Hawaii 2012 - Day 5: Fort Elizabeth - Hiking Waimea

Kauai Travel Blog

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Another splendid view on the red east rim of Waimea Canyon, seen from the Iliau nature Loop

The last full day on Kaua'i already. A more substantial hike in the Waimea Canyon was still on our to-do list. With some rain showers hanging around at the East side of the island we considered it a perfect plan to head to the (almost always dry and sunny) west side and do this Canyon Hike.

On our way to Waimea we stopped for a short moment at the Old Russian Fort Elizabeth. This curious fort was constructed in 1817 by the Russians following a treaty with Kaumuali'i, the last chief of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau before King Kamehamea (who created the Kingdom of Hawaii) took over the rule of Kaua'i. Kaumuali'i hoped to regain power. The plan did not work. The fort eventually ended up to be ruled by Kamehamea. The ford was abandoned in 1853 and dismantled in 1863.

View on Waimea Canyon from the Canyon Trail (koke'e State Park)
Today only some red foundation stones remain. It made me think of the French Fort Frédéric that I recently visited in New York State. It leaves a lot to the imagination.

We headed up to the mountains towards Waimea State Park, where we walked a 10-minute nature trail (The Iliau Nature Loop),  and on to Koke'e State Park. Here we had selected the Canyon Trail an about 3.5-km (2.2-mile) long trail that descends about 170 meters (560 ft) down into the Canyon and then follows the very steep and heavily rain forested rim. A remarkable hike with very steep parts and great views on the red east rim and the black west rim. The trail ends at the 1057-m (3468-ft) high Ka'Ou mountain. A nice trail, sometimes so much inland that we had to fight the vegetation, sometimes so much on the edge that a step to close to the rim would result in a free fall.

More pictures below!

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Another splendid view on the red e…
Another splendid view on the red …
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
Why sit in the muddy grass to chan…
Why sit in the muddy grass to cha…
The red remains of the Russian For…
The red remains of the Russian Fo…
The red remains of the Russian For…
The red remains of the Russian Fo…
The red remains of the Russian For…
The red remains of the Russian Fo…
Another splendid view on the red e…
Another splendid view on the red …
Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau Nature Loop
Wild orchids at the crossing of th…
Wild orchids at the crossing of t…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Can…
View on Waimea Canyon from the Ca…
GPS Profile of the Canyon Trail in…
GPS Profile of the Canyon Trail i…
GPS Height Profile of the Canyon T…
GPS Height Profile of the Canyon …
Fort Elizabeth as researched in 19…
Fort Elizabeth as researched in 1…
Kauai
photo by: hauteboy