http://images.travelpod.com/bin/tripwow/flash/tripwow.swf The Hawaii Roadshow Slideshow: Hawaii’s trip from Austin, Texas, United States to 12 cities Honolulu, Maui, Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Princeville, Hana, Wailuku, Kilauea, Waimea, Hawi, Kealakekua and Koke'e State Park was created by… Continue reading
The Nualolo Trail descends through moist forest and then dry shrublands to a precipitous terminus at Lolo Vista Point. Prepare for a fairly challenging day hike. From the trailhead road, you jump up to the left and then climb steeply for the first .25-mile, entering the Kuia Natural Area Reserve. From the area reserve you drop steadily through forest with the occasional clearing. Birds love it here. The descent continues, as forests give way to open areas, home to koa trees, ginger, ferns. The trail swerves, making a left bend and then back to the right again as you descend a broad ridge top. About 2 miles in, you’ll get the first blue-water views. At almost 3 miles from the trailhead, you enter the Napali-Kona Forest Reserve, as the trail drops steeply down a knob to drier, eroded relief.
Your route continues straight out the bench, descending steeply, and coming to the Nualolo Cliff Trail junction, which is the connector to the Awa‘awapuhi Trail. The last .5-mile of the Nualolo Trail is the big thrill. The trail drops down an eroded slope and onto the curving lip Nualolo Valley—a 2,000-foot free-fall to your right into a big bowl. Fortunately, the fall to the left into Kawaiula Valley is not as sharp, and you can lean that way. The bench at Lolo Vista Point broadens out, with only dwarf flora in the vicinity, and it has a sturdy railing. Several Napali ridges provide views north and south. The rugged beach below where Nualolo Valley meets the Pacific is Napali Coast State Park, Be Aware: The earth is crumbly on the valley rim. There are places where people venture beyond the railing, but stay well back of edges.” – from the Kauai Trailblazer guidebook, 2011