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Hiking in Hawaii

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by SMB1, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. SMB1

    SMB1 TUG Member

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    In one month we will be in Hawaii!! Five nights at MOC, 5 Nights at KBC, and 7 nights at Waiohai. My wife and kids, my brother and his family, sister and her husband, and two other families, close friends. So excited. Never been to Kauai, so we've been researching. I've been reading here. Interested in snorkeling, hiking, helicopter tours, etc.

    Strange question, though :rolleyes:. My wife is very concerned about the appropriate footwear for hiking in Kauai. I assumed sneakers or hiking shoes. She seems to think some kind of mesh water shoes with a real sole. Like a sneaker sole but mesh upper. Makes sense I guess in the rain forest. What do you think? :shrug:
     
  2. TXTortoise

    TXTortoise TUG Member

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  3. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    I believe mesh water shoes would not give you the support you need for hiking. Additionally, on wet surfaces it is easy for the mesh to allow your foot to come out of the shoe.
     
  4. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    A friend of mine who lives part time on the Big Island uses regular hiking shoes.
     
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  5. Fasttr

    Fasttr TUG Member

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    Agree. Regular hiking shoes for the trails we have hiked.
     
  6. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    On Kauai you will be dealing with mud, most likely, plus lots of rocks. You will appreciate the soles on your regular hiking boots, but if you are there during a dry spell you can get away with regular athletic shoes although the red dirt may stain them. I personally wouldn't use the type of footwear that you wife is suggesting because I can't stand to feel dust/mud on my toesies - so I prefer my full-on hiking boots to keep the goo out. Is she worried about hiking through water? I have never really done that - maybe a bit near Hanakapiai but if I can't hop from rock to rock in a stream, I will just get my feet wet. Most of the trails on Kauai don't cross water. Mud and rocks are the most common issues that you will deal with and for those I strongly prefer good boots. Bring a change of footwear and some plastic bags for your dirty boots for the drive home.
     
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  7. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    We went hiking in Waimea Canyon last July. We really wanted to go to the waterfalls but my regular sandals did not have enough traction at the bottom. It was quite slippery in some areas and we had to turn back shortly after setting foot on the trail. Still regret not wearing proper hiking shoes for that trip.
     
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  8. Dean

    Dean TUG Member

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    I would do waterproof lower hiking boots.
     
  9. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    On Kauai remember that there are now rules for going to Ke'e Beach up north. You need to make a Reservation online. There are fees. When hiking in Hawaii I recommend good hiking boots, trek stiks, either water shoes or snorkeling booties in your back back for waterfall pools (there are lots of sharp rocks in the waterfall pools), extra water, and extra food.

    Several years ago when we hiked to Hanakapiai Falls we simply forded the stream. 3 or 4 times from Hanakapiai Beach to the Falls. We saw several people that were doing the jump from rock to rock end up with pretty bad cuts. I do not know if the Kalalau Trail is open. It is 2 miles from Ke'e to the Hanakapiai Beach and then two miles to the waterfall. It is not really hiking but up and down a rough trail. Some of the steps up/down were 15 to 18 inches. When you come to a water crossing looks for the blazes in the trees to know the best route across the stream.

    Remember there is only one two lane road north to south. So depending on where you are going and time of day it can take you longer than you think.
     
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  10. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Kauai: Remember there is only 1 two lane Hwy from north to south. Down south you have Waimea Canyon. To do this properly is about a day. Take a picnic lunch. Drive to the top. Resist the turn outs. Drive as far as you can and then hike past the top parking a bit. There are several View Points up there. Have your picnic lunch in the Park at the top. Then stop at all or most of the View Points on your way down. There is the Kauai Coffee Planation. There is zip lining in Koloa. There is an inner tube float down the old sugar cane canals in Lihue. There is Poipu Beach. There is the Alakai Swamp Trail. There are Cruises out of Hanapepe Bay to the Napali Cliffs and snorkeling. There is the Spouting Horn. There is the Mala'ulepu Trail that starts on the top of the Cliffs just north of Shipwreck's Beach. There is the Makauwahi Cave. Almost forgot about the light house - a National Park. Also a bird nesting area. Luau: some of the large Hotels have Luau. The two I would recommend are Kilohana just outside of Lihue or Smith Family by Kapa'a. Kilohana has the more traditional entertainment telling the Polynesian story through song and dance. Smith Family has greater diversity to honor the many people that have emigrated to the Islands. Remember Poi is not a dish by itself but to dip your Pork. There is Anini Beach. The town of Hanalei. The beach at Hanalei. The Road to Ke'e Beach (end of road) is not open. Kayaking up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto and Secret Falls. It is about a mile hike to the falls. Sometimes the trail is very muddy. In Lihue there is a Costco. Cheapest gas on the Island by a lot. Great Fish Tacos at the Food Truck by Hanalei Pier. Some of the best Chili Pepper Chicken is at the Chevron Station in Priceville. Best Loco Moco is at the Food Shack on the side of the Sueoka's Market in Koloa. Jump off the Cliff just north of Shipwreck Beach and swim to Shipwreck Beach.

