My wife and I did this hike the first day on Kauai, since it was only two miles from where we staid. We rented bikes from the hotel and rode them to the trailhead, there is actually a trail system going along most of the southern coast. We hiked it from the Hyatt golf course to Kawelikoa Point, very interesting terrain. It s almost as if we were on another planet. Very cool to see the bright blue ocean crashing into the jagged rocks and cliffs. Part of the hike your on a dirt path going through lush green foliage. Other parts of the hike your walking on a sandy beach. Finally, approaching Mahaulepu Beach your walking on solid cooled magma rock which is very interesting. The jagged edges, caves and coves made this my favorite part of the hike.
If your every in Poipu Beach you have to stop and get a puka dog, Hawaiian style hot dog. I had like 3 of them while I was there.
Awaawapuhi Trail 2/21/07
On the 21st we took our rent a car up through to the Waimea Canyon. Very beautiful, took lots of pictures on the way up. Took a hike on the Awaawapuhi Trail six mile hike actually on the other side of the Waimea Canyon. Apparently the best book to have for Kauai is the ultimate guidebook of Kauai , which I ordered but did not get in time. If I had we probally would have done the Kuluku trail which is on the canyon side. Never the less the hike we chose was very nice pretty easy. Great views of the Coast from different lookouts.
There are all kinds of hikes in this area varying in length and difficulty. A local told me that you can go into the Koke State Park museum and there is a curator there that will create a hike specifically for you and what your interests are, i.e. waterfalls, cliffs, etc. Sounded pretty cool but since our visit was mostly pleasure but a little business we decided to stick with the one we already had a map for because time was a factor. I really wish we had more time to explore this beautiful part of the island.
Kuamoo-Nounou Trail (Sleeping Giant) 2/22/07
Since my wife and I got to HI I have been walking up almost every morning either 3:30 am or 5:30 am because of the time difference. Every other day I ve gone back to sleep except this day I decided to wake and head to the Sleeping Giant trail about 50 minutes from where we were staying. It is about twenty minutes north of Linhue which is where the airport is located on the island. It would have been a race up the mountain to see the sunrise, however I drove right past the trailhead and by the time I finally found it the sun had come up. Still spectacular views from the top. Pretty easy hike nothing to strenous about it. The trail at times is cut through very dense vegetation. As I was joggin part of the way back, so that I got back to my hotel in time to going on our helicopter ride planned for later in the day. I felt like I was on an episode of Lost, running from "the others."
This is a tourist attraction of rock that juts out over the ocean and as the waves come in the water is forced up through some in holes within the rock. It displays a geyser effect of the water.
It is a little pricey but you have to do this if your ever in Kauai. You will see the most amazing things from up above the island. Especially since about 75% of the island is inaccessible. According to the pilot they have been quite a few movies and one tv show filmed on the island of Kauai. Our pilot was talented in the gift of gab and point out to us spots that were used in the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurrasic Park, South Pacific, and Fanasty Island. Just to name a few, "The plane boss, the plane."