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post #16 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 09:56 AM
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Trails you can do on Maui (those that I did):

- The crater hike and sunrise
- The Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku falls
- Waianapanapa Black Sand beach and hike along the shoreline cliffs
- Hoapili trail through lava rocks

The Pipiwai trail totally blew me away. So this one is a MUST. It goes through an unbelievable bamboo forest to the bottom of a very tall waterfall. I got unlucky and it was raining hard, so I couldn't really take many photos. But even with rain, I'd probably rate it in my top 3 favourite trails ever. I even wanted to come back and do it another day in a better weather, but didn't find time as it was towards the end of my visit to Maui. And I'm the kind of person that doesn't do same trails twice, unless it's been at least 3-5 years since last time I did the trail. It's a busy trail though. The crater hike is another must do, but will take full day from sunrise to sunset if you do the entire loop. You'll be alone there the whole day once you get down to the valley. Waianapanapa trail is awesome too, and the black beach itself. Hoapili trail has lots of lava rocks and very unusual terrain.

I'm sure you heard about Hana highway. It's way overrated, at least for those from BC. Lots of greenery, some waterfalls, but nothing really exciting. And I did the road twice, north and south bound. You'll probably get irritated by speeding locals who take corners through the middle of the road all the time. If you do drive through Hana hwy, make sure you take the Nahiku side road, which goes all the way to the ocean. It was much prettier and took you to a nice spot to enjoy the ocean. Best scenic drives I'd say are the north-western (past Napili) and southern roads (past Hana) around the island, and also when you come down from the crater above the clouds. So Hana doesn't even make it to top 3 on my best Maui scenic drives list. Rent a nice convertible, don't cheap out and get the cheapest/ugliest car possible. Commonly they have Mustangs or the pricier Camaros.

Best beach to relax on and swim: Keawakapu Beach

It has few people if you walk 5 minutes away from the main entrance, lots of sand, crystal clear water, and shallow sandy bottoms. You also get to admire the expensive local beach houses.

Best beach to stroll on: Ka'anapali beach

The hotels and the atmosphere is great there for walking around. I went there a few times just to walk along the beach and paved walk path. Swimming isn't that good, it's crowded, steep shores (unless you like steep shores), and some rocky spots.

For activities you can take a sunset cruise off the same beach on a catamaran. They have one with unlimited alcohol. You can also go zip lining with ocean views, and take a submarine to the floor of the ocean.

The Kula Botanical Gardens were very nice. Recommend it if you like flowers. There is nothing like that here in BC.

At all costs avoid the "Iao Needle". Dumbest place ever. Charges you money for parking, and there is nothing to see there. Some very boring mountain with a million tourists. That's the only thing I hated on the island. It looks like a cool place to see when you do your online research, but trust me, it's not.

On Kauai don't miss the Polihale beach on the western side. Awesome beach to relax and/or stroll. I liked it so much I went there twice.

I'd say a week per island will be very rushed. Take at least 10 days for Kauai and Maui each. I spent 2 weeks at both. I haven't been to Big Island, but I'm sure it'll require more than a week given its size. On Maui you can find some random natural ocean pools where you can lay down into and relax, while fish swims around you. But if you don't leave enough time for your trip, you probably won't have time for that.
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 10:28 AM
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We have been to Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. I liked the Big Island best; there are just so many different things to do (snorkeling with mantas at the Sheraton Hotel and with colorful fish and turtles at the City of Refuge and Captain Cook monument, lots of trails in Volcano Park, hiking totally out of breath after driving up to 4200 m on Mauna Kea, sticking sticks in red hot lava … the latter only when there are flows near the old road).

Kauai is very different; lots of vegetation, no exposed lava rocks, fluted green pali cliffs, great hiking, and many very nice sand beaches. I like to go in November or early December. It's drier there and nice to get away from the weather here.

