Ready for a mountain top finish here on Kauai? You’ve come to the right place.
WARNING! If you are not super uber extra fit please do not try and get all the way up to the summit of Hihimanu (manta ray mountain pictured below). It’s about 4 hours up and once you get there another 3 hours back. We’ve done it many many times here with the crew at PVVR but it’s just dangerous on the way back because you are so tired from climbing.
The good news is there are several places you can get up to and turn back before the rope sections and climbing starts. If you are coming for anything more than just the first couple of lookouts over stunning Hanalei bay, bring gloves. Anyone should bring bars and salt replacement as well as tons of water. It’s a steep climb from the start and will surely make you sweat.
When headed down from Princeville and you get to the famous one lane bridge, instead of going right toward Hanalei town, take the left following the river up to the mountains. Drive slow about 3/4 of a mile and on the right you’ll see a little bridge that shoots from the road over into the bushes. That is the trailhead. It’ll say “OKOLEHAU” on the side of the bridge. That means “Bottoms Up” in Hawaiian. Good name for this hike because it’s going to take you from the bottom of the valley where the Taro grows all the way up to the top of the mountain.
Just about 1.5 miles in and after the steep sections you’ll make a hard right hand bend and the trail will start to level out. This is where you’ll find the first of several amazing lookouts of the North shore of kauai. Go another mile and you’ll come to a bench with yet an even better view.
This bench is where the fun starts. If you are daring enough, look left and follow the trail down the spine and back up along the ridge. Wear those gloves and power up on food and water. It’s about 38 rope sections to the top. If you are a super-pro bring your hammock. There are two nice fuji pines up there perfect for stringing up your hammock and relaxing for a few minutes. While on the way up, please remember, don’t be a hero. If you get tired just turn around anytime because you can’t really get lost on this trail, it’s just one way up and back. If you DO make it to the top all we ask is one thing, send us pictures!!! You are super close to Namolokama mountain and can likely feel the energy from the giant waterfall that cruises down from Waialeale crater. It’s easily one of the best views on the island where you can see from Kilauea all the way over thru Hanalei and into Wainiha.