    Every time we are on Maui we go to the top of Haleakala for sunrise. The means leaving KBC about 2:30am. You need to make a Reservation online if you want to enter Haleakala National Park between 4am and 7am. Sunset can also be pretty nice. You can hike down into the Crater that is not a Crater because Haleakala is a shield volcano. We enjoyed zip lining at Piiholo Ranch. They have to main courses. One is through the trees and has about 9 zips but they are relatively short. They have a 5 line zip back and forth across a canyon. But the zips are much longer. The last being over 1/2 mile.

    Remember that several locals have gotten lost hiking in the forest on Maui the past couple months.
     
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  11. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Visiting Haena State Park/Ke'e Beach (by car, bike, on foot) now requires a pass, which you can buy up to two weeks in advance. There are only 100 parking spaces, so if you are driving, you need to reserve a spot for either 6:30am-12:30pm or 12:30pm through the end of the day. The afternoon permits sell out fast, so book early. People are reportedly buying more than one pass (one at a time). Parking permits are $5/car and include entry for all passengers. The park website is: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/haena-state-park/
    If you're not into walking or biking in, another other option is to buy a ticket for the hourly hop-on/hop-off shuttle bus @ $11/per person (includes the $1/pp park entry fee). The shuttle website is: https://kauainsshuttle.com/reservations/ and https://kauainsshuttle.com/shuttlestops/ It has just started, so how it will handle the flow of tourists will be interesting.
     
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  12. alchook

    alchook TUG Member

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    My favorite hike on Kauai is the Awa’awapuhi Trail. You hit the Napali coast from the opposite direction, giving you the same views as the Kalalau Trail, but the trail's is better shape and you miss the crowds.
     
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  13. chalee94

    chalee94 TUG Member

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    I wore hiking shoes when I went in May. We got some rain while hiking and the mud was a pain to get off. I don't think mesh shoes would work for the most part (but I did see people attempting different approaches - and going down the trail to Queen's Bath, there were a lot of roots to navigate but water shoes for the pool at the end would make sense, I guess.)

    You probably already know but definitely take an underwater camera for the snorkeling (and make sure you understand the settings beforehand.) I had never snorkeled before so we started in the protected beach area of Lydgate Park to get the hang of it. My favorite snorkeling was over in Po'ipu (very rocky on the shore though - kind wish I had some kind of gloves to protect my hands - but the variety of fish - especially the Christmas Wrasse - made it worth it) and the snorkeling off the boat from the North side of the island with Na Pali Catamaran:

    https://www.napalicatamaran.com/

    If you want to sail from the south shore on a sunset cruise with Captain Andy, be aware it books up quickly. As the Kauai Revealed book recommends, the north shore scenery is really much more impressive than sailing from the south shore (I tried both.)

    I tried the Jack Harter open door helicopter tour. I was tempted by the tours that stopped at the Jurassic Park waterfall but the open door copter was fun (be aware that the lightest person of the 4 non-pilots in the helicopter gets stuck with a middle seat - :) ). Here is an impressive video of the scenery:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL3NA2lyDYM

     
  14. SMB1

    SMB1 TUG Member

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    Wow! Thanks, all, so much for the detailed responses, advice and suggestions for hiking, snorkeling and tours. I feel much more prepared. Hiking shoes with water shoes in the backpack it is.
     
  15. PrairieGirl

    PrairieGirl TUG Member

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    I think you have it right. Two years ago when I was on Kauai for the first time (with only runners) I swore I was coming back with proper hiking gear - there are no end of fabulous trails to take. Enjoy!
     
