Hawaii 2012 - Day 5: Fort Elizabeth - Hiking Waimea
Kauai Travel Blog› entry 866 of 1090 › view all entries
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.
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!