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Hiking Guide

Hiking in Hawaii
Bird in the Pearl Harbor wildlife reserve

There are many hikes and trails that will take you all over the islands and throughout the different climate zones. There are tropical rainforests with fruit hanging from the trees where it never seems to stop raining, there are dry desert areas that invite the rain and water but never comes. There are mountains zones that on one side the weather patterns are so completely different that it defys the imagination. Backpacking and camping in these areas are limited due to the size of the islands, but reservations made in advance should cover you.

On Hawaii there are some magnificent trails like the Crater Rim Trail in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, that encircles Kilauea's summit caldera closely following the path of Crater Rim Road. This is a challenging and long day hike, that passes through varied terrain, including a desert and rain forest. Views of Halemaumau and Keanakakoi Craters and Mauna Loa are excellent from this 11-mile path.

Volcanoes National Park is a goldmine of hiking trails. You'll find the Devastation Trail that leads visitors one mile over the cinder outfall and through a forest recovering from Kilauea lki's 1959 eruption. Along the path you'll find such volcanic formations as: cinder with olivine, Pele's hair and tears, tree molds and a cinder and spatter cone. The route is paved and rated as easy. A good ride for anybody with a bike

On Maui look forward to the Kaupo route that leads southward from Paliku Campground to the small town of Kaupo on the Maui coast, where fishing is reccomended. The route is nine miles one way with a very rocky surface. It is recommended that hikers do not go alone due to the rough conditions. The first three and a half miles of the route lie within the park and descend from the crater. The remainder of the route follows a jeep trail. Another winner in the realm of pure scenery department is the Pipiwai Trail in the Haleakala, it is a moderately difficult, four-mile (round trip) hike through a rain forest to Waimoku Falls. The route passes Makahiku Falls approximately one half mile from the trailhead. It ends upstream, near the base of Waimoku Falls. The clear pools formed by the smaller waterfalls along the route make excellent places to swim, although flash flooding may occur.

The island of Molokai doesn't have much in the way of proper hiking trails but there are three excellent parks that are worth visiting; The Kakahaia Wildlife Refuge, where wildlife observation and environmental education activities are available under a Special Use Permit. Picnicking and fishing are also available at the adjacent Kakahaia County Park. Kalaupapa Historic Park, has the distinction of being an area with spectacular north shore sea cliffs, narrow valleys, a volcanic crater, rain forest, lava tubes and caves, and offshore islands. Several of these areas provide rare native habitat for threatened or endangered Hawaiian plants and animals. The Pala'au State Park encompasses 233 acres of land on the northern central shore of the island. The Kalaupapa overlook provides views of the northern Molokai pali and Kalaupapa peninsula.

On the popular island of Kaua'i the Alakai Trail leads from Mohihi Road at Kawaikoi Camp in Koke'e State Park, three and a half miles to Kilohana Overlook. It passes through the northernmost portion of the Alakai Swamp. The swamp is the rainiest place on Earth, receiving nearly 400 inches of rain per year, so expect wet and slippery conditions.

Over on the middle island of Oahu is the Manoa Falls Trail that leads one mile into the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve. It begins on Manoa Road above the Lyon Arboretum. Most of the trail follows Waihi Stream, which forms the falls and feed the lush forest around it. A few switchbacks and a set of stairs puts hikers above the stream at the falls. Immediately before reaching the falls Manoa Falls Trail intersects the Aihualama Trail. A shallow pool lies beneath Manoa Falls, but swimming is not advised due to frequently falling rock. The state parks are excellent resources for trails and the like.

National Wildlife Refuges National Parks The Islands
Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refuge
Kealia Pond Wildlife Refuge
Kakahaia Wildlife Refuge
James C. Campbell Wildlife Refuge
Pearl Harbor Wildlife Refuge
Hanalei Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
Haleakala National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
USS Arizona Memorial

Hawaii
Maui
Molokai
Oahu
Kauai

Hawaii State Parks:
Akaka Falls
Hapuna Beach Rec Area
Kalopa Rec Area
Kealakekua Bay Historical
Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast)
Kohala Historical Sites Monument
Lapakahi Historical
Lava Tree Monument
MacKenzie Rec Area
Manuka Wayside
Mauna Kea Rec Area
Old Kona Airport Rec Area
Wailoa River Rec Area
Wailuku River
Maui State Parks
Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau Monument
Iao Valley
Kaumahina Wayside
Makena
Polipoli Spring Rec Area
Pua'a Ka'a Wayside
Wai'anapanapa
Wailua Valley Wayside
Molokai State Parks
Kalaupapa National Historic
Pala'au
Oahu State Parks
Aiea Bay Recreation Area
Diamond Head Monument
Hanauma Bay Underwater Park
He'eia
Iolani Palace Monument
Ka'ena Point
Kahana Valley
Kaka'ako Waterfront
Keaiwa Heiau Recreation Area
Kewalo Basin
Kukaniloko Birthstones Monument
La'ie Point Wayside
Makapu'u Point Wayside
Malaekahana Recreation Area
Nu'uanu Pali Wayside
Pu'u Mahuka Heiau Monument
Pu'u Ualaka'a Wayside
Royal Mausoleum Monument
Sacred Falls
Sand Island Rec Area
Ulupo Heiau Monument
Wa'ahila Ridge Rec Area
Wahiawa Freshwater Rec Area
Kaua'i State Parks
Ahukini Rec Pier
Ha'ena
Koke'e
Na Pali Coast
Polihale
Russian Fort Elizabeth Historical
Wailua River
Waimea Canyon
Waimea Recreation Pier

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