"Bad back hikes" on Kauai and Maui

Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 06:08 AM
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"Bad back hikes" on Kauai and Maui

We're an older couple, and I experience soreness and stiffness in the lower back when I walk much further than 1/2 mile continuously, although I'm in otherwise good condition and work out regularly. But my wife and I want to do some hiking on the two islands if there are short hikes that are worthwhile and that would involve 1/2 mile in and 1/2 mile out - nothing much longer. Any suggestions for scenic hikes of about this length that are worth doing would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 07:10 AM
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On Maui, Iao Needle is a beautiful spot. You drive most of the way in and there is a short hiking trail along the stream. (Take the drive around west Maui. The roads are fine and the scenery is beautiful.)
On the way to Hana there are many stops with short hikes. (Consult a guide book for the various locations.)
On Haleakala you can walk up to various viewing areas, or partway down into the crater if you want to try .
Have fun.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 08:53 AM
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you could hike the very first part of the Kalalau Trail on kauai- the hike at the end of the road. the first part is the easiest part but it's not that easy. it's uphill on some rocks and such so you need good balance and shoes with traction. really beautiful tho
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Do not hike the Kalalau Trail, unless you want a severe backache. This is a tough hike for a person with a back problem.

May I make the following suggestion in an attempt to eliminate your pain. I have been informed by a few different people that the low back ache is a result of "out-of-shape" hamstrings. As you walk you hams start to tighten and that causes tightening thoughout you lower back. Work on loosening and strengthening you hamstrings and you may find the problem is gone.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 09:49 AM
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wbpiii,
Thanks for the advice. My problem is a herniated disk and stenosis; my hamstrings are actually OK.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Well if it's structural, definitely keep off the Kakalau trail. I know of no trail that will exacerbate your condition quicker.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 01:28 PM
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i guess i didn't think the first part was that bad....i have back problems and it didn't bother me
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Ton, this is why i think the trail would not be good for the OP.

1. The first 3/4 mile is somewhat steep. There is what a 400 elevation gain.
2. The trail is poorly maintained. It's alway muddy, It has big rocks everywhere. It has some super slick segments.
3. As a result of #2 the footing is terrible. On my first hike there, I saw five people slip on their ***. I saw two others with open wounds on their legs and knees. Now granted I only saw this the first time, but on my second hike the conditions where still bad. If it rains when you on the trail, hello neurologist.

Simply, it's not worth the risk.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2009, 05:33 PM
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All though its not really a hike, the seaside walk around the Wailea resort area is a great walk in Maui. Very pleasant, lots of places to stop if you wish. I think it is about 1/2 mile.
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