Alaka’i Swamp – Kaua’i
The swamp on the top of the world. At 4000 feet, pearched on the NW slopes of Mt. Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth, lies the Alaka’i. This is a place to walk quietly through. A five million year tropical forest at altitude with over 750 inches of rain per year. Wild ginger, ferns and reptilian plants hang from the branches of the Ohia Lehua trees while bizarre bird calls appear and emerge from the cloud forest. A land of miniatures, sundews and stunted bonsai trees that live in the cloud swept meadows and bogs.
Our trip lead us from the Pihea trailhead along a ridge with views of the Kalalau valley and the open ocean beyond. Get ready for mud as the Pihea trail is notoriously muddy and you’ll be crawling through Kauai’s red dirt for the latter half of this section. At the Alaka’i Swamp Trail Junction we chose to head south.
One of Earth’s truly bizarre places. Just be sure to bring a compass when the clouds role in! Raingear and hiking poles are a must.