We hiked Kalalau trail on the coast and in Koke'e Park Alaka'i swamp trail and Nu'alolo/ Awa'awapuhi loop (and liked the latter better than the swamp trail as it leads along the top of the Na'pali cliffs with great views). I'd say both Koke'e Park trails are easier than the Kalalau. I haven't done the trail to Hanakapi'ai waterfall. In 2012 the side trail from Hanakoa camp to Hanakoa falls was not well marked and had a somewhat exposed section (steep sidehill above creek 20 meters down). The main trail from Ke'e to Hanakoa along steep cliffs has amazing views and some exposure but generally good footing. Hanakoa campsite has no beach access and is under trees back in a side valley.

In Kauai we camped at beach campsites. The county ones are cheap, but can be a bit loud on weekends (and roosters crowing anytime). On the other islands camping didn't seem that easy, we did a mix of motel/tenting.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ClauS

We have been to Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. I liked the Big Island best; there are just so many different things to do (snorkeling with mantas at the Sheraton Hotel and with colorful fish and turtles at the City of Refuge and Captain Cook monument, lots of trails in Volcano Park, hiking totally out of breath after driving up to 4200 m on Mauna Kea, sticking sticks in red hot lava … the latter only when there are flows near the old road).

Kauai is very different; lots of vegetation, no exposed lava rocks, fluted green pali cliffs, great hiking, and many very nice sand beaches. I like to go in November or early December. It's drier there and nice to get away from the weather here.

We hiked Kalalau trail on the coast and in Koke'e Park Alaka'i swamp trail and Nu'alolo/ Awa'awapuhi loop (and liked the latter better than the swamp trail as it leads along the top of the Na'pali cliffs with great views). I'd say both Koke'e Park trails are easier than the Kalalau. I haven't done the trail to Hanakapi'ai waterfall. In 2012 the side trail from Hanakoa camp to Hanakoa falls was not well marked and had a somewhat exposed section (steep sidehill above creek 20 meters down). The main trail from Ke'e to Hanakoa along steep cliffs has amazing views and some exposure but generally good footing. Hanakoa campsite has no beach access and is under trees back in a side valley.

In Kauai we camped at beach campsites. The county ones are cheap, but can be a bit loud on weekends (and roosters crowing anytime). On the other islands camping didn't seem that easy, we did a mix of motel/tenting.
Thanks for all the great info! Turns out if we go in November we'll have company so we'll be able to leave the little one with for a night. I know only spending one night at Kalalau beach is short but it's the best we can do, can't have it all

For the Alaka'i trail, I always see it mentioned as a combo with Pihea which takes you along a ridge in the first bit and finishes up at Kilohana lookout. Is that what you did? Here's a map: http://goo.gl/aCvYvp

Anyone do the hike up Mauna Loa on BI from the end of the road?

Weather in November was good? That's my only worry with going in November vs September, that it'll be too rainy, etc.. to do the hike in Kauai.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Regarding the hikes and the baby back carrier, are any of the hikes I listed suitable? (Nualolo Loop, Pihea, Waimea Canyon Trails, etc..)? Does only going to the falls change anything for Kalalau? We've covered some good ground with the baby, Conrad Kain Hut, Bow Hut, etc.. as long as footing is good we're good. As long as there's no scrambling or downhill slip and slides.

We were originally going to go for 2 weeks and split our time between the Big Island and Kauai but now you've all got me thinking we should add another week for Maui. I'd probably do a couple of days of diving to Molokai, Molokini and Lanai. Though might not do Molokai, the hammerheads seem very hit and miss for $200. For hiking I know of Halemau'u Trail in Halekala NP.. what else should be on our radar?
Did you miss my post further up?
I suggested the Pihea trail would be fine for a baby carrier, and linked you to photos of it.
One thing to be aware of is that when things are dry, they're pretty good, but when things are wet, the dirt can turn a lot like bentonite and turn everything into a slip-n-slide, so that might just be something you have to prepare for.
I really loved Maui, and would also suggest it. The Pipiwai Trail is Maui's Johnston Canyon, but well worth it. Start at pretty waterfalls, hike through rainbow eucalyptus forest, then large banyan tree, then more waterfalls, then hike through bamboo forest, and finish at massive awesome waterfall. The webpage I linked in my previous comment includes all the info about the Maui stuff we did, and I'd recommend most of it.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by Arnold

