Nualolo Cliffs Trail- Waimea Canyon, Kauai Hawaii
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The Nualolo Cliffs Trail can only be accessed by first hiking 3 miles on either the Nualolo Trail or the Awaawapuhi Trail. Both trails lead you down a defined path with a decreasing elevation heading toward the Nualolo Valley.
The trail starts near the 3.0 mile point on the Awaawapuhi Trail and meets the Nualolo Trail between the 3 mile and 3 1/4 mile markers. The trail skirts the upper rim of the Nualolo Valley and permits a "loop" route from the head of Awaawapuhi Trail to Kokee Park Headquarters or vice versa.
It was recommended to start the round trip “loop” from the Nualolo Trail. The Nualolo Cliffs Trail followed the Nualolo Valley Rim but it started in dense forest. There were very few lookouts the first mile of the trail. The trail changes to 7 foot tall grass and you definitely get very limited views. After about 1 mile you will find a shelter and picnic table. Beginning near the 1.5 and 1.75 mile marker, there is a dangerous section of washed out and eroded trail. Use caution and proceed at your own risk. Once you get past this gut checking section, the valley views begin. You look down the green and black lava ridges. You see the Nualolo stream cutting through the Awaawapuhi Valley. The Nualolo Cliffs Trail is 2.2 miles long, with a total elevation change of 780 feet. With the exception of about 50 feet of hugging the side of the cliff, the trail is pretty easy. Most of the hike is through forest, crossing several streams, and short incline
and decline switchbacks. But remember, you have to hike 3 miles before you do this trail, and the hike back out on either end is all uphill back to the road.
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