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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Hiking in Hawaii

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My hubby and I would like to hike somewhere in Hawaii in May 2013. The problem is we only have 5 days once we get there. Should we stay in the mainland, go to Oahu or sowehere else? We would be interested in day hikes up to moderate difficulty. Would love to be high up in the clouds and looking thousands of feet down to crashing waves on the shore. Snorkeling and beach time is of NO interest. Also is the last week of May a good time to hike in Hawaii? Any suggestions including places to stay would be much appreciated by fellow hikers.

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    Kauai has Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park. There are numerous hiking opportunities just in this area. My favorite is the Pihea Trail which will lead you along the rim of the Kalalau Valley to the Alakai Swamp area. Another favorite hiking area on Kauai is the Maha'ulepu Beach area.

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    My favorite hike of all time is on Kauai. The Awa'awapuhi/Nu'alolo loop trail.

    You want to do this on a clear day. We started at Kokee Lodge and started hiking down the Nu'alolo. It goes through a forest and after about 2 miles, you come to a ridge with a beautiful view. After another mile, you come to the intersection of the Nu'alolo and the Cliffs Trail. At this point you want to walk out to Lolo Vista--it is a "wow" view. You look down at the Nu'alolo Valley and then out at the NaPali coast. There are helicopters flying below the cliff you are standing on.

    We then headed across the Cliffs Trail.

    Before you start the hike, you need to check at the ranger station and make sure that the Cliff Trail is passable. I would have really liked to have had my trekking poles. When we hiked the trail, there were a couple scary parts where the trail had eroded. The views are amazing though and somehow they got a picnic table up there. We stopped and had a picnic lunch.

    Keep an eye out for the trail markers. We lost the trail for a bit and had to backtrack. The Awa'awapuhi Lookout is the next stop. This is where we ran into the only other couple we saw on the trail. The rest of the trail is all uphill and it was slow going for me. I would do this trail again though if I ever had a chance.

    You end up about 1 1/2 miles from the parking lot--all downhill but a family actually stopped and gave us a ride back to our car. We started the hike at about 10:45 and finished at about 5PM.

    The most famous trail in Hawaii is also on Kauai, the Kalalau Trail, a beautiful trail that runs along the coast and leads down to Hanakapi'ai Beach. We only did the first 2 miles, you need to get a permit to hike the entire trail. There are beautiful views of the valley, out across the ocean and up the coast. This trail has a lot more hikers. It was a beautiful hike but didn't have the unbelievably spectacular scenery of the N/A hike. It was also nice to spend some time at Ke'e Beach where this trail starts.

    We also enjoyed walking the sandstone cliffs at the Maha'ulepa beaches. That was also our favorite place to relax in the shade and read.

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