Hawaii. Just saying the name makes us think about palm trees, waves, sandy beaches, sunsets, and beautiful hula girls. Ahhhhh, paradise….
Hawaii is often on many people’s bucket lists because these beautiful islands cater to pretty much every type of tourist, from families to the super adventurous outdoor women. One of those adventurous females just so happens to be our very own Brand Ambassador, Ashley Boulet. She recently completed the Kalalau hike, a rigorous trail on the island of Kauaʻi. Check out her #GetOutThere Guide below!
#GetOutThere Guide with Ashley Boulet
SUP from the Sierra Nevada Mountains! My name is Ashley (@ayeboulet). I grew up in the mountains and I currently reside in North Lake Tahoe. I embrace a healthy lifestyle while enjoying all that Tahoe’s playground has to offer. I am an outdoor enthusiast with an adventurous heart. The mountains are my home, but I love to travel and backpack as often as possible. On many of my previous backpacking missions I have needed to pack lightly, and the perfect swimsuit is most always a key component! I am a 1st grade teacher in Truckee, CA and in my free time I enjoy yoga, art, and music. I go to many concerts and festivals throughout the year, and I spend a week in the desert at Burningman . I also enjoy fire spinning, painting, and ceramics as my own artistic mediums. In the summer I backpack, hike, paddleboard, and kayak. In the winter you’ll find me on the mountain, as I love to ski. I practice an active happy lifestyle, one that comes from within.
Kalalau Hike, Kauaʻi:
Aloha from Kalalau Valley! This trail is a backpackers and adventure enthusiasts dream. The trail offers pristine views of the Na Pali Coast that are unlike any other coastal hike. This trail is considered strenuous and I would advise making this a multiple night and day mission. The total distance for this hike is approximately 24 miles round trip. The trail leads to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Kalalau Valley. This desolate beach is only accessible by backpacking or kayaking.
How to get there:
For this backpacking mission we flew into the Lihue Airport and then hitched a ride to Ke’e Beach on the northern part of the Island. There are also shuttle services which will take you to the trailhead. A taxi service will be priced around $60 one way. Island Cars is a great rental car service, which offers older style vehicles for a cheap daily/weekly rate. The closest town to the trail head, and last place to stock up on supplies is Hanalei.
The trail begins at Ke’e beach, from there hikers will follow the rugged rocky trail to Hanakapi`ai beach and waterfall. The first few miles of the hike are heavy in foot traffic as this is a popular day hike for travelers. The remaining portion of the trail is strenuous with increasing elevation and vertical climb. The trail is not maintained in many sections, so make every step count. There is a portion of the trail that scales an ocean cliff bluff, the shale rock makes for a dangerous terrain. Each year there are fatalities on this trail.
Camping is easy, and water is plentiful. I would advise filtering the water however. If camping in the lush forest areas be sure to wear bug spray, as there are many mosquitos. Once in Kalalau valley, there are various camping options. In the valley there are ample amounts of fruit and vegetables growing at different times of the year. The valley is home to many diverse travelers who have a profound love for this one of a kind valley. Overnight permits can be obtained online.
I spent 6 days in Kalalau Valley, eating only foods that I was able to carry in my backpack. The trail has a pack in and pack out policy when it comes to trash. This considered, I consumed mostly canned foods, protein bars, granola, and fruits during this backpacking mission.
After returning to Ke’e beach after hiking for 6 days, I was craving some food of hearty substance! Some friends had recommended the notorious Bubba’s Burgers as a must stop. So we were able to hitch a ride back to Hanalei where we scarfed down one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever had! Next to Bubba’s Burgers is a snow cone/ice cream shack called Shave Ice Paradise. If you’re feeling a sweet treat to satisfy your taste buds, this is the place. The homemade Macadamia Nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice is especially delicious.