Kauai is the fourth largest of the eight main islands of the Hawaiian Island chain. Â With just over 550 square miles of land, and with the Hawaiian Islands surrounded by more water than any other archipelago itâ€™s interesting to discover that Kauai is a premier hiking location with well over 120 miles of established trails which range from completely easy, to supremely difficult.
There are 56 established, well-known hiking trials on Kauai, only 10 of which are official State Park Trails. Kauaiâ€™s trails range in lengths and vary in difficulty levels, from rankings of 1 (less than a half mile of flat, easily walkable dry ground) to difficulties of 10 – like Kauaiâ€™s famous Kalalau Trail which is considered one of the top ten toughest hiking trails in world.
The diverse landscape and micro climates make Kauai a hikerâ€™s dream, as each hike on the island has its own unique destination sights, terrain, ecosystems, and landscape views. This diversity alone is worth a visit to Kauai, as there is no other place in such a compact area that can offer this sort of variety.
The fact that much of Kauaiâ€™s interior is inaccessible by any other means, besides by foot-trek, is another compelling reason to take up a pack and hike on in. Aside from the air tours, which do offer breathtaking from-above views of the steepest cliff, hiking in by foot is the only way to get closer look of much of islandâ€™s untouched and pristine inner sanctuaries. Kauaiâ€™s tallest peak Mount Kawaikini looms over 5300 feet above the surrounding beaches, and is teeming with hidden waterfalls, valleys, swamps and dense rain forests.
Alakai swamp â€“ the highest elevated swamp in the world â€“ is of particular interest. Here, the plant life has dwarfed, though these miniaturized versions of many of Hawaiiâ€™s trees and shrubs maintain full-size blooms. Â The views from the trailâ€™s famous boardwalk region are truly beyond description, and can really only be fully experienced in person. Â Then again, thatâ€™s what many people say about the Kalalau Trail, and the Trail to Waipoâ€™o Falls, and the Awaâ€™awapuhi Grand LoopTrail, and the â€¦
Well, you get the picture â€“ or at least you will, when you hike Kauai!