The Kalepa Ridge Trail is probably our favorite trail on Kauai, and that’s saying a lot on this island of numerous beautiful trails. To us, the views on the trail are reminiscent of the movie Avatar, with steep, mist-shrouded mountains rising precipitously from the mysterious valley thousands of feet below. Others say it reminds them of the Andes Mountains and Machu Picchu.
The trail starts off spectacularly, at the Kalalau Lookout, and the views only get better the farther down you hike. As you proceed down the precipitous path, different elevations bring unique vistas. At the top, green ferns blanket everything but the razor thin path. Lower, the trail opens up to reveal weather-worn trees and epic mountain peaks. Go lower and Kauai’s famous red dirt comes into play, as well as other-worldly views all the way down the Na Pali Coast.
We hike the Kalepa Trail Ridge whenever we’re in the area. The fog was thick on this particular day, but it broke briefly for some epic views. There was a wedding at the Kalalau Lookout, and we felt bad for the bride and groom who were no doubt hoping for a clear day. They still had a beautiful ceremony from what we saw.
The trail is steep, especially at the top, but not dangerous in our opinion if you proceed cautiously. Though there are precipitous drops, the trail is just far enough back from the edge to not induce any fear-of-heights anxiety.
Kalepa Ridge Trail Photos