Kauai Explorations
Kokee State Park • Polihale State Park • Waimea Canyon • July 2006

We spent four days on Kauai in 2006 and tried to visit as many places as we could. We spent one day hiking Na Pali, another day on Nounou Mountain, and one day driving mainly on its south and western shores and the mountain roads above.

We first drove up Hawaii Rte 550 to Kokee State Park, which is about 4,000 feet in elevation on the swampy elevated highlands surrounding Kawaikini. We mainly stood around and snapped photos, and admired the beautiful views. We also stopped at various overlooks to peer down into Waimea Canyon and its cliffs and waterfalls. Unfortunately, we had heavy cloud cover so our images came out a little muted.

Waimea Canyon


Close up of the falls

Waimea Canyon

The same falls

Kokee State Park, view down from the highlands

Same view, broader scape

Looking at a nearby ridge

We then drove down and continued west, hugging the coast. The road then bends north toward Polihale State Park and the Barking Sands Beach. We had an amusing experience: the road peters out into sand tracks so we followed one for awhile, not sure where it was taking us. We hoped to the beach. All the while, there was another car following us. The road then dead-ended at a pair of massive gates, this being a gate of the Pacific Missile range Facility.

Then this other car rolls up. Who were these people? Axe murderers? We awaited our fate. Turned out it was another couple asking us where we were. They said they followed us because it looked like we knew where we were going. We all had a few giggles. Somehow we found our way to the beach, and swam in it, in our clothes. This is as far west as one can get on Kauai. The world's western-most paved road is here, going by "west" being anything approaching the 180th-meridian from the east side. The forbidden island of Niihau could be seen to the southwest.

As we drove back to Poipu, βð was uncomfortable in her wet clothes, so we stopped at a tiny store and she bought a sarong, stripped off everything (in the car) and put on the sarong ... and nothing else. We also had a fine lunch at a small Bento Box place, with fresh fish and fixings made by actual locals.

The Beach at Polihale. The island of Niihau is out on the horizon. The volcanic remnant Lehua is also visible to the right of Niihau.

The two of us at Polihale



(c) 2006-21 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. Mmm, bento boxes.