Once again we called on our favorite Kauai guide, Eric, from Hike Kauai With Me, to lead us on a new adventure into the Waimea Canyon area. We wanted jaw dropping views, so Eric brought us on the Po’omau Canyon Ditch Trail. This time though there would be six of us for him to put up with. We ranged in age from mid 20s to mid 60’s, some of the group are fast hikers and some are pokey, some are thrill seekers and others cautious but most importantly we all love being outdoors.
Our adventure started at the entrance to KoKe’e State Park, we took a side road off of the main road to a little parking area, there we emptied out of the rental car and crammed into Eric’s 4 wheel drive beast for a short drive to the trail head.
After a bumpy, bone jarring, bladder weakening ride we landed at the trail head. Once we spilled out, geared up, we started the trek.
The trail meandered along on a narrow path, going up and down, but nothing to strenuous.
We had a little stream crossing, that those of us with short legs, required a hand to help us jump across. Unfortunately the person helping us became wetter than the person jumping across, but it was worth a good laugh.
On the way to the first overlook, we were offered glimpses of the valleys of Waimea Canyon. This heightened our anticipation of what beauty would unfold before us at that first overlook.
Then we came down a narrow rocky path, with a fence line and trees to grasp, guiding us to the point that juts out into the canyon. Awe inspiring, knee knocking scary, and breathtaking are just some of the clichéd feelings that filled our hearts.
I couldn’t go past the “end of trail” sign but the fearless three went past the sign and had stunning views into the canyon and the waterfall that poured into it.
After spending time here, Eric led to us to a trail that isn’t in the “blue book”. This part of the trail was adventurous and required us to do some bush whacking. Without Eric’s knowledge and guidance we would have never seen this little gem he brought us out to. Up and down we went, climbing over, under and through fallen down tree limbs, breaking ground twigs and crunching leaves.
Then we arrived at a plateau that had even more amazing views than the first overlook.
This area offered another perspective of the mighty Waimea Canyon area. It was a weather prefect day that permitted us to see the intensity of the dazzling colors of the canyon and the blue of the ocean.
We absorbed the beauty of the area, snapped the obligatory couple photos, ate a snack and just kept repeating “wow and amazing”.
It was time to bushwhack our way back to the proper trail head, where we decided to walk back the dirt road. By looping it allowed us to discover some stunning flowers and gave us all a time to chat with each other.
A great part of hiking with Eric is that after a hike, he knows how to cool down with a splash in a river or pool of water. That is exactly what we did, before we had to pile back into his vehicle.
On our way out of Koke’e we asked if we could stop at a touristy Waimea Canyon Overlook. We know this isn’t part of the package deal, but Eric is so accommodating and works so hard for his hiking clients, we stopped.
As we know from a previous post, I love goats and once again Eric spotted goats for me.
Then we noticed our little group had started to go off the tourist overlook part and find their own spot to the view canyon. I think Eric encouraged us to be brave in going off the beaten path on today’s hike, but to always be safe.
Once again we had a fabulous time with Hike Kauai With Me. Eric went above and beyond for us, matched our abilities and skills to find a hike that we all loved and were confident in doing. When we return to Kauai, of course we will be calling Eric up and say plan an adventure for us, we know he will deliver and make it an unforgettable hike.
If you want to hike with Eric, check out his website at www.hikekauaiwithme.com
Until the next hike…
The details: A bit over 4 miles with an elevation gain of 1100 feet. Not a technical or to demanding hike. The views are stunning and lots of the trail is in the shade. Blackberries do line the trail and their thorns do scratch, so be careful.
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