A narrow, windy trail along the spine of a ridge outcropping leads to the giant's nose

Best Kauai day hikes

Two years ago I went on a hiking-focused multi-week visit to the amazingly beautiful island of Kauai. For regular readers of hikerly, you remember the series of hike posts that followed that visit. Now on the anniversary of the trip, I wanted to share the top hikes from Kauai, listed in order of popularity among our readers then and now.

  1. Ho’opi’i Falls This hike remains our absolutely most visited Kauai adventure. It’s off the beaten path, hard to find and not too strenuous.
  2. Na Pali coast to Hanakapi’ai Falls This is the quintessential Kauai day hike. For the adventuresome sort who plans ahead for permits you can turn it into a multi-day backpack, but as a day hike it’s unforgettable and worth every strenuous (or slippery) step.
  3. Kuilau Ridge If you are staying on the east shore this is a very convenient, not too strenuous hike close to home base. It’s also popular with locals out for a day on a trail.
  4. Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mtn.) Bag a peak with this 4 mile, 1200 foot climb to views near the east shore
  5. Koke’e State Park via Nu’alolo Valley Trail Arguably my favorite hike on the island, this ranks at number 5 among hikerly visitors. The only reason I can think is it’s a bit of a drive from the popular north or east shores. But it’s worth it. A bonus: You get to drive through the Waimea Canyon on your way to the trailhead.

What are your favorites hikes on Kauai? Tell us in the comments below!