Kauai & The Big Island Hiking Tour
|Tour Cost: $3,395
(includes all lodging, all meals, park entrance fees, leaders, maps & narratives. Not included is the approximate $125 inter-island flight from Kauai to Hilo)
A couple of seasons back, in the course of conversations with those who had already joined our separate Kauai and Hawaii hiking trips, someone playfully suggested that we combine the content of these two hikes into a single “Superhiker”. In a heartbeat, with the unanimous and enthusiastic agreement of everyone, it became a done deal and our Islands Classic was born.
We’ll assemble in Lihue mid-morning of Day 1 and head directly to the Sleeping Giant and we’ll head to Nonou Mountain for one of Kauai’s finest hikes. We’ll climb to the Giant’s chin, nose and beyond to his forehead along a narrow ridge reminiscent of the final ascent to Angel’s Landing in Zion (4 miles). After lunch, we’ll walk the coastline of Poipu along the Shiprock Beach Trail and climb a promontory for an incredible panoramic view of the cinder cones and lava tubes that extend into the ocean as evidence of Kauai’s most recent volcanic activity (4 miles). Later that afternoon, we’re headed for the Waimea Plantation Cottages, where we’ll spend our first two nights.Now that we are warmed up we will hike the Awaawapui/Naualolo loop(10 miles). This hike provides breathtaking views of the Napali Coast from above. Magnificent Waimea Canyon is our plan for Day 3 along the Kukui Trail that drops 2,000 feet to the canyon floor and (in case you were hoping for a miracle) inevitably rises again to the canyon rim (5 miles).
On Day 4, we head across the island beyond Hanalei to continue our exploration of the mangificent Na Pali Coast, this time from ocean level. We’ll hike the remarkable Kalalau Trail, though not to its terminus at Kalalau Beach. We’ll begin at Kee Beach and alternately climb to overpowering views from high cliffs only to again descend, first to Hanakapiai Beach(4 miles). Then we have the option to head into the rain forest of Hanakapiai Valley. We’ll hike along the valley floor to Hanakapiai Falls and then return to our trailhead (9.2 miles). We’ll return to Kapaa and spend the night at Makaiwa.
On Day 5, we’ll have breakfast and head for our inter-island flight to Hilo on the Big Island. In the afternoon, we will hike the Rim trail (3miles) and visit both the Park headquarters’ visitor center and the fascinating Jagger museum. We’ll spend our first of two overnights at the Kilauea Lodge, adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, with the next two days also devoted to the Park.
We’ll return to the park early morning of Day 6 and devote this day to the massive Kilauea Volcano. The planned hike is to the Nāpau Crater where hikers may gaze at PuuOo vent steaming and fuming in the distance (9 miles). Conditions at Kilauea fluctuate on a daily basis—that’s just the nature of this active volcano and we’re able to adapt and adjust as the need arises.
Our plans for Day 7 include a hike to the floor of Kilauea Iki, one of Volcanoes’ premier hikes. From the crater overlook we’ll descend into the heart of the crater and walk across its floor as steam curls from the many fissures in the lava surface. We’ll return to the forest on the crater’s eastern edge for a moderate climb back to the rim (4 miles). Back at the rim, we’ll walk through the Thurston Lava Tube and then hightail it to the sunny side of the island where we’ll spend the night on the world famous Kona Coast.
Day 8, our final day, is a treat with a healthy dose of leisure and an intriguing change of pace. We’ll hike the Captain Cook Trail, a 4-mile round-tripper that includes an awesome 1400-foot descent to the pounding surf below. We’ll hang out for much of this day on the shore of stunning Kealakekua Bay, a place that offers some of the best snorkeling on the island (perhaps in the world we wonder!). Ultimately, we’ll shuttle to Kailua-Kona, where our Kauai and The Big Island Hiking Tour concludes late afternoon.
|Day 1||Group assembles; Nonou Mountain and Shiprock Trail||4 miles|
|Day 2||Awaawapui / Naualolo Loop||10 miles|
|Day 3||Kukui Trail||5 miles|
|Day 4||Kee Beach - Kalalau Trail – Hanakapiai Beach – Hanakapiai Falls||9 miles|
|Day 5||Inter-island flight to Hilo. Hike the Rim Trail, visit Volcanoes National Park Headquarters and Jaggar Museum.||3 miles|
|Day 6||Napau Crater Trail – Puu Huluhulu – Napau Crater
|Day 7||Kilauea Iki and walk through the Thurston Lava Tube||4 miles|
|Day 8||Captain Cook Trail to Captain Cook Monument;; snorkeling program concludes late-afternoon.||4 miles|
Total Mileage - 48 miles