11/09/17 – Nualolo Cliff Hiking Trail Reopens on Kaua‘i

Posted on Nov 9, 2017 in Forestry & Wildlife, News Releases

News Release


For Immediate News Release November 9, 2017


LIHU‘E — The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife(DOFAW) will reopen the 2.1-mile-long Nualolo Cliff hiking trail on Kaua‘i on Saturday, November 11, 2017, following completion of work by state trail crews to reroute portions of the trail that were washed out and eroded.

Nualolo Cliff Trail is in northwestern Kauaʻi within the Nā Pali Kona Forest Reserve and is managed by the DOFAW Nā Ala Hele Trail and Access Program.

The Nualolo Cliff Trail reroute project bypasses the damaged section by constructing a .25-mile long wildland trail with a 2 to 3-foot-wide tread. As a result, Nualolo Cliff Trail now connects with the Nualolo Trail at approximately the 2.5-mile marker.

Construction of the trail reroute also involved vegetation clearing, trail construction, and installation of trail signs. DLNR trail crews were assisted part of the time by the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps.

The trail had been closed since May 9, 2013 due to unsafe conditions on a 300-foot long steep cliffside section near the 1.5 and 1.75 mile markers. This stretch was damaged from wear and tear, and with a hiking tread only six inches wide in some places, it was deemed unsafe for continued use. Weather conditions and unstable soils also created small slides, making repair of the existing trail impractical. The trail skirted a 1,500- to 2,000-foot drop, making it hazardous for users.

Nualolo Cliff Trail is one of 34 trails on Kauaʻi managed by Nā Ala Hele. It is a connector trail that is two miles long in between Nualolo and ‘Awa‘awapuhi Trails.  Nualolo Cliff Trail starts near the 3-mile marker on ‘Awaʻawapuhi Trail and meets Nualolo Trail at approximately the 2.5-mile marker.

This section of the Nualolo Cliff Trail offers a scenic view into Nualolo Valley and along the Nā Pali Coast. The trail skirts the upper rim of the precipitous Nualolo Valley and facilitates a loop route from the head of ‘Awaʻawapuhi Trail to the head of Nualolo Trail at Kōkeʻe State Park Headquarters.

Both Nualolo and ‘Awa‘awapuhi trails also have beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast at the end.  Nualolo is approximately 3.75 miles (one way) and ‘Awa‘awapuhi is approximately 3 miles (one way). Both trailheads are off Highway 550, Nualolo is just after the 15-mile marker and ‘Awa‘awapuhi is just after the 17-mile marker. No permit is required to hike these trails.

For information about state forest hiking trails go to the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program website at https://hawaiitrails.hawaii.gov/trails/#/

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Media Contact:

Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320