If the view of Kalalau Valley from the official lookout or from Puu o Kila lookout just isn't enough for you, then this may be the hike for you. First and foremost we need to point out this is NOT an official "trail," and that by hiking here, you do so at your own risk. This is a hunter access route where locals often hunt for pigs and goat. Also, this is a very delicate ecosystem so it is especially important to use leave no trace protocol and be aware of the potential impact your visit may have on the environment.
We highly recommend you consult a knowledgeable guide to take you along this route; our personal recommendation is the team at Kauai Hiking Adventures. The Kalepa Ridge hike will take you along the ridge line between Honopu and Kalalau Valley's, offering some of the most incredible views into Kalalau Valley that can be seen from anywhere on the island, surpassing even the view from from a helicopter (because you actually get to soak the view in over the course of several minutes). The panoramic views into Kalalau Valley as you hike out onto the ridge stretching towards Na Pali are simply incredible. Although it is a relatively short hike, there are numerous steep sections which can be especially difficult to navigate in wet weather. The trail can become very sllippery and there are several places where the trail runs right at the edge of a 1000' drop so maintain awareness of your surroundings at all times; Kauai is can have a very strong energy and this is especially apparent on Kalepa Ridge. If you are looking for a bit more of a workout, another hike on a longer and more maintained (but rarely used) trail is the Honopu Ridge Trail which offers similarly incredible views of Na Pali Coast and Honopu Valley.
Kokee and Waimea State Park Don't forget to check our Koke'e State Park Hiking page for information on all the incredible trails inside the park. On that page we've also posted a map of the entire area (Koke'e and Waimea State Parks) for you to download and print out at home. The Koke'e Lodge and Museum will also have maps available, but we'd definitely advise you to go ahead and review the map and become familiar with the area. The crisscrossing of trails and 4x4 roads can be confusing at first, but once you select your routes, it's not too bad. Feel free to contact us if you have specific questions.
Article Edited/Contributed by: John Derrick