Lifestyle Fashion

Top 5 Hawaii Hiking Adventures – Hawaii’s Most Outrageous Trails

Adventure walking in Hawaii is a treat most visitors simply don’t experience: They come to relax on the beach, enjoy higher levels of amenities, and only take short hikes (for example, from their vehicles or taking a stroll on the beach). beach). However, there is another “side” of Hawaii: adventure sports in this beautiful natural setting. One of the oldest axioms about adventure insists that you must be out of your “comfort level” for a true adventure to occur! Therefore, some of the top 5 hikes listed here are quite difficult and can take even the most avid backpacker out of their comfort zone, but they will get to witness incredible parts of Hawaii that few see.

Because the islands are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, have a unique history, and are quite large in extent, the terrain is exotic, exciting, and often unique even to an experienced hiker. Hike conditions can be strange and dangerous, from actively eroding windward cliff trails in verdant Tahiti-like jungle, to active lava conditions on the Big Island, where you can get up close to a “river of lava.” So… out of the thousands of walks to choose from, which are the top five in terms of inspiration, sheer quirkiness, beauty and adventure? The opinion of one author, who is a 30-year veteran of Hawaii hiking adventures, is shown below.

Number 5: Alakai Swamp Trail. Waimea Canyon in western Kaua’i is often called “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” As you drive down the spectacular highway that runs along its side, it appears quite similar to the Grand Canyon, with sculpted reddish canyon walls and waterfalls dotted here and there. Its dimensions are much smaller, but the resemblance is real. The top of the canyon adds to the strangeness of the canyon as there is a large plateau within the canyon that does not flow into the canyon. It is a 4-5 million year old collapsed crater, and due to the “drainage problem” it hosts unusual plants and topography in an isolated tall swamp. As you walk among amazing and unique plants and landscapes, you can see Mount Wailaelae, which climatologists often cite as the rainiest piece of land on planet Earth (on its windward flank). The beauty, unique life forms, and unusual features of the Alakai Swamp area make it a world-class destination. Length: 8.0 miles Difficulty: Mild to Intermediate Elevation Change: Approx. 50 meters

Number 4: Haleakala Crater to the Pacific Ocean. Maui’s most famous hike begins at the mysterious and awe-inspiring mountaintop crater called Haleakala. It is full of cinder cones and old lava flows. Many visitors climb here to see the inspiring sunrise, but very few consider walking to the ocean! It’s a wild hike with over 10,000 feet of elevation change. The good news is that it’s all downhill, but those with bad knees had better not try it. With twists and turns of the trail winding up and down the side of the mountain, hikers are treated to indescribable views of places like Koolau Gap, all the while with views all the way to the Pacific Ocean coastline. Some experts have rated this as one of the top 5 hikes in the United States. The views, the remoteness, the elevation change and the varied tropical landscapes are worth it! Length: 22 miles (one way) Difficulty: Very Hard Elevation Change: +10,000 feet (goal all downhill)

Number 3: Mauna Loa Peak, The Big Island of Hawaii is more than twice the size of the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined. It houses 2 mountains over 13,600 feet above sea level. Both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are vast and diverse, with lush rainforests on the windward side and literal deserts on the leeward side.. It can lead to an incredible array of astronomical observatories at the top of Mauna Kea, but there are only arduous hikes to the top of Mauna Loa (and geologists classify Mauna Loa volcano as still very “active”). There are actually three trails to the top of Mauna Loa, so I’d contend that if you take the shortest route, it’s still pretty tough! Due to the high altitude, even this shorter route is difficult at 12 miles. However, there is a cabin at the peak of the crater, which has bunks, blankets, and often even water (you should check with the NPS rangers). Length: 12 miles Difficulty: Extreme Slope: 1000 meters

Number 2: Kalalau Trail The Na Pali Coast is often referred to as the most beautiful place in the world on the most beautiful islands in the world! The world famous Kalalau Trail begins and ends on the Na Pali Coast. It starts where the highway ends on the north shore of Kaua’i, and then it’s 17 miles to the Kalalau Valley. The trail follows the Na Pali cliffs at various altitudes, sometimes right at ocean level and sometimes up to 1000 feet above the ocean. Within the first 20 minutes, the views are the best in the world. The valley at the end was inhabited by several thousand Polynesians before the arrival of the Europeans. It is full of old fruit trees, orchards, wild goats, wild boars and even coffee trees, Length: 22 miles Difficulty: Difficult Slope: 300 meters

Number 1: Big Island Active Lava Hike Walking near red-hot lava can be dangerous, but it can also be one of life’s most adventurous experiences. As of 2011, active red-hot lava may emanate from several ever-changing locations on the Big Island. Thirty miles from Hilo, Kilauea Caldera has a smaller crater within it called Halemaumau Crater. It has been boiling for several years, but the national park only allows you to see it from far away (about 1 kilometer) and therefore you don’t actually see lava. During the day you see billowing smoke and at night you can see a red-hot glow emanating from the lava lake that is off-site and usually hundreds of feet below the rim. The most active and accessible lava flows, some that can be walked to, have been in various locations many times in the eastern half of the island over the past 100 years. If you go when there is an active stream accessible and you can get to it, you can walk as close as you dare (watch out for burning eyebrows). Other times there are active flows or craters up to a 6 mile hike in the desert, and many visitors over the years have gotten lost. Length: 100 yards to 12 miles Difficulty: Mild to extreme Elevation Change: 0-200 meters

The logistics: where to base camp and get supplies It is not easy or simple for the first time visitor to each of these adventure spots. Of course, there are many options, and it’s hard not to believe that it can only be done for a small fortune for the first or second time visitor. However, for Alakai Swamp on Kauai at the YWCA’s Camp Sloggett, you can rent a room, rent a bed, or camp at Kokee State Park. Camp Sloggett is within easy reach of some of the most exciting day hikes on the planet. It’s best to get most supplies in Lihue, although the town of Waimea at the base of the canyon has a few small stores. For the extensive trek on Maui from its highest peak (Haleakala) to the ocean, you must carry a backpack for the entire trip. You can get a taxi, a shuttle, or a friend to give you a lift, or hitchhiking with backpacks to trailheads is quite accepted on the islands. And for the Kalalau Trail on Kauai’s North Shore, there’s another lodge just a mile before the YMCA-operated trailhead (on the beach side of the highway at Haena Beach, 5 miles past Hanalei). It’s just basic or camping beds, but it’s right on an amazing beach! For the two hikes on the Big Island, there’s actually a budget Volcano Hawaii hotel centrally located there. I recommend you camp on The Big Island at Volcano Village (less than 1 mile from the only national park entrance) because you can organize two of the five most outrageous hikes in Hawaii based here. National park staff and some locals can advise you on conditions and permits. So if I were you, I’d fly to Kauai and do two more…since it’s the only other island with two of these five fabulous hikes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *