Honopu Ridge Trail
Interested in a trail that will provide you with amazing views of the Napali Coast?
How about a trail that will give you these views yet somehow have very few people on it and not require a permit.
My favorite trail in Kokee State Park is the Kalepa Ridge Trail which gives you nonstop views while hiking across a ridgeline.
The only downfall of the Kalepa Ridge Trail is that it is somewhat popular and you will likely run into some other people. Read more on that trail here.
If you want similar views BUT with hardly anyone on it, then you should do the Honopu Ridge Trail instead.
The only tradeoffs are that the trail is a bit longer and you have to fight through the shrubs to get to the views.
Quick Facts on the Honopu Ridge Trail
- Distance – 4.4 miles out and back
- Duration – 2.5 hours average to complete
- Difficulty – Moderate
- Elevation gain – 1,500 ft
- Challenges – Keeping track of the trail and blazing through shrubs
- Trailhead – Located just south of the Kalalau Lookout.
- Foot Traffic – almost none – didn’t see a soul on the trail on a Friday afternoon
- Cost – $10 to park in Kokee State Park and $5 per person entrance to the park (all hikes and lookouts included)
- Permits or Reservations: None needed
- What to Bring – Hiking boots, hat, sunscreen, water
The Honopu Ridge Trail is located in Kokee State Park on the west side of Kauai.
It is about an hour and 15 minute drive from the airport so make sure you plan a lot of stops in the area.
In the park the trail is located just south of the Kalalau Lookout. The best way to get to the trailhead is to rent a car. Make sure you book in advance as the car rentals on Kauai can run out. Reserve a car here.
Honopu Ridge Trailhead
Make sure you don’t miss the trailhead and parking. It is just a tiny spot off the side of the road, really easy to miss if you don’t know what you are looking for.
What To Expect On the Trail
The two best parts of this trail are the epic views and the solidarity you are likely to encounter. I did the hike on a Friday afternoon and literally didn’t run into another person.
There was one other car parked at the entrance, but I didn’t ever pass whoever they were.
Views Not Until Near the End
Unlike the Kalepa Ridge Trail the views of the Napali Coast are not immediate. You have to get near the end to have the amazing payoff.
Trail Difficult to Follow
Like lots of trails in Hawaii this trail can be difficult to follow at times. You will see ribbons tied to trees indicating which way you need to go. This trail isn’t the most difficult to follow, but you need to make sure you keep your eyes open so you don’t make a wrong turn.
Follow the pink and orange flags.
Bushes/Shrubs Growing Over A lot of the Trail
At about ½ mile in thick brushes and shrubs start growing over the trail. You will want to be wearing pants so that you don’t get cut up pushing through.
Warning – Honopu Trail Head Not Marked
You need to keep your GPS handy as the Honopu Trail Head is not marked.
There isn’t even an official parking lot, just a dirt shoulder where you will see that other cars park.
I’ve done this trail twice and both times I had no problem at all getting one of the space immediately next to the trail head.
Honopu Trail Parking
As previously mentioned there is no official parking lot. There is plenty of space along the side of the road though for you to safely pull off and park.
This also means that you shouldn’t expect other facilities like restrooms and water fountains.
I love any hike that provides views of the Napali Coast and the Honopu Trail delivers!
There are trails that are easier to access and provide more consistent views, but if you are looking to get away from the crowds while still having a sweet payoff, then maybe the Honopu Ridge Trail is for you.
WHAT TO PACK FOR KAUAI
- Dresses – Packing a few good dresses is essential for Hawaii. Dresses have become my go to on trips to help quickly put an outfit together. Revolve is one of my go to shops for beach dresses. ASOS also has great summer dresses.
- Shorts – Anyone who is traveling to Hawaii needs a good pair of shorts. Khakis are great for guys. For women, cute athletic shorts or denim shorts are perfect for a breezy summertime look. These Levi denim shorts are my current favorites! These high waisted athletic shorts have gone viral on instagram and for good reason, they are AMAZING.
- Sandals – LOVE these Teva’s! They are my new go to travel sandal. Shop my favorite Teva’s here. They are great to wear in the water snorkeling and also amazing for hiking in Hawaii.
- Sports bra – This SKIMS bra is the most comfortable sports bra you will ever wear! Trust me. I travel with 5 of them. Also, highly recommend checking out the SKIMS fits everybody bra is to die for as well.
- Tank tops – Free people is my go to place to buy cute and affordable tank tops. I have this tighten up tank in almost every color.
- Hat – essential. Shop the newest hats at Nordstrom.
- Beach cover-up – Having at least one good cover-up is essential on any beach trip. I recommend ASOS, Nordstrom and Revolve as well.
- Hiking boots – I have two pairs of hiking boots that I love. My Columbia waterproof boots and my Salomon hiking boots. Highly recommend checking them both out! Warning – they both sell out really quick.
- Tennis Shoes – I guess you could wear sandals hiking this trail but I would recommend tennis shoes. It can get narrow and slippery in parts. These Nike high tops are my current favs. They look so cute with shorts too!
- Packing cubes – I always go to Urban Outfitters for my packing cubes. They have the cutest ones!
- Quick Dry Travel Towel – This quick dry towel is amazing to travel with. It really will come in handy when you need extra room in your suitcase.
- Snorkeling gear – for obvious reasons.
Planning a trip to Kauai? Read everything we know about Kauai here:
My husband and I have been to Kauai many, many times and have written up more guides to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Kauai travel guides to help you plan your trip.
Best Beaches for Snorkeling on Kauai
- TUNNELS BEACH IN KAUAI (amazing snorkeling, swimming, seals) – one of my personal favorite beaches own the entire island!
- KE’E BEACH ON KAUAI – great snorkeling, swimming, but you have to make reservation in advance – it was a nightmare.
- Hideaway’s Beach – Amazing snorkeling on the North Shore.
- Anini Beach – (Snorkeling, fishing, swimming) Great for basically everything.
- Kalapaki Beach in Kauai – Kids beach. Perfect beach for families, beginner snorkeling and swimming!
Best Cliff Jumping in Kauai
- SHIPWRECK BEACH ON KAUAI – Amazing cliff jumping beach
- QUEEN’S BATH KAUAI: COMPLETE GUIDE – Another must visit!
More awesome beaches
- MOLOA’A BEACH ON KAUAI – Insanely underrated. Giligans Island was filmed here. This beach was another one of my favorites. Practically empty.
- Lumaha’i Beach Kauai – What you need to know before going
- Secret Beach Kauai! (aka Kauapea beach) – MUST see beach!
- Haena Beach – We saw a Monk Seal on this beach!
- Gillin’s Beach – Fairly secluded beach where you can ride horses!
- Donkey Beach – Underrated – practically deserted beach
- Hanalei Beach – Gorgeous beach, perfect for sunsets.
- Salt Pond Beach Park – Amazing beach for kids and families (You can camp here as well)
- Black Pot Beach
Kauai Hiking Guides
- WAILUA FALLS HIKE ON KAUAI – AMAZING WATERFALL HIKE! Probably my favorite hike I have ever done.
- KALEPA RIDGE TRAIL – BEST HIKE IN HAWAII…SERIOUSLY. Trust me, don’t leave this one off your list! It’s GORGEOUS!
- MAKALEHA TRAIL – Amazing trail that is extremely muddy. 100% worth it!
- CANYON TRAIL TO WAIPO’O FALLS
- Pihea Trail – Easy hike on Kauai with Na’pali Coast Views!
- Makauwahi Cave Trail – Kauai Hidden gem
Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.
Read all other posts on Kauai here.