Trails you can do on Maui (those that I did):

- The crater hike and sunrise
- The Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku falls
- Waianapanapa Black Sand beach and hike along the shoreline cliffs
- Hoapili trail through lava rocks

The Pipiwai trail totally blew me away. So this one is a MUST. It goes through an unbelievable bamboo forest to the bottom of a very tall waterfall. I got unlucky and it was raining hard, so I couldn't really take many photos. But even with rain, I'd probably rate it in my top 3 favourite trails ever. I even wanted to come back and do it another day in a better weather, but didn't find time as it was towards the end of my visit to Maui. And I'm the kind of person that doesn't do same trails twice, unless it's been at least 3-5 years since last time I did the trail. It's a busy trail though. The crater hike is another must do, but will take full day from sunrise to sunset if you do the entire loop. You'll be alone there the whole day once you get down to the valley. Waianapanapa trail is awesome too, and the black beach itself. Hoapili trail has lots of lava rocks and very unusual terrain.

I'm sure you heard about Hana highway. It's way overrated, at least for those from BC. Lots of greenery, some waterfalls, but nothing really exciting. And I did the road twice, north and south bound. You'll probably get irritated by speeding locals who take corners through the middle of the road all the time. If you do drive through Hana hwy, make sure you take the Nahiku side road, which goes all the way to the ocean. It was much prettier and took you to a nice spot to enjoy the ocean. Best scenic drives I'd say are the north-western (past Napili) and southern roads (past Hana) around the island, and also when you come down from the crater above the clouds. So Hana doesn't even make it to top 3 on my best Maui scenic drives list. Rent a nice convertible, don't cheap out and get the cheapest/ugliest car possible. Commonly they have Mustangs or the pricier Camaros.

Best beach to relax on and swim: Keawakapu Beach

It has few people if you walk 5 minutes away from the main entrance, lots of sand, crystal clear water, and shallow sandy bottoms. You also get to admire the expensive local beach houses.

Best beach to stroll on: Ka'anapali beach

The hotels and the atmosphere is great there for walking around. I went there a few times just to walk along the beach and paved walk path. Swimming isn't that good, it's crowded, steep shores (unless you like steep shores), and some rocky spots.

For activities you can take a sunset cruise off the same beach on a catamaran. They have one with unlimited alcohol. You can also go zip lining with ocean views, and take a submarine to the floor of the ocean.

The Kula Botanical Gardens were very nice. Recommend it if you like flowers. There is nothing like that here in BC.

At all costs avoid the "Iao Needle". Dumbest place ever. Charges you money for parking, and there is nothing to see there. Some very boring mountain with a million tourists. That's the only thing I hated on the island. It looks like a cool place to see when you do your online research, but trust me, it's not.

On Kauai don't miss the Polihale beach on the western side. Awesome beach to relax and/or stroll. I liked it so much I went there twice.

I'd say a week per island will be very rushed. Take at least 10 days for Kauai and Maui each. I spent 2 weeks at both. I haven't been to Big Island, but I'm sure it'll require more than a week given its size. On Maui you can find some random natural ocean pools where you can lay down into and relax, while fish swims around you. But if you don't leave enough time for your trip, you probably won't have time for that.
Thanks for the tips, I know 3 weeks is short but it is what it is. We may cut Maui shorter to allow for more time on Kauai and Big Island, and just get a taste of Maui to see whether we'd like to return for longer some other time. We're also pretty busy travellers though, we like big days and quiet nights so we tend to get a lot done in a shorter period of time than most people. We're not relaxation on the beach types That said if we have to miss this or that it's not the end of the world
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:23 AM
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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

For the Alaka'i trail, I always see it mentioned as a combo with Pihea which takes you along a ridge in the first bit and finishes up at Kilohana lookout. Is that what you did? Here's a map: http://goo.gl/aCvYvp
That's how I did it.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:32 AM
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Since Maui was brought up, here are my old reports from my trip. It's funny for me to read through them now. We evolve and forget things so it's nice having a diary of sorts.

