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.
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.
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.
OUR MOST POPULAR KAUAI BLOG POSTS
My husband and I have been to Kauai many times and have written up more blog posts to help you plan your trip. These are my most popular blog posts and Hawaii travel guides to help you plan your trip.
- 29 THINGS TO DO IN KAUAI
- WAILUA FALLS HIKE ON KAUAI – (AMAZING WATERFALL HIKE!)
- KE’E BEACH ON KAUAI – (SNORKELING, SWIMMING, HOW TO MAKE RESERVATIONS – it was a nightmare)
- TUNNELS BEACH IN KAUAI (AMAZING SNORKELING, SEALS, SWIMMING) – one of my personal favorite beaches own the entire island!
- MOLOA’A BEACH ON KAUAI – (INSANELY UNDERRATED) GILIGAN’S ISLAND WAS FILMED HERE!
- KALEPA RIDGE TRAIL – BEST HIKE IN HAWAII…SERIOUSLY. Trust me, don’t leave this one off your list! It’s GORGEOUS!
- QUEEN’S BATH KAUAI: COMPLETE GUIDE – Another must visit!
- SHIPWRECK BEACH ON KAUAI – (AMAZING CLIFF JUMPING BEACH)
- Read about all the hikes we have done in Kauai here.
- Read all other posts on Kauai here.