OHE June 20, 1997

Collette submits the following querry to the list:

Aloha, OHE, from San Jose, CA------

Looks like it's time for me to go home and visit the folks next month, but my boyfriend and I are doing a side trip to Kauai. I'm getting a lot of ideas about where to go and hike(esp. on Oahu) from all of your contributions, mahalo! Thanks also to mae for the info you emailed me on books, and Dayle/Carole for info in cabins.

I have another couple of questions:

Why can't I find any information on trails to Mt. Waialeale on Kauai? In Morey's book, Kauai Trails, she simply writes that there is not and never has been a trail to Mt. Waialeale...sounds pretty cryptic to me. Is it inaccessible? Illegal to hike there? On protected land?

If anyone knows any information on how to get there and where I can get a good guide, would you let me know? Much appreciated.

Also, any tricks on snagging a permit on the Na Pali Trail? I spoke to personnel today at the State park office in Lihue ,and they told me that the only hope was to try to get a family member (mine are all on Oahu) call a month before desired stay. There are some permits set aside for Kauai residents, but if they don't take them what is left over becomes available statewide. Any tips from anyone on how my sister might best go about this? any alternative approaches? I'd like to be able to spend a least one night out. We're planning on hiking it the end of July..

Again, thanks for all you guys' help!!!


Mike Uslan offers this reply:

As far as Na Pali, JUST GO! Dont camp in one of the reserved spots, maybe set up by the caves or further inside. Ive never been caught, neither have any of my friends, and we never get permits.

Wing Ng also replied:

Stuart Ball did the hike to the top of Mt. Waialeale more than 10 years ago, and so it definitely can be done. There is basically no trail, he says.

Robert Smith wrote "Hiking Kauai", and I think the older editions contained a description of the "trail".

Pete Caldwell offered his two cents:

Just to give you another read on the Na Pali scene: I'd say work hard on the local scene to get a permit. If you don't have one, enjoy the trail in and out as far as you want to go on the same day or enjoy going up to the Hanakapiai waterfall. To avoid a big-time disappointment and hassle, don't try and go to Kalalau without a permit. They are getting more and more strict. Saw a haole couple who tried that move and then played the well-we-are here-so-what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it game. Their packs ended up being thrown in a Zodiac plus citation plus having to walk out the same day.

Re:Waialeale, don't mean to throw cold H2O on your plans, but this hike is a real expedition- type trip. You need experienced local people along and a lot of luck with the weather'cuz it's kind of rainy up there usually! Check out Awaawapuhi-Nualolo or the Pihea trail into Alakai if it's nice.


Pete Caldwell

Collette responded:

Thanks for the tip, Mike!

I have another question for all you intrepid Hawaiian Hikers(re Kauai): Is there a trail from Koke'e to Honopu Beach? I know there probably isn't any OFFICIAL one, but it seems that before the hurricane there may have been one.

Still looking for directions up Mt. Waialeale...

Mahalo for the help, Collette

Mike Uslan added:

Now Honopu you are NOT allowed on. Dont even go there. It used to run by dope growers some years back (I heard) now it is an archealogical site, ancient heiaus and stuff, you are allowed on the beach if you had a kayak or if you were passing through, but not past the high tide marks.

I DOUBT there is a trail down from Koke'e, and I was also told US Marines once tried to repel into Kalalau and failed. Believe it or not.

Pete Caldwell also added:

Collette -

One other possibility for Kalalau: Every summer the local kayak club takes a trip down the coast with campouts at Kalalau, Milolii, and out at Polihale Beach. They get around 20 permits -sometimes there are cancellations. Great way to see the Coast. For info, try Joe Hu (528-3600) or Maghna Zettle (235-3547). Since they have been doing this trip for awhile and are experienced with the permit routine, they might have some contacts for you. Also there are commercial outfitters that do a similar trip. Hiking one way and a Zodiak the other is a great combination if you can arrange it. Since the ocean is usually calmer in the morning at Kalalau Beach, boat ride first and then hike out would probably work the best. Re: Honopu. There is a trail from Kokee to an overlook. But the Awaawapuhi-Nualolo view is a lot better. Access to Honopu itself from the beach is tough. Really the best way is a route which involves climbing the sea cliff on the outside of the arch that divides the beach and then going over the top into the valley. However it's dangerous and an invitation to getting into some deep kim chee to say the least. The lower valley is overgrown with lots of lantana and exotic vegetation, and the sites are hard to find i.e. not worth the risk. Best: Enjoy the view into the valley from the ocean or from up above.

Have a great time and take a ti leaf with you for good luck and good weather.



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