Pack more than Only your flip flops for your next trip to Hawaii, The Pacific Ocean's volcanic archipelago hosts some of the wettest, densest and most beautiful trails that the US offers. From the big city in Oahu to the relaxed garden island KauaiThere is a way for everyone. Here are the eight best trails in the Hawaiian Islands and everything you need to see along the way.
1. Olomana Trail, Oahu
Round trip: 5 miles
Oahu is the most visited of the Hawaiian Islands. Every year more than six million visitors come to the island. Do not expect your walk is in solitude, but bring your camera with you to enjoy a portrait. The Olomana Trail, which starts in the quieter town of Kailua on the beach, offers three peaks, all of which are steep and sometimes dangerous. Look out for wild pigs rinsing the muddy forest at the beginning of the trail, and then enjoy the changing scenery as the jungle turns into an iron forest.
The heat of the climb comes from the Boulder sections, technically enough to require a rope for additional support. The path remains covered as long jungle, that your view is largely hidden until the first rise. The view extends to the Pacific Ocean, where you have a clear view of Na Mokulua, two small islands half a mile off the coast. It is possible to continue on the way to the second and third peaks, but be warned: the trail can be very dangerous when wet and there are several places where stumbling can be fatal.
2. Koko Head, Oahu
Round trip: 1.8 miles
At a distance of less than three kilometers, it is easy to describe Koko Head as a walk in the park. However, with more than 1,000 levels, this hike is sometimes difficult due to the terrain. Your hike follows the Koko Head Railway, which was originally built in World War II to transport the bunker up and down Koko Head. Therefore, every step is cumbersome if you try to keep your foot on the railway tracks. Do not look down – the top section feels almost vertical. Although the hike itself is not beautiful, surrounded by a dry brush, take a minute to cool your heart rate and enjoy the view from above. The aquamarine water of Honolulu is far below.
3. Kalalau Trail, Kauai
Round trip: 22 miles
If you're a serious hiker, chances are you've got a permit for the Kalalau Trail well before the flight to Kauai. The Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile hike along the Na Pali Coast, is as good as it is for strenuous but rewarding hikes. The trail begins with a two-kilometer section of yellow earth that offers a breathtaking view of the turquoise waters. At Hanakapi & # 39; ai, head inland to visit a waterfall, or proceed with the required permit, purchased in advance, to cross the hilly climbing trail. No long-distance hiker? Camp in Hanakoa (approximately halfway) or drive to the end of the trail at Kalalau Beach. Your bonus? Back hiking. From January 2019 the route is temporarily closed due to heavy rainfall. Hopefully, it will open soon. It is worth planning this hike with the bucket list in advance. Check the website of the state park and plan accordingly.
4. Alakai Swamp, Kauai
Round trip: 7 miles
Alakai Swamp is located in Waimea Canyon, more than 500 meters above the Na Pali Coast. As a result, the rainforest remains wet all year round, which means that many boots have been vacuumed due to the mud that covers the otherwise green scene. In recent years, a promenade has been installed, making the hike more practicable. The better it is to get to the Kilohana Lookout, if you are lucky enough to have a clear day. Even without a view, the hike is something special. Alakai Swamp is a unique "montane wetland forest", one of only three of the Hawaiian Islands, where several species of birds can be seen, such as the "i & # 39; iwi", a honey bird with a large crooked bill.
5. Kīpukapuaulu, Hawaii
Round trip: 1.2 miles
Volcanoes National Park, which lies on the southern tip of the Big Island, once offered visitors footprints that crossed craters and lava tubes. Due to the seismic activity of Kilauea and the lava flows, the park was closed most of last year, and some of the best trails are still closed. Nevertheless, the park is not overlooked and offers, unlike you have seen so far, also hiking. On the Kīpukapuaulu Trail – we dare you to pronounce it – "ōhi" trees are a vital plant for the endemic and colorful birds of Apapane and Akohekohe. Bring binoculars to recognize between the blood-red flowers. At 1.2 miles (round trip) this is not a hike that requires stamina, but this is best if you admire the dense green sky above the wonder. Part of the beauty of this hike contrasts with Kilauea Crater. After the hike, drive along the recently opened Crater Rim Trail to see a scene more reminiscent of Mars than a tropical oasis.
6. Waipi'o Valley, Hawaii
Round trip: 3 miles
If you're looking for a short but steep workout, the Waipi'o Valley boasts a 25 percent occupation – sometimes up to 40 percent – with one of the largest and holiest sites on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Waipi Valley is located on the Hamakua coast at the northern end of the island. It has a long history in Hawaiian culture and was home to King Kamehameha I along with thousands of native Hawaiians; Estimates range between 4,000 and 10,000 people. Today, the valley is inhabited by nearly 100 Hawaiians who continue to work on it Loi Kaloor taro terraces. Although it is possible to descend into the valley, we do recommend hikes, both to see wild horses and to wind down to the black sand beach. Rest yourself: you'll need it on the way back.
7. Pipiwai Trail, Maui
Round trip: 4 miles
After snorkeling in Maui for a few days, take a break from the sun and head inland to the Waimoku Falls and the Pipiwai Trail, a four-mile trail through dense bamboo groves and tangled banyans in Haleakala Crater National Park winds. While Waimoku Falls, the end point of the hike, offers 400 meters of blue water, there are several additional waterfalls and streams along the way. The path can get muddy, but fortunately a boardwalk has been installed to make for a cleaner – and more daring – experience. Take the opportunity to explore the summit of Haleakala Crater after the hike and enjoy the pristine terrain. Sunrise and sunset can be spectacular, but the actual show comes at night when the stars look close enough to touch.
8. Kalaupapa, Molokai
Round trip: 7 miles
Molokai, known as the friendly island, is the least visited of Hawaii's larger islands. Molokai is home to the dense, ancient rainforest. Guided tours are required on some island hikes Kalaupapa National Historical Park offers several ways and the opportunity to understand the dark history of Molokai. Kalaupapa was once a village where those suffering from Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, were sent to isolation. Previously, native Hawaiians lived on the Kalaupapa Peninsula for hundreds of years. A guided tour will give you the required approval and the history of this particular location. However, you still have to expect a 3.5-mile hike with 2,000 feet of steep descent.