(all pictures are low res, for high res click here)
During our recent trip to the garden isle of Kauai, we took a side trip at the top of Waimea Canyon to the Honopu Ridge Trail. From the parking lot, it was clear that this was going to be a muddy adventure. According to the Kauai Ultimate Guidebook (a must for anyone traveling to Kauai) this trail was reclaimed by the jungle during Hurricane Iwa in 1982. It is no longer maintained by the state, but by volunteers, thus the trail is very tricky at times, even at the trailhead which has 3 passageways (you must pick wisely) The jungle was thick and it was imperative that we followed the pink and orange trail markers otherwise we'd get lost for sure. The flora was extravagant and unique to this tropical climate and the jungle was unforgiving. As luck would have it, the trail led to a lookout that was completely obscured by clouds. All we viewed was white, even after waiting a few minutes to see if it would clear. The clouds gave an ethereal feel to this hike and the mud made for a very messy outing . Overall, I can't really say this hike was worth the trouble. It was fun bushwacking thru the jungle, but the payoff was not there. There are other hikes on Kauai that can provide more benefits.