Thursday, February 5, 2009

Between the valley and a wet place

The Pihea Trail, which begins where the road ends at the top of Waimea Canyon, is a lumpy and often rain-slicked strip of red dirt that rims the top edge of the Kalalau Valley. But you can’t get there from here without a hang glider—the famed Kalalau Trail along the Napali coast starts on other side of the island. After flirting with the edge of the valley, the Pihea Trail drops away inland and morphs into a mind-boggling boardwalk that crosses Alakai Swamp through a tropical rainforest—before reaching an overlook (4,000 feet up!) of the Hanalei Valley. That’s Kauai. You can’t make this stuff up. For detailed directions see trail no. 69 on page 168 in your Kauai Trailblazer guidebook.