• Features

    Birdwatching, Views, Wildlife

  • Difficulty


The Kukui Trail is found at the beginning of the Iliau Nature Loop Trail. This hike will take you into the Waimea Canyon. The trail is used by hunters and horses and can be loose. As you follow the Kukui Trail into Waimea Canyon, along the first mile, you will be treated to two amazing opportunities for photos, each with a bench to rest your feet. Across the canyon, you will be able to see sweeping views of several waterfalls. Waialae Falls is the dominant waterfall that cascades to the valley floor.

Don’t let the 5 miles fool you, steep ascend can be exhausting along with the sunny and hot conditions. Keep hydrated and don’t wander off the trail, the forested area can become disorienting. If you have someone to drop you off, you can follow the Waimea River back to town and the ocean. Bring an ample amount of water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Wild goats are frequently visible along the canyon ridges.

Route: The Kukui Trail starts along Highway 550, about 0.75 miles beyond the 8-mile Marker. Kukui Trail is a scenic trail down the west side of Waimea Canyon. It makes a 2000 ft. elevation drop to the canyon floor, ending at the Wiliwili Camp site administered by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Camping by permit only. There is no permitted camping for commercial purposes.


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.