Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hanakapiai Falls

We finally made it up to Hanakapiai Falls. It is an eight mile hike round trip so we were excited to be able to do something without the kids for a change.

The hike was great fun but a little rushed. We started at 2 pm and had to be done by 6 pm so we wouldn't be walking in the dark. It's a pretty strenuous path, not very well marked or maintained.  The trail is slippery, muddy and  steep with several stream crossings - not something I wanted to do in the dark.

But I like a little adventure and I was up for a challenge so I dragged Todd along and on we went.

Many people turn at the beach, the half way point of the hike. That's were we stopped when we took the kids. I think they are really missing the best part.

The waterfall is simply spectacular. It is a tiered fall topping 1,600 feet but not all of it is visible from the ground. The final tier is estimated to be 410 feet high - whatever it's height, I couldn't get all of it in one camera shot.

The best part is the pool at the bottom of the fall. The water was freezing. I was hyperventilating soon after I got into the pool. When I started feeling hot while swimming I knew I had to get out. 

The mist from the water made it seem as if it was raining. It was really windy and the water drowned out all sounds. It was the perfect place to sit on a rock and think.

There are a lot of guava and mountain apple trees along the second part of the hike. The fruit is all over the ground. If the trail is not muddy or slippery, it's squishy. I almost got hit on the head once by a falling guava. The smell of rotting fruit was not the best either. But it's all part of the experience.

When we reached the end of the hike we encountered paramedics treating a hiker for dehydration. It's definitely a streneous's hike but one that I'm glad we didn't miss.