day was tomorrow, so I headed back to my room to pack up my gear and get some rest.
I arrived at the trail at dawn and started my trek. Parking was plentiful, thankfully.

2 miles in I was completely drenched from head to toe with sweat, moisture, even my baseball cap was dripping from the brim, and it was not raining. I could not stop marveling at the deep blue ocean on my right, the rich, red soil, the beautiful lush scents of guava fruit and green growing things. There were no mosquitos or annoying bugs at all, but all wonderful sounds of the rainforest. Warm and luscious and just breathtaking.




 The entire trail is 22 miles long, I got about 8 miles and noticed my water supply was low (should have brought a LifeStraw, doh!). So I turned around and headed back to the trailhead. This is rated as a very strenuous hike and it was. You are on the mountain cliff edge overlooking the ocean with constant up and down trails. The only wildlife I saw was these little, hardy mountain goats.


 


The hike ended up being 16 miles round trip. I did run out of water, but met with some awesome trail samaritans that gave me some extra bottles. I wound back on the beach at the end of the road and it started pouring. Sat under a tree and stuck my tired and weary toes in the sand.
Next day was recovery day, so did alot of beach walking and a little sight-seeing. I fell in love with Kauai and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to rest, recharge, hike their brains out and disconnect for awhile.






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