Nu’alolo Trail

Nu’alolo Trail

There are several trails in the Koke’e State Park that bring you out onto ridges to view the NāPali Coastline. The 2 most popular are the Awa’awapuhi and the Nu’alolo trails. There is the option to do both by hiking the connecting Nu’alolo Cliff trail between the 2 to form a 12-mile loop, which is unfortunately too long for Joe’s liking. Some have said that the Lolo vista point at the end of the Nu’alolo trail offers a better view, so we opted for the out-and-back Nu’alolo trail.

You know what they say about small parking areas. Get there early.
We started our hike at 8:20AM

The first 2 miles of the hike were through forest canopy and patches of dense vegetation, with an undulating first mile.

And down
Blackberries on the side of the path were tangy. I seem to have picked up dad’s habit of eating “roadside” fruits every chance I get.
Hiking through dense towering kāhili ginger felt like hiking in the jungle. Love it!
Kāhili ginger are native to India and Nepal, and are considered invasive species in Hawaii. They were first introduced to the islands in the early 19th century as ornamental plants. The beautiful fragrance given off by the flowers smell like those of white champaca, which are commonly seen dangling off rear view mirrors in taxis in Taiwan.
Overgrown footpath suggests either a minimally used trail or fast growing grass.
The path becomes exposed after mile 2
With sections that remind us of what we typically find in SoCal’s higher elevation hikes.
The trail gets very steep and tricky after mile 2.75. I can imagine this becoming a slip-and-slide on wet days.
The view finally opens up after mile 3
With patches of dense brush mixed in
Crossing the ridge to get to Lolo point
View of NāPali coastline. This is the frugal (wo)man’s way to view NāPali Coast. Sure the helicopter ride provides you with an expansive view, but the ride is short.
Nothing beats lingering in a spot for 40 minutes to take in the view and soak in the beauty. Now looking at this picture makes me weak in the knees, as one slip on loose gravel would have had us plunging down 2000ft. Thank goodness mom and dad won’t ever get to see this picture…
After procrastinating at the viewpoint, we finally made our way back up the steep terrain. Interestingly, it took us the same amount of time hiking up as it did hiking down. It’s the bum ankles and knees that slow us down on the descents.

This trail was a treat with its constantly changing scenery and varied vegetations throughout the hike. The view of NāPali coastline made the 4-hour trek worth every bit. Only wish we had more days on the island to do more hiking. Will definitely return to Kaua’i as I now have unfinished business here.

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