If you are staying on Kauai’s coconut coast, you’ll want to be sure to lace up your hiking boots and venture down the Kuilau Ridge Trail. A former road, this trail is wide, well-maintained, and perfect for families. Like a scene from Jurassic Park, you will be surrounded by eucalyptus forest, native shrubs, swinging vines, large ferns, guava, and hala trees as you hike along the trail. There will be plenty to see, with views of Kauai’s interior and Mount Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth. Approximately one mile in, the Kuilau Ridge trail will open up to a pavilion, an ideal spot for a mid-hike picnic.
After relaxing and refueling, you have two options: to continue forwards or to make a right. Taking the forward path will lead to a dead end with jaw-dropping views of fern-covered mountains and valleys as far as the eye can see. For the little effort it takes to get to this point, you are more than rewarded with these camera-worthy views. After snapping some photos, circle back to the picnic area to take the other path for the remainder of your out-and-back hike.
What to Bring to Kuilau Trail
The Kuilau trail can often be muddy, so proper footwear is advised. As with any hike, bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. Kauai is known for quick changes in weather, so always be prepared for rain.
The Kuilau Trail is located along Hwy 580. On your way, you’ll pass Opaeka’a Falls, a beautiful 151-foot waterfall cascading down to the Wailua River. Then continue through the neighborhoods of Wailua to the Keahua Arboretum. The trail is clearly marked with a brown and yellow state sign. After your hike, spend some time at the Arboretum, an area planted with native and introduced plants and used as an outdoor classroom for students and visitors. Cool off from your hike in the cold mountain spring water and relax in the grass alongside local families.
Staying at one of our east shore rentals such as Lae Nani, Banyon Harbor, Islander on the Beach, Kaha Lani, Kauai Beach Resort, or Pono Kai will put you in great proximity for hiking the Kuilau Trail. We know you want to make the most of your Kauai vacation, and we’re here to help you. Whether you’re looking for more things to do or places to stay, we are experts on all the best the island has to offer. Please contact us at 866-922-5642 or [email protected] or check out our website for more places to stay and things to do.
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