"Koke'e State Park" Koke'e State Park Tip by goshawk301

Koke'e State Park, Kauai: 1 reviews and 1 photos

  Kalalau Valley in the morning
by goshawk301

Drive Route 550 uphill from Waimea lookout and you enter this highland paradise, which I think of as "Kaua'i's heart of aloha". Here, four thousand feet above sea level, the breeze is cool and sweet, and the forest is bright, cheerful and full of birdsongs. You can easily see songbirds that are native only to Hawai'i here, such as the bright red apapane, matching the color of the ohia flower; the olive amakihi; and the i'iwi with its curved beak adapted to eating honey. Come up early in the morning - when the birds are the most active, clouds haven't built up yet, and the place is uncrowded.

You should drive to the Kalalau Lookout, where you can look down on the spectacular amphitheater valley of Kalalau and the beach and the ocean below. With binoculars you may be able to spot backpackers on the beach, who have hiked the Kalalau trail all the way in from Ha'ena; waves from a whale's breach look like ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond from here. You can drive on to the next lookout, Pu'u O Kila (this segment of the road was temperarily closed February 2004), but I think the Kalalau has a better angle on the view of the valley.

At the park headquarters you can find a small museum, a restaurant and a gift shop. You can stay here by camping or renting a cabin. There is a great selection of trails throughout the park that lead you to views and different habitat areas.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 1, 2004
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