WINS TON WELBORN/WASABI MARKETING
Hikers who crave challenge won’t be disappointed with the
Awa‘awapuhi-Nu‘alolo Loop. This trail delves into the series of
ridges and canyons that lie on Kaua‘i’s West Side like fingers of
an ancient and bony hand pointed toward the sea. The views are
every bit as wonderful and yet entirely different than those of the
nearby Waimea Canyon.
The Awa‘awapuhi and Nu‘alolo Cliff Trails can be hiked
separately, but if indulging in accomplishing all trails in sequence,
expect an enduring 9. 8 mile journey with 2,000-feet of elevation
change. There’s an additional 1. 5 miles on the main road, which
can be either walked or driven to return to the hike’s start point.
Plan on starting early in the day and carrying at least two quarts
of water (per person) as there are no facilities available.
You can find the Awa‘awapuhi Trailhead just 1. 5 miles past the
Köke‘e Lodge. Keep in mind that the path is all downhill, which
means all uphill on the way back! The beauty of this hike—the
trail descends through highland forests into dryer terrain with
occasional ridge views. The Nu‘alolo Cliff Trail connects two
ridges and upon entering a grassy area, the sheer cliffs of the
Awa‘awapuhi and Nu‘alolo Valleys become visible—a mystifying
2,000-feet below. Although it may take a little longer, hiking the
spur trail to see a truly magnificent view of Kaua‘i’s steep canyons
with the vast Pacific Ocean in the backdrop is worth it.
•Difficulty: Very Strenuous