This is Part I of our 2013 Kauai Trip Journal which recounts our trip down Koke’e State Park’s gnarly trail known as the Nu’alolo Trail. The Nu’alolo Trail is located in Koke’e State Park on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Starting adjacent to the Koke’e Lodge and Museum at an elevation of 3,660 ft. the trail descends nearly 1,600 vertical feet in 3.8 miles. The trail traverses through the Kuia Natural Area Reserve and Koke’e Forest Reserve crossing through several vegetation communities from temporal forests to lush rainforest.
While the hike itself is beautiful, nothing will prepare you for your first peak into Nu’alolo Valley as you near the end of the trial and approach the Lolo Vista Point. From the vista, which sits at an elevation of 2,234, you can gaze up the Na Pali coastline and peer straight down into the Pacific. Those who are as ambitious as I was and wish to turn this hike into a ~12 mile loop will need to backtrack 1/4 mile from the Lolo Vista Point and continue onto the Nu’alolo Cliff Trail (the loop is best tackled in this order: Nu’alolo – Nu’alolo Cliff Trail – Awa’awapuhi). Here a great resource on the Nu’alolo Trail, complete with a map.
Here you can see just how sketchy the trail is becoming as we near the end. if it were muddy we would be sliding all over the place.
As we round a nondescript bend we are hit smack in the face with this view. Amazing! We just stood at this point and marveled for a while. The cliff walls are sheer and the ocean is as blue as can be. Well worth the effort to get this far!