The Weimea Canyon is spectacular. Just driving to the trailhead was pretty amazing, but we weren’t nearly finished. We parked at the end of the road, and geared up.
Not half a mile later, we found this. This valley is just inland from the Na Pali Coast, which makes it inaccessible by most means, including on foot. The best way to see it is on kayak, or from up here.
The trail follows the top of the ridge line all around the valley, with several hundred feet of vertical in the first mile.
At this point, I feel the need to give props to our new favorite shoes ever, the Merrell Barefoot. Normal hiking boots make it feel like your legs end in stumps, but these feel closer to actually going barefoot. Instead of tromping down the trail, you leap nimbly along, like a gazelle. We wear them everywhere, and can’t recommend them highly enough.
About a mile in, there’s a short (but very steep) spur to an overlook. We took it…
…and were rewarded with this. Worth it.
We returned to the main trail for a steep descent down the inland side of the ridge.
…and back up.
The trail, which is paved with a sometimes-rotten boardwalk, emerges into a strange swamp on top of a plateau. The native Hawaiians used this path as a highway from the west side of the island to the north shore, and they did it without the boardwalk.
The trail abruptly ends at the top of a sheer cliff. 2 hours of driving, and nearly 6 miles of hiking, only so we could see our lodgings in Princeville from the other side of the island. The photos really don’t do this place justice, don’t miss it if you’re ever here.
We stopped for lunch and chitchat with fellow explorers, then packed up for the long trudge-climb back.
Back at the top of the ridge, we took a moment to say goodbye to the Kalalau Valley. My phone died about halfway through the hike, so we don’t know our exact distance, but our guidebook says it should be around 9 or 10 strenuous miles.