Waihee Ridge, Maui
Hanakauhi Peak (Haleakala), Maui
Lahaina Pali Trail, Maui
Hoapili Trail to Cape Hanamanioa, Maui -> sorry, no trip report, but this is a cool area.
Tableland Trail (Iao Valley), Maui
Pipiwai Trail, Maui
Sliding Sands Trail (Haleakala), Maui
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 11:32 AM
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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Thanks for the tips, I know 3 weeks is short but it is what it is. We may cut Maui shorter to allow for more time on Kauai and Big Island, and just get a taste of Maui to see whether we'd like to return for longer some other time. We're also pretty busy travellers though, we like big days and quiet nights so we tend to get a lot done in a shorter period of time than most people. We're not relaxation on the beach types That said if we have to miss this or that it's not the end of the world
You might just have to consider whether you would rather see a little of a lot, or a lot of a little. You can see bits of three islands, or you could keep it to two for this trip and see more of them. I cut out the Big Island, to spend a week on Maui, and a week on Kauai, and we're now planning a trip of two weeks to just the Big Island. We loved Maui so much that we'll go back there another time and spend a full 2 weeks there, being so much to do.

With just a couple days on Maui, I'd:
-take the road to Hana not for the road, but to spend a day to visit Waianapanapa Beach, and the Pipiwai Trail.
-drive up Haleakala for sunrise, then hike through the crater from the high trailhead to the low one
-drive around the northwest side of the island, stopping to hike the jungle to Honolua Bay, doing the Acid War Zone hike to the Nakalele Blowhole, grab shave ice at Annie's and check out the Banyan tree in Lahaina, and drive the cool north shore, maybe stop at the Olivine Pools if you could use a swim (not necessarily in that order, but in one trip).
-scuba dive or snorkel (depending on the person) Molokini.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 07:46 PM
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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Kathryne

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Kathryne

Have fun! I'm interested in what you find out about Kauai. I go to the Big Island a couple of times a year to go diving. Have you been on the manta dive yet? What dive company do you use?
Hi we've never been, I just meant we've pretty well figured out what we're going to do on the Big Island. Planning on doing the Manta dive with Jack's Locker or Kona Dive Company. Will do some shore diving at Place of Refuge and Puako. If you have any tips for the Big Island there's a recent thread looking for advice: https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=56979
Stick with Jack's, or try Big Island Divers. I've heard Kona Dive isn't great but I don't have any personal experience with them. I use Big Island Divers pretty much exclusively. They have some great long range and three tanks dives and a good fleet of boats. I'm heading out there again in April and plan on putting on my big girl panties and trying the blackwater dive after the manta dive. I've done the manta dive four times now, and several daytime dives with Big Island Divers.

I'm not sure if you have booked accommodation on the Big Island yet, but we found a gem of a condo just south of Kona. Last year I got a 2 bedroom 2000sq ft condo for $110 a night. This year it was $140/night, but we travel with another couple, so it's reasonable. Holua Resort. It's a bit dated inside, but close to Keahou Harbour (walking distance), so if you want to get out to Captain Cook, I think you still need to go out on a boat licensed to go in there, the Fairwinds is a pretty good way to see it and it goes out of Keahou. It's also close to a KTA and several farmer's markets, 25 mins to two-step. KTA carries local produce, meat, fish and eggs. I prefer it to the horrors of Costco, Walmart or Safeway for food. I do hit up Costco for booze and gas.

