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Honopu Ridge - What a Hike, What a View

One of the best hikes on Kauai is the one that leads to Honopu Ridge. The trail is pretty short, about two miles in total, but it results in a view that is perhaps Kauai’s greatest. Keep in mind when hiking here that the main trail can sometimes become vague and you might be mislead by several other smaller trails that branch off from the main trail. If you have a map of the trail before you set out you will more than likely be able to stay on the main trail. Also, there are parts of the trail where you will need to get down on your knees and crawl through some ferns to stay on the main trail. This is no big deal and just keep in mind that you are on course. Of course, if you didn’t wear long pants you will be regretting it at this point.

Getting There
If you want to take the trail then you will need to head to Waimea Canyon Road. When you see mile marker 17 slow down and go just another half a mile and you will see a curve that is approximately 100 feet on the other side of a telephone pole. Go ahead and park here and then you can take the trail to the left. It does get a little confusing at times and you will notice that maybe 10 minutes into the hike you will arrive at a fork and have no clue which one to take. Simply take the fork to the right and keep on walking. As you continue walking keep in mind that you want to stay on the path that looks as if it has the most traffic. Approximately one mile into the hike you will notice that the trail starts to get thinner and smaller. If you keep on walking you will soon be able to see the Honopu Valley as well as Awa-‘awa-pushi on either side of the trail. This is simply amazing. The trail continues on and eventually arrives at a lookout that is probably the best Kauai has to offer. All of your knee crawling and fern fighting will be completely worth it when you reach the lookout.

When you reach the lookout you will feel so small and be in awe of the valley below and the amazing 3,000 foot drop. You can see the magnificent Honopu Beach from this vantage point as well as the Pacific Ocean.

It usually takes one and one half or two and one half hours each way of the hike and you want to make sure that you are back off the trail at least one and one half hours before the sun goes down. Going back up the trail can be physically challenging so it is a good idea to lose as much weight at the lookout as possible. Drink all your water here, or most of it, and then head back up the trail. It will make your pack a little lighter and the trail back up easier. Be careful as you are walking the trail because there are places where you could easily injure an ankle or even take a fall, so don’t rush the hike. Simply take it slow, enjoy the surroundings, and enjoy the overlook. Be sure to take pictures!

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