• Features


  • Difficulty


The Awa’awapuhi Trail is a remarkable hiking experience on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii. This trail is renowned for its stunning vistas, dramatic cliffs, and lush Hawaiian wilderness, making it a must-visit destination for adventurous hikers seeking breathtaking scenery.

Location: The Awa’awapuhi Trail is on the western side of Kauai, within the Koke’e State Park. Access to the trailhead is approximately a one-hour drive from the popular tourist areas of Poipu and Lihue, making it a great day trip option for those staying on the island’s south or east coasts.

The trailhead to Awa’awapuhi Valley Lookout:

  • Distance: The trail begins at the Koke’e State Park Pu’u o Kila Lookout.
  • Time: Hikers should allocate approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the 3.25-mile (5.2-kilometer) trek to the Awaawapuhi Valley Lookout.
  • Description: The trail meanders through verdant forests, ascending gradually as hikers traverse well-maintained paths and occasional switchbacks. Along the way, the air is filled with the melodies of native birds, and glimpses of the surrounding valleys offer tantalizing previews of the panoramic vistas that await.

Awa’awapuhi Valley Lookout:

  • Distance: Once reaching the lookout, hikers will have covered approximately 3.25 miles (5.2 kilometers) from the trailhead.
  • Time: Take some time to rest and soak in the awe-inspiring views of the Awaawapuhi Valley and the majestic Na Pali Coastline. Plan for 30 minutes to an hour at the lookout to fully appreciate the natural splendor of the surroundings.

Return Journey:
Distance: The return journey back to the trailhead covers the same 3.25-mile (5.2-kilometer) stretch of the trail.

Time: While the return hike typically takes less time due to the descent, hikers should still allocate 1.5 to 2 hours for a leisurely hike back to the trailhead.

Trail Difficulty and Considerations:

  • The Awa’awapuhi Trail is rated as moderately difficult, with sections of steep inclines and uneven terrain.
  • Hikers should wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry an adequate supply of water, and be prepared for varying weather conditions, including rain and mud.
  • Due to the elevation gain and strenuous sections of the trail, hikers should be in good physical condition and exercise caution along cliff edges.


Embarking on the Awa’awapuhi Trail is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural splendor of Kauai’s interior landscapes. From dense forests to panoramic overlooks, this trail offers a captivating journey that reveals the island’s rugged beauty at every turn. By respecting the environment and embracing the spirit of adventure, hikers can create lasting memories and forge a deeper connection with the breathtaking landscapes of Kauai.

Trail Highlights:

  1. Spectacular Views: The Awa’awapuhi Trail’s primary draw is its awe-inspiring panoramic views. As hikers walk along the trail, they are treated to breathtaking overlooks of the Nāpali Coast and the Pacific Ocean below. The dramatic cliffs, lush valleys, and sparkling sea create a mesmerizing landscape.
  2. Challenging Terrain: The trail is approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) round trip, featuring a moderate to strenuous hike. Hikers encounter a series of switchbacks and
  3. steep descents, with an elevation change of around 1,500 feet (457 meters) from the trailhead to the lookout. Sturdy hiking boots and proper gear are essential for this adventure.
  4. Botanical Delights: Along the trail, hikers will be surrounded by various native Hawaiian plants and colorful flora. The lush rain forest environment adds to the trail’s natural beauty.
  5. Awa’awapuhi Lookout: The trail culminates at the Awa’awapuhi Lookout, a jaw-dropping viewpoint that rewards hikers with one of the most striking views on Kauai. From here, you can marvel at the rugged coastline, deep valleys, and vibrant blue ocean stretching as far as the eye can see.

Hiking Tips

Heading into Kauai’s interior and remote terrain offers dome of the most beautiful backdrops on the world. By doing a little planning and being prepared you will make your hiking trip one of your best Kauai experiences.

  • Hiking Plan Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) you plan to hike and when you plan on returning.
  • Water  Drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drink each and every hour you are hiking in the heat. Carry your water bottle in your hand and drink small amounts often. Make sure if you are drinking water from any streams or fresh water sources you purify your water with a purifier is certified to filter microbial leptosporosis or giardia (not all do).
  • Food  Carry high-energy, salty snacks as well as meals. The hike out is much easier when you provide your body with enough calories to support the extreme physical activity you are engaged in.
  • Weather Check the weather before you set off on your hike. Kauai Weather Forecast
  • First Aid It is important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be monitored closely. Don not expose open wounds or cuts to river water.
  • Proper Footwear There are a variety of footwear options to choose from. The best advise is to wear what is comfortable for you. Do not break in new shoes along a hiking trail.
  • Clothing  Dress in layers so you can protect your skin from the tropical sun. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen is recommended. A light rain jacket is recommended.