At the very end of Highway 550 in Kokee State Park awaits one of the most jaw dropping lookouts on the island; a panoramic view into Kalalau Valley and scenic views overlooking the Alakai Swamp (the highest swamp in the world). The views here are even better than those found at the official Kalalau lookout a mile back on the road. Clouds permitting, the views into Kalalau Valley are superb at this location, and you can venture right up to the edge of the valley to snap that perfect photograph. The swamp that stretches out behind you is the wettest place on earth, ending at the summit of Waialeale. The appearance of the valley, the widest and largest on the Na Pali Coast, may shift from moment to moment as the sun and clouds play across the fluted cliffs that line it. We have found that the best time to view the valley is before 11 AM, as clouds are constantly moving in and out of the valley and are especially thick in the afternoon and evening. However, you also don't want to get there too early because the valley won't have full sun on it until around 8 AM most mornings (seasonal changes apply of course). If you arrive to a cloudy or mist-filled valley, consider the direction of the trades when you arrive. If the wind is blowing from the land towards the ocean, the clouds will usually enter the valley and fall (thus disappearing into the warm air below). However, if the wind is blowing from the ocean inland, the clouds will bank up inside the valley and not dissipate but rather thicken into cloud soup. So keep that in mind during your visit. This stop is also the start of the Pihea Trial which meanders along the back of Kalalau Valley before turning into the Alakai swamp to join up with the Alakai Swamp trail (a great day hike). Take Highway 50 west from Hanapepe toward Waimea. Turn right on Waimea Canyon Road just after Mile Marker #23. Puu o KIla Lookout is located at the end of the road at Mile Marker #19.

Puu o Kila Lookout on Kauai
Puu o Kila Lookout and Overlook Photo Gallery

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Article Edited/Contributed by: Victoria Derrick
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