  16. aland0524

    aland0524 Guest

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    You didn't say if you and your wife were "casual" hikers or "hard-core" hikers. If "casual", sneakers are fine - just know that depending on the weather, you may have to accept that they will be full of red Kauai mud! So don't bring your best sneakers or bring hiking shoes. since you'll be in Waiohai/Poipu area, a great casual hike is the Mahaulepu trail (Shipwrecks Beach to Mahaulepu Beach - you pass the Grand Hyatt and also the Poipu Bay golf course). Easy hike but take water. Can walk from Waiohai Beach Club to Shipwrecks and back... If "hard-core", the Hanakapiai Falls Trail that starts with some steep ascents on rocky and muddy terrain (you'll meet people on the way back with cuts on their legs!). It's a 4-mile out, 4-mile back although there are shorter and longer options. Some actually camp overnight. If you do this, you definitely will get your shoes/boots muddy and be prepared to ditch them after (my wife and daughter did and they didn't even make it to the Falls that day). Kauai is a hikers paradise and Google has a lot of good info (do-it-yourself or with a guide/group). In Maui, if you're going to be in the Kaanapali area, don't forget to hike the Dragons Teeth Trail (start either at DT Fleming Park in Kapalua or at Kapalua Bay). Short but gorgeous. Overlooks ocean and also Lanai and Molokai. If hike Dec - April, whales breaching all over! Also a "casual" hike. Other "hard-core" hikes available also in Maui. Have a great trip.
     
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  17. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Just did this in May. I agree - really a lot to like on a very easy hike!

    Can't find my regular Hawaii hiking website, but here's a nice roundup of the usuals on Kauai. http://www.kauai.com/hikes

    Highly recommend Kuilau Trail and the trail to Waipoo Falls. I've done quite a few of the others (not Kalalau) and the two listed above rank high on a view vs exertion scale. They are good hikes for your non-hiking friends. (Although I read recently that a tree fell across the Kuilau trail this winter and I am not sure if it has been removed yet.
     
  18. SMB1

    SMB1 TUG Member

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    Well we have a large group. Some are "casual" hikers and others will be up for more adventurous hikes. We definitely won't be doing any overnight hikes. The Hanakapiai Falls Trail sounds great, but that is probably the most adventurous trail some will be interested in.

    Thanks for the insights and suggestions. Can't wait!
     
  19. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    So.......I have some slightly different suggestions:

    • I find the classic 'water shoes' with elastic and poor footbeds useless. Painfull in some sand, useless on rock etc....
    • hiking shoes and trail shoes are great....but not if it's your only shoes...they will be wet and muddy and stained for life
    • Several companies make open-mesh trail shoes that dry quickly. Great in this wet/hot environment. they will be red forever (Keen, Merrill, Northface). Look for 'breathable' 'mesh' 'vent' 'wet/water hiking or trail' etc... When fully submerged wet.....they stay wet for a while. Especially with socks. They are tough without socks.
    • I did the Kalalau and Waimea and Mahaulepu trails using my Keen Newports. Love them. They MUST be broken-in before you hike in them though. There are many shoes similar to the Newport design--ie some open sides to drain the mud/water--just don't buy them one day and hike the next. Hard/new soles equals blisters. They are great...once you are used to it. They pickup rocks/sand....you learn to clear them quickly, but it bothers some folks.
    That's my take. One shoe for wet/hiking/dirty and one shoe for everything else (Teva/scott/reef sandals are my 'dress up' shoe).

    Great website here for some better answers: https://gudgear.com/best-shoes-for-hiking-in-water/


    Easy dry, comfortable, easy to clean, ok for underwater. Cons: rocks/sand enter the footbed; pick them out. Looser than shoes....you get used to it.
    upload_2019-7-12_10-26-23.png

    Great for hiking. Dries pretty well. Very secure on foot. Not much rock/sand. Cons: slower to dry. picks up mud. better with socks. Wet footbed all day.
    upload_2019-7-12_10-29-25.png
     
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  20. Caligirlfrtx

    Caligirlfrtx TUG Member

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    We did this hike also. It was unexpected and we were all wearing flip flops. Luckily we made it and no sprained ankles. I did see a guy beiycarried back up with a sprained ankle and he was wearing tennis shoes. I was nervous the entire time
     
  21. Fairwinds

    Fairwinds TUG Member

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  22. winger

    winger TUG Member

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    Oh Maui, the hike to Nakalele Blowhole is also a nice one.
     
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