OK, sorry about the thread drift. Now I'm getting excited about my 10 days in April!
thanks for the info! i looked up holua resort and put a random date in september and the 2000sqft 2 bedroom is $194/night? Maybe it's because we're 4 and not 2? What about this place, is the location good? It seems to be nice and on a beach

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/VacationRe...ii_Hawaii.html

Have you ever thought of doing the Manta dive as a shore dive from the Sheraton or a snorkel? I've read that it's pretty easy to do if the surf isn't too rowdy
Holua can be great if you catch the sales. I got my rate (4 people, 2 bedroom) on Black Friday but I have seen sales throughout the year. The good thing is you can book, you pay one night's accom, and can cancel up to 7 days in advance and get your deposit back. If there is a better rate, you just modify your booking to get it.

The one you posted is in a good area close to everything. I like the Keahou area best because it makes for easy access to some of the best snorkelling. 25 mins or so to Two-step and you can get there early to get a good shady spot and maybe even catch the dolphins before they head out for the day.

I haven't done the manta dive as a shore dive, and when I go I go to the old airport site because that's where my preferred dive company goes. I prefer to go off a boat simply because I'm the only diver of my travel companions and don't have a buddy. Plus I like it when other people haul my gear. But if you're staying in Keahou, by all means do a shore dive. Just be sure to wear some lights. It's right off the harbour and there's a lot of boat traffic and no one looking out for you. The dive companies all use different colour glow sticks on their tanks and snorkels to identify their clients in the dark. And it is really dark. Snorkelling can be crazy as there are a lot of freaked out newbies on the surface and it usually is rough, so expect a fin or two to the face. It's much nicer to plant a big rock on your lap on the bottom and enjoy the show.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by qwimjim
...
For the Alaka'i trail, I always see it mentioned as a combo with Pihea which takes you along a ridge in the first bit and finishes up at Kilohana lookout. Is that what you did? Here's a map: http://goo.gl/aCvYvp

Anyone do the hike up Mauna Loa on BI from the end of the road?

Weather in November was good? That's my only worry with going in November vs September, that it'll be too rainy, etc.. to do the hike in Kauai.
Yes, that's the swamp hike we did. The other hike in Koke'e Park we did was Nu'alolo/ Awa'awapuhi loop, and I liked it better.

Have heard from friends that the Mauna Loa hike was a long slog. The hiking is at 4000 meters and on Hawaii you spend most of your time at sea level. Doesn't make for easy acclimatizing .

We did 3 trips in late November/early December and weather has always been nice. Due to prevailing winds the south/southwest of all islands is much drier and sunnier than the north (northeast-northwest).
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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quote:Originally posted by Rachelo

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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Thanks for the tips, I know 3 weeks is short but it is what it is. We may cut Maui shorter to allow for more time on Kauai and Big Island, and just get a taste of Maui to see whether we'd like to return for longer some other time. We're also pretty busy travellers though, we like big days and quiet nights so we tend to get a lot done in a shorter period of time than most people. We're not relaxation on the beach types That said if we have to miss this or that it's not the end of the world
You might just have to consider whether you would rather see a little of a lot, or a lot of a little. You can see bits of three islands, or you could keep it to two for this trip and see more of them. I cut out the Big Island, to spend a week on Maui, and a week on Kauai, and we're now planning a trip of two weeks to just the Big Island. We loved Maui so much that we'll go back there another time and spend a full 2 weeks there, being so much to do.

