Backcountry Off Trail Kauai Photography

Honopu Ridge Trail – Other Worldly

The Honopu Valley on the Napali Coast of Kauai is unlike just about any other place in the world. 

The Honopu Valley is exceptionally isolated and difficult to reach.  Luckily, I can look down into the Honopu Valley and soak in all its majesty by travelling from my home in Waimea up Kauai Highway 550 17.25 miles and 4,127 vertical feet to near the top of the Waimea Canyon and hike for a few miles.

A trip on the Honopu Rige Trail can encompass up to 5.2 miles of distance and 1,900 vertical feet of change (round-trip).  The shortest round-trip to reach the first spectacular viewpoint of the Honopu Valley requires 3.25 miles of travel and 900 vertical feet of change (round-trip).

A trip on the Honopu Ridge Trail will invariably include sunshine, mist, and rain.  The trail-bed will almost certainly be moist a majority of the route.  Therefore, I recommend using a hiking stick and wearing hiking cleats on your boots\shoes for this hike no-matter the time of year and or weather conditions.

The route consists of old-growth forest, jungle type trees and vines, ferns, grasses, and open ridge lines.  The route involves a fair amount up of-and-down.  The fern sections of the route are extensive and impressive. The ferns are 8-10 feet in height in places and while the trail-bed is sound and reliable it is narrow. So count of getting wet.  Do not assume otherwise.

The fern sections appear after 1.2 miles of travel. The descent will include, flowers, heavy forest, and and a partially exposed ridgeline facing the north and west in tall native grass.  The fern section will cover about about .45 miles of up and down with the trail moving towards the north and east.  Upon exiting the fern forest, the first view-point of the Honupu Valley appears (1.62 miles and a descent of 725 vertical feet).  The trail continues to the effective end of the ridge line for another mile with a steep descent involved.  The views will amaze.

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