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Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kapaa

4.9
#4 of 6 in Parks in Kapaa
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Kuilau Ridge Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
168 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • This was the best hike my husband and I went on while on Kauai. We went on a nice clear morning with zero clouds. It had rained the night before, so the trial was muddy, but not too bad. I was nervous...  more »
  • Most of the reviews accurately describe this hike. If you enjoy wandering past the greens of a rainforest, it is well worth your time. There are beautiful views awaiting you after about 1 mile from th...  more »
  • But still worth the effort. Gorgeous views all along the path which was a nice gentle incline. Only really muddy at the beginning.  more »
Google
  • Moalepe Trail to Kuilau To begin, this is the connection to the Kuilau, at the 2.75 mile mark where the trails meet at the wooden bridge. In terms of difficulty, this hike is very straightforward, almost all up hill and muddy. The trail starts at the point where waipouli rd and olohena rd meet and there is ample parking here as this is a trail that sees little traffic. Head up the hill through pastures on your left and right, with gates lining the 4wd trail, where access to the land and the animals that roam and graze. Occasionally you'll pass people mending fences or moving farm equipment in and out, but mostly you will be on your own, hopping cow pies and horse droppings. The going is fairly straightforward though be mindful it's still slippery. The trail widens just after the mile marker, which is still intact, albeit hidden behind some brush. At this point the trail can get a little sloppy and you want to navigate with caution around deep mud piles, especially if there has been some recent rain. Just past this point, as the overhanging trees disappear, you get to what is considered the parking area, as 4wd cannot fit past here. The trail narrows and begins winding around hills as you raise in elevation, which you can tell by the closeness to the mountain to the north of you. It gets muddy here in sections, and because of the relative ease, many a foot plop right into ankle deep sludge, which makes for an uncomfortable hike out. This trail rises to a plateau, which is probably the 1.75 mark. The next marker you will likely see will be the 2.5 later on. At this plateau there is a false trail cutting back which I have taken for about a .10 of a mile before giving up. At this point the views are pretty much the best they are going to get looking east, so snap a few. Begin again, weaving in and out of jungle canopies, watching as the climate and your surroundings begin to change. A little brisker and the jungle becomes a steadier forest, as you cut south. The trail will wind to a down hill section then cut hard left and you come upon a mile marker, then a bridge, with signage letting you know Moalepe ends Kuilau begins. I recommend continuing for the next .5 miles, as spectacular views are had facing west. You will come upon a spine about 10 feet across and get some great views looking across to the powerline trail and beyond. At the 3.25 mark (2.75 to bridge, then .5 on Kuilau) you are welcomed to an open field and picnic area. This is a great spot to relax and take in the beauty around you. Continuing just over another mile on the trail brings you to the end if Kuamoo rd and the beginning of the Kuilau Trail. I typically turn around at the picnic area, doubling back for a 6.5 mile trek. Adventure, excitement, Moalepe craves not these things, but this is certainly a beautiful morning or afternoon spent with nature, and most definitely the dogs! In fact one of the best trails to take you dog on the entire island. NOTE: If you have a dog that bolts, do not let them off the leash. I can speak from personal experience what it's like to lose a dog in the pastures near the beginning of the trail as she chased cows. I was lucky to find her after a 30 minute adventure, but the odds are not in you favor to find anything except barbwire and muddy pig trails. Mahalo and Namaste

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