Hike to Hanakapi'ai Falls in Kauai, HI
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The Hanakapiâ€™ai Falls trail, 5 hours round trip, for me is 4 hours, I was by myself, and a good hiker. I started this trail at Keâ€™e beach which at the end of the road on the north side of Kauai. It was raining on the eastside of town so I figured that the north side would be dry, wrong. I had a day off from work and had no real plans for doing anything. I wanted to do this trail for a long while and decided to do it that morning. I got to the trail head at about 130pm where it was still raining, and so I figured a swim at Keâ€™e beach would be what I needed to get used to being wet for the hike, besides the water is warm.
There were about a million people coming off the trail, and being so late and raining they looked at like I was nuts, could be.
The trail is surrounded by many exotic plants and tropical fruits making this hike very beautiful to see even though it raining cats and dogs. The trail from Hanakapiâ€™ai beach is rouged at times, actually most of the time, but very passable. The trail has many bamboo trees, guava trees, and passes back and forth the Hanakapiâ€™ai stream, and the many smaller falls are in the stream. The smells along the trail are very pungent, with smells of fresh flowers, the smell of wet earth, and the smell of rotting fruit, and a smell that I could not resist. This smell I could not ever locate on the trail, but as I walked it filled the air and was the most enchanting fragrance that I have ever come across. The funny thing was that I was the only one on the trail being as late as it was, so it was not a women perfume.
As I hiked along the trail there is red dirt the covers my shoes and ankles, this dirt is all over the islands. The dirt is very slippery when it is raining, and thus I made sure to watch my every step, itâ€™s hard to get out of clothes too. As I make my way up the stream to the falls this dirt is replaced more with rocks and tree roots. As I got closer to the falls I can start to hear the falls before I even see them. And when I get my first look at the falls I am amazed at the height of the falls themselves. As I look up to the top of the falls I see the walls that surround me, and feel so little in comparison. Jumping in the water, I lost my breath as I submerge myself into the cold fresh water.
After I have a brief snack and water, I head back to the trail and partake in the solitude of being the only one on the trail, and enjoy the beauty of nature and the sounds of it as I wonder back through jungle like atmosphere of this trail. Again the rain comes upon me on my journey back to my car, this time the rain is coming down more, and the trail acts more like a run-off for the entire coast. The only time I am dry is when I get in my car, and if you know anything about my island car, thatâ€™s not saying much. Happy Travels