Alakai Swamp Out and Back
ElevationAscent: 1,165' 355 m
Descent: -1,166' -355 m
High: 3,943' 1,202 m
Low: 3,440' 1,049 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
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“This is a great run birdwatching but connects with other trails for stunning views too.”— Steve Jackson
On days that it is cloudy and rainy the road will be muddy and slippery. In some places, the mud will suck your shoe in. You'll pass the signed Berry Flat Trail intersection on the left and the unsigned Ditch Trail on the right. Next up is two metal bridges across small but full flowing creeks and on uphill to the Alakai picnic area. It's worth running over to the picnic bench and looking out at the canyon in front of you. If there are no clouds, you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The canyon directly in front drains the Kawaikoi Stream.
Head back to the road intersection. To the right is the road you took to the picnic area. Straight ahead and down goes towards Sugi Grove camp and Kawaikoi Stream. You want to go left up the road which will open up to a parking area and the Alakai Trailhead. Take this. After .25 mile you'll start to see a boardwalk. They are currently replacing the old wood boardwalk with a narrower synthetic boardwalk.
On this trail, you'll hear, but not necessarily see, birds. This area is prime viewing for Kauai's forest birds. In about 1.25 miles from the trailhead, you'll reach the Pihea Trail and Alakai Swamp Trail intersection. Go straight to the Kilohana lookout, left to the Puu o Kila lookout trailhead or right to the Sugi camp, or turn around and head back the way you came.
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Land Manager: Hawaii - Department of Land and Natural Resources