Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp

Waimea, Hawaii 96796

Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp

Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This is the shortest, easiest way into—and back out of—the fabulous and forbidding Alaka’i Swamp. The swamp fills the crater of the volcano that originally built the island of Kaua’i. Its floor consists of such impermeable lava that moisture does not drai"

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hikes on Kauai: 55 Great Hikes (Day Hike Books)
Robert Stone
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"The Pihea Trail is among the premier hiking paths in the Kokee/Waimea Canyon area. The trail traverses the narrow ridge in the Na Pali Kona Forest Reserve between the Kalalau Valley, the largest valley along the Na Pali cliffs, and the Alakai Swamp. The views extend 4,000 feet down the mossy, fluted cliffs of the Kalalau Valley, which drops sharply into the ocean. The views inland extend over layers of folded forested canyons and ridges to Mount Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth with an average of 451 inches of annual rainfall. Alakai Swamp is an incredible, atmospheric area like nowhere else." Read more

Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp Reviews

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9/20/2009
Pihea Trail is located at the end of the road at the top of Waimea Canyon past Kokee State Park and by the Pu'u O Kila Lookout. There is a trail sign along with a well faded sign aying - "Mt. Waialeale Wettest spot on earth" The Pihea Trail is among the premier hiking paths in the Kokee/Waimea Canyon area. The trail traverses the narrow ridge in the Na Pali Kona Forest Reserve between the Kalalau Valley and the Alakai Swamp. The views extend 4,000 feet down the mossy, fluted cliffs of the Kalalau Valley, which drops sharply into the ocean. The views inland extend over layers of folded forested canyons and ridges to Mount Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth with an average of 450 inches of annual rainfall. Alakai Swamp is an incredible, atmospheric area like nowhere else. Swamp weather can cause no views at all and is typical weather. The trail begins as an old road (An attempt to build a road to Haena). The trail is quite rutted and it's easy to see why the attempt failed. There are humorous lookout areas to the Kalalau Valley. Along with the elevation changes up and down through a fern lined path, there are many wet muddy areas. Some spots have a wooden walkway in areas that are wet all the time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/20298489@N08/sets/72157605108219430/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/20298489@N08/sets/72157622350158205/
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9/11/2007
Absolutely beautiful trail! A highlight of our trip. We lucked out on a beautiful day and the views of the Kalalau Valley were phenomenal. You'll want to be sure footed as the section of trail before the planks is very rutted due to rain/runoff. The planks in the Alakai swamp make it much easier, but be prepared for lots of steps. Bring a poncho or parka in case of rain...it is the wettest spot on earth. We were lucky and found the trail relatively dry, but I suspect it would be very very slippery in rainy conditions. In dry conditions the hike is easy for the agile but bring good shoes with good traction as short steep and rutted sections could be challenging if slippery. Definately worth the trek!
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Pihea Trail to the Alaka'i Swamp Photos

Trail Information

Waimea
Nearby City
3.5
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
3 to 4 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Napali-Kona Forest Reserve
Local Contacts
USGS Haena
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018