With just a couple days on Maui, I'd:
-take the road to Hana not for the road, but to spend a day to visit Waianapanapa Beach, and the Pipiwai Trail.
-drive up Haleakala for sunrise, then hike through the crater from the high trailhead to the low one
-drive around the northwest side of the island, stopping to hike the jungle to Honolua Bay, doing the Acid War Zone hike to the Nakalele Blowhole, grab shave ice at Annie's and check out the Banyan tree in Lahaina, and drive the cool north shore, maybe stop at the Olivine Pools if you could use a swim (not necessarily in that order, but in one trip).
-scuba dive or snorkel (depending on the person) Molokini.
Thanks! We will pretty much do exactly what you suggested, sounds perfect. Did you dive Lanai and Molokai by any chance? For anyone else prepping for a trip, the trailheads on Haleakala are Sliding Sands at the summit, and Halemau'u lower down. Park at Halemau'u, hitch to the top and hike down Sliding Sands to Halemau'u.


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post #27 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 07:28 PM
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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

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quote:Originally posted by Rachelo

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Thanks for the tips, I know 3 weeks is short but it is what it is. We may cut Maui shorter to allow for more time on Kauai and Big Island, and just get a taste of Maui to see whether we'd like to return for longer some other time. We're also pretty busy travellers though, we like big days and quiet nights so we tend to get a lot done in a shorter period of time than most people. We're not relaxation on the beach types That said if we have to miss this or that it's not the end of the world
You might just have to consider whether you would rather see a little of a lot, or a lot of a little. You can see bits of three islands, or you could keep it to two for this trip and see more of them. I cut out the Big Island, to spend a week on Maui, and a week on Kauai, and we're now planning a trip of two weeks to just the Big Island. We loved Maui so much that we'll go back there another time and spend a full 2 weeks there, being so much to do.

With just a couple days on Maui, I'd:
-take the road to Hana not for the road, but to spend a day to visit Waianapanapa Beach, and the Pipiwai Trail.
-drive up Haleakala for sunrise, then hike through the crater from the high trailhead to the low one
-drive around the northwest side of the island, stopping to hike the jungle to Honolua Bay, doing the Acid War Zone hike to the Nakalele Blowhole, grab shave ice at Annie's and check out the Banyan tree in Lahaina, and drive the cool north shore, maybe stop at the Olivine Pools if you could use a swim (not necessarily in that order, but in one trip).
-scuba dive or snorkel (depending on the person) Molokini.
Thanks! We will pretty much do exactly what you suggested, sounds perfect. Did you dive Lanai and Molokai by any chance? For anyone else prepping for a trip, the trailheads on Haleakala are Sliding Sands at the summit, and Halemau'u lower down. Park at Halemau'u, hitch to the top and hike down Sliding Sands to Halemau'u.


I dove at Lanai and Molokini. Both a spectacular, with Lanai being a bit more of a challenge. The cathedrals are very cool. Lots surge on the day I was there. I can't remember which cathedral I dove, but the exit was a nice little hole that sucked you up and spit you out the other side with the surge. Some big white tips in the cathedral, too.
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 11:50 PM
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quote:Originally posted by qwimjim

Thanks! We will pretty much do exactly what you suggested, sounds perfect. Did you dive Lanai and Molokai by any chance? For anyone else prepping for a trip, the trailheads on Haleakala are Sliding Sands at the summit, and Halemau'u lower down. Park at Halemau'u, hitch to the top and hike down Sliding Sands to Halemau'u.
Thanks, I couldn't remember the names at the moment.

I didn't dive Lanai or Molokai. With only a week to do Maui, we stuck to the island and left the smaller islands for the next trip.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 09:07 AM
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For an adventure on Kauai, you could try and repeat our hike to Waialeale through the Alakai Swamp:

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=41958
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
quoteo you recommend doing the full hike to the beach and back in a day or just going to Hanakapiai or Hanakoa Falls instead?
I'd do Hanakoa and kick around and see some of the off-trail stuff. But, if you're just looking to do a run, you could do the whole thing....

I've been to Kauai in both December and February. We had more precipitation in December that lasted for longer periods of the day than in February. We had lower temps in February, but those also varied somewhat. Sometimes in Kauai it doesn't matter so much what month it is as what systems are coming in.

There is a huge difference between December and August, however...
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