Kaua'i Outdoor Recreation Guide: detailed descriptions on things to do!
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Kaua'i Map
Kaua'i's varied geography ranges from plains to mountains to deserts and offers incredible winter and summer recreation activities.

Ahukini Pier
Hanalei Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
Na Pali Coast
Russian Fort Elizabeth Historical
Wailua River
Waimea Canyon
Waimea Pier

Detailed Descriptions

Ahukini Pier
Akaka Falls
Big Island
Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refuge
Hapuna Beach Area
Hawaii Volcanoes
Kaloko-Honokohau Historical
Kalopa Area
Kealakekua Bay Historical
Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast)
Kohala Historical Sites State Monument
Lapakahi Historical
Lava Tree Monument
MacKenzie Area
Manuka Wayside
Mauna Kea Area
Old Kona Airport Area
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Historical
Pu'ukohola Heiau Historic Site
Wailoa River Area
Wailuku River
Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau Monument
Iao Valley
Kaumahina Wayside
Kealia Pond Wildlife Refuge
Polipoli Spring Area
Pua'a Ka'a Wayside
Wailua Valley Wayside
Kakahaia Wildlife Refuge
Kalaupapa Historic
Aiea Bay Area
Diamond Head Monument
Hanauma Bay Underwater
Iolani Palace Monument
James C. Campbell Wildlife Refuge
Ka'ena Point
Kahana Valley
Kaka'ako Waterfront
Keaiwa Heiau Area
Kewalo Basin
Kukaniloko Birthstones Monument
La'ie Point Wayside
Makapu'u Point Wayside
Malaekahana Area
Nu'uanu Pali Wayside
Pearl Harbor Wildlife Refuge
Pu'u Mahuka Heiau Monument
Pu'u Ualaka'a Wayside
Royal Mausoleum Monument
Sacred Falls
Sand Island Area
Ulupo Heiau Monument
USS Arizona Memorial
Wa'ahila Ridge Area
Wahiawa Freshwater Area

Description - Kauai is the least developed of the four largest islands in Kaua'i and its interior is a rugged, mountainous region protected within the forest reserve system. A belt road circles most of the island excluding the Na Pali coast, which lies in the northwest. The western coast of the island is arid and the least developed. Along the coast lies the Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility. Beaches on the military installation are often open for civilian use, but a call before traveling there is advised. North of the military base is Polihale. The park marks the western end of Kauai's belt road and once you reach the area you'll see the cliffs and understand why the road ends here.

Other sites in western Kauai include Waimea Canyon. To reach this rugged gorge take Waimea Canyon Drive north from the coastal community of Waimea. This road extends 19 miles north and provides a number of scenic overlooks into the valley and over the cliffs to the ocean. It also provides access to Waimea Canyon and Koke'e. These preserves are thick with recreation opportunities and access to the rugged interior of the island. Camping and hiking are just a couple of the activities available here.

North of Lihue the eastern shore of the island begins. Wailua has a number of attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. The Wailua River incorporates six heiaus, hiking trails, a fern grotto and several overlooks. Highway 580 leads into the interior of Kauai along the Wailua River and provides access to many of the state park sites. The Wailua River is the only navigable river on the island and boat tours and a boat ramp are available at its mouth. Lydgate Beach also lies at the mouth of the Wailua River and provides good swimming conditions in most seasons. The state parks are great recources for hiking and fishing.

Hanalei Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the endangered Koloa (Hawaiian duck), Hawaiian gallinule, Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt. It also provides habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The site incorporates 917 acres of river bottom land, taro farms and wooded slopes in the Hanalei River Valley on the northern coast of Kauai.

Koke'e State Park encompasses 4,345 acres in Kaua'i's northwest interior. A good place to orient yourself to the park and its facilities is the Kokee Museum. The park maintains two overlooks, Kalalau and Puu O Kila Lookouts, above the Kalalau Valley. (From the later, the Na Pali Coast is visible.) The state maintains a number of trails into the Kalalau Valley, both challenging and easy trails can be found. The trails lead into the rain forest and Alakai Swamp of the Kaua'i highlands.

Na Pali Coast has magnificently lush and rugged terrain which is the biggest highlight of this park. The site includes tall sea cliffs, lush forested valleys and several waterfalls. The region is secluded wilderness with a few trails making it accessible to a select group of experienced hikers.

Recreation - The climate on Kauai varies more with the terrain than the seasons. Generally, the coastal temperature changes little throughout the year with an annual average of 74 degrees F. The higher elevations of the interior of the island includes the wettest place on earth, Mt. Waialeale. This region averages higher than 4,000 feet and receives nearly 500 inches of rain. If your planning to camp in the higher elevations of Kauai, I recommend layers and rain gear. Temperatures drop four degrees F with every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.

Location - Kauai is the northernmost island in the Kaua'ian chain. It is separated from Oahu by nearly 85 miles. Niihau Island lies to the west of Kauai and is its closest neighbor.

Whatever floats your boat, The islands will be able to serve up the time of your life. Weather it's beaches, camping, fishing, biking or even backpacking there is a forest or state park that can deliver what you asking for.

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