Alakai Swamp Trail Hike

I am going to be busy all day today and all evening tonight so I already know I won’t have any fantastic dinners to share (like last night) or pictures of the garden or anything like that today.  So I thought I would finally post some more pictures of my trip to Hawaii. 

During our week on Kauai we did a day hike up around Waimea Canyon.  There are several different trails to choose from and we chose to go on the Alakai Swamp Trail.  This was an 8 mile round trip hike; 4 miles out and 4 miles back.  There were four people in our group.  Benzo and I and another couple who are some of our best friends.

When we started out on top of the ridge, there was a cloud in the way so we couldn’t see anything.  This is actually the edge of a ridge looking down into a valley.  We hoped the cloud would get out of the way by the time we got back.

A little further you could partially see the valley and the waves breaking on the beach in the distance.

We hiked mostly in the shade, surrounded by tall trees and other really pretty plants and flowers.

The trail started on top of a ridge, then went down into a valley and then climbed back up to the top of another ridge.  It was a fairly strenuous hike.  We crossed a pretty stream down in the valley.

After about 2 miles (I think) the trail switched from a dirt path to these boards.  On the inclines and declines the boards would turn into stairs, which was great because I don’t know if I couldn’t climbed up and down without them.  This is me:

Down, down, down.  The bad thing about going down on an out and back hike is that eventually you have to come back UP.  I love all the ferns in this shot.  It was very quiet and peaceful.

When we climbed back up on the second ridge we found ourselves in the SWAMP!  Look at how creepy it is:

It reminded me of something out of Lord of the Rings.  I figured there were dead spirits in the water waiting to grab me!  We were all cutting up and having a good time through this part.  It was misting all through here too.

At the end of the swamp part was the end of the trail.  We reached the look out point and guess what?  We couldn’t see a darn thing because of a cloud.  So we sat in the fog and had a snack (Clif bar) and then decided to head back out.

On the way back we ran into some Nenes, the Hawaiian state bird.

Here’s a better picture.  There was a whole flock of them just hanging out in the swamp.

Once we were out of the swamp we headed down in the valley and then back UP the stairs.  I really like this picture.

When we finally reached the end we were happy to find that the cloud had lifted!  We could see the valley!  This is the Kalalau look out:

Another shot of the valley:

It’s honestly breath-taking.  The picture does not do it justice.  There’s just no way to capture the beauty on film.

This is the very end, climbing up the last hill:

More views of the Kalalau valley:

Benzo and I enjoying a peaceful moment looking over the valley:

The end!  I’ll have you know that Benzo took over 300 pictures on this hike and I managed to cut it down to only 15 for this post.  Amazing right?  I could’ve kept you here all day looking at pictures.  😉

If you are ever on Kauai I highly recommend this hike.  It was really fun.  There are no facilities on the hike so be sure to take water, snacks and a first aid kit with you. 


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