Kukui Trail offers some absolutely gorgeous views of Waimea Canyon. The first part of the trail descends sharply, switch backing through the forest, at first, and then out in the open along the side of the mountain. Expect the trail to be eight inches wide on slippery dirt with nothing to one side of you in places. It's not really that dangerous, but just be careful. As with many Kauai hikes, you may benefit from a guide who can educate you and your travel party about the history of the area, the plants, and animals of the trail. The guide team at Kauai Hiking Adventures have extensive knowledge about the remote reaches of Waimea Canyon as well as many other hiking trails on Kauai.
You'll soon reach a huge stretch of slanted red rock that goes down the mountain and after traversing this segment of the path you'll descend deep into the forest where wild chickens rustle in the brush and kukui nut trees grow in abundance. As you descend deeper you'll find yourself amidst waist high grasses and passing huge spear-like plants. Not far now, as you make the final trek towards your reward... the cool and soothing waters of the Waimea River! Look above you and you will hardly believe how far you've climbed. Take a long rest here adn enjoy a swim in the pool near to Wiliwili Camp. You'll need it before turning around to ascend the two miles back up to the rim. Remember to take it slow and easy and to drink lots of water. Bringing some form of water purification device to allow you to refill water from the river and treat it is highly recommended. The Waimea river is naturally brown from the tanins which are absorbed by the feeder streams as they pass through the Alakai Swamp above Waimea Canyon. In fact the name Waimea literally means "red water". The scenery is absolutely gorgeous so enjoy it during your rest breaks and take plenty of pictures. If you want adventure and a great workout, this is one hike you won't want to miss!