This hike begins from Kalalau Lookout in Koke’e State Park where you get a view into the heart of the Kalalau Valley.
It looks familiar, you say? Kalalau Valley is one of the most photographed valleys in all of Hawaii. It’s been used as the backdrop for countless films including “King Kong” (the original) and “Jurassic Park to name couple.
According to one of Kauai guides, Kalalau Valley is the largest valley on the island at two miles wide and it was inhabited up until 1919.
The trailhead is on the left side of the Lookout. Look for a small gate at the base of the fence. This hike begins on steep descend. Kalepa Ridge Trail is very steep in some parts, and it can be quite dangerous when wet.
During the first part of the hike, you will pass through thick fern brush and trees. Some were overgrown and taking over this moderately trafficked trail. I highly recommend proper hiking shoes and hiking poles. Even with my hiking poles, I still slipped and fell on my bottom on one of the slippery downhills.
Eventually, the trail will open up and you can see Kalalau Valley below.
Be aware of your surroundings as there are narrow sections of the trail with a steep dropoff.
When we reached here, we felt it was a bit too sketchy to go down on a steep muddy trail to the end. So instead we took a break and enjoyed the view.
When we were ready, we turned around and backtracked to the trailhead. The muddy uphill required more effort than the downhill, but at least I didn’t fall this time. 😂 From this trip, this was my favorite hike. The views from the trail were undoubtedly one of the most beautiful views my eyes ever held.
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 9.14.18
- Length: 1.4 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 500 ft
- Maximum Elevation: 4,220 ft
- Difficulty Rating: Challenging
- Permit/Fee: None
- Restroom available
- Allow 2-3 hours for this hike
- Might not be the best hike for people who are afraid of heights
- Dog-friendly: No