This loop gives you the opportunity to hike an easy trail, see some native birds and view the Kalalau valley from a lookout.
A portion of this hike is on Kokee Road. Be careful.
Start this loop by parking at the Awaawapuhi Trail
parking lot. You'll hike down the road towards the Kalalau Lookout
. The Kaluapuhi Trail
trailhead is on the opposite of the road and starts uphill. As of this writing, the trail sign is missing but you can clearly see where the trail starts uphill.
This is a fairly flat, relatively wide, short trail through Ohia Forest. You can bird watch, especially the last half of the trail closer to the Kalalau lookout side. The most numerous birds are the Apapane and Japanese white eye. Having binoculars will aid in seeing them; however, if you don't have binoculars, you'll definitely hear the Apapane.
There is lots of evidence of pigs in the area including marks where they have been rooting and numerous animal paths off the trail. You'll also see a couple of Redwood Trees on the Na Pali side of the trail, something you might not expect to see in Kauai. The trail is always muddy in a few places so you'll get dirty plus there are a number of trees and shrubs down blocking the trail, necessitating a short detour.
Once you reach the end of the trail, you'll be at Kokee Road just past the Kalalau lookout. You can either turn around and hike back the way you came or hike on the road to the Kalalau lookout. If you do this, know that this road is narrow and depending on the time of day there can be plenty of cars on it although most are driving well below the 25 mph speed limit.
When you arrive at the Kalalau lookout, make sure you spend more time here than the average visitor. You'll see waterfalls that many don't see; you may see whales and you can hear and might see goats. Binoculars and a camera are a must. I generally spend at least 1/2 hour here, although a few weeks ago we were here for 1 1/2 hours due to lots of whales and goats.
When you are finished with the lookout, hike back on Kokee Road towards the lodge. Be careful. On the way back to your car, you'll pass the Air Force radar dome, the unmarked Honopu trailhead and parking area and the beginning of the Kaluapuhi Trail
before reaching your car.
Birds, goats, pigs, whales, redwood, ohia, koa.