The short Iliau Nature Loop Trail is a nice introduction to the Waimea Canyon area. The trail offers beautiful views of Waimea and Waialae canyons and features unique vegetation endemic to the island of Kauai. Well maintained, the wide trail consists of the red dirt common in the Waimea Canyon area. Elevation gain is less than 50 feet.
The trail is named after the Iliau plant (in bloom May-June), a species related to the sunflower family. The plant is plentiful on the trail due to fencing that protects against feral goats that graze on the plant.
As the name implies, the trail is a loop and takes about 15-20 minutes to hike. The trailhead for the Kukui Trail, which descends into Waimea Canyon, is on the loop.
The Iliau Nature Loop Trail is located on Hwy 550 between mile markers 8 and 9. There is parking along the side of the road. With beautiful vistas and unique vegetation, the peaceful trail is recommended for both casual tourists and hikers headed to more difficult trails in the area.
Iliau Nature Loop Trail Details
Why you should do it: Short, easy trail offers nice views of Waimea Canyon and native plants.
Trail Length: .3 miles
Area: Waimea Canyon
Iliau Nature Loop Trail Hike
The Kukui Trail starts here on the Iliau Nature Loop.
Iliau plants are endemic to Kauai. This sign states that “Endemic plants evolved uniquely on the Hawaiian Islands and are found nowhere else in the world.”
Iliau plants are abundant on the loop.