Loop Road Reopens on Kauai

Loop Road Reopens Kauai

Kauai’s Loop Road has reopened as of May 17th, 2021 reports the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR):

“Repair efforts are continuing and only vehicles with 4-wheel drive capabilities and high clearance should access the road at this time. The North fork low-water crossing may be usable in dry conditions, but construction of a new low-water crossing will still be required. Users should not attempt this low-water crossing during heavy rainfall events as it can become extremely hazardous.”

Loop Road, officially the Wailua Forest Management Road, had been closed following flood damage in 2018. Following the flood, a $500,000 project was undertaken to make repairs to the road. During the closure, a temporary gate near the Powerline Trail was installed to prevent access.

Loop road is a popular destination for both tourists and local residents. The Jurassic Park Gate, located on Loop Road, is a popular destination for visitors to Kauai. The road also provides access to the wet and arduous “Blue Hole Trail” that takes hikers to the “weeping wall” of Mt. Waialeale. For locals, the road provides access to a pristine wilderness perfect for picnics, camping, swimming, hunting and off-roading.

DLNR reports that future heavy rainfall events could prompt closure of the road for public safety. DLNR is currently in the process of obtaining the necessary permits, plans, and designs for this area and intends to complete the construction in the coming years.

Though Loop Road has reopened, repairs are ongoing and the road is still in a state of disrepair. Huge potholes are still present on the road. In our experience, the potholes are challenging for even 4-wheel-drive Jeeps, especially rental Jeeps without true off-road tires. Until repairs are completed, we recommend parking at the Keahua Arboretum and hiking down the road. Only local, super-modified vehicles should attempt the road in its current condition.

Stuck on Loop Road
Before the gate was installed during the closure, boulders were placed across the road at the Powerline Trail trailhead to prevent access. This 4WD rental Jeep became stuck after trying to cross through on the way back.

TOP PHOTO CREDIT: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)


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