Whether you are an active outdoors enthusiast or a novice hiker, the Hawaiian Islands are full of amazing mountains, valleys, jungles, forests, and oceans to explore. These nine places throughout Hawaii are perfect for anyone who seeks a little more adventure in their life, though really, you can make an adventure out of any activity – or location – in Hawaii.
1) Old Pali Road
You begin from the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, and walk down what was the former Pali Highway, climb down a ladder, and then duck walk underneath the new Pali Highway. Now you have two choices: you can walk down the path for miles, or head into the jungle to find the hidden waterfall.
2) Kilauea Iki Trail
Located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is this wildly popular 4-mile loop trail through the Kilauea Iki crater, the site of a massive 1959 volcanic eruption. The trail – which takes hikers through lush rainforests, near active steam and sulfur vents, and across a solidified lava lake – was voted as the Big Island’s favorite scenic hiking trail by Hawaii Magazine. I guess you could explore the entirety of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park while you’re at it.
3) Waianapanapa State Park
Located on Maui’s Road to Hana is this amazing state park, with an absolutely stunning black sand beach, hikes, a blowhole, ocean caves, sea arches, fresh water pools and cliff diving. What more could a true explorer want in a park? Camping, perhaps? Oh yeah, they have that too.
4) Kalalau Trail
Perhaps one of the most famous hikes on the island of Kauai, this rugged 11-mile trek is challenging, even for those in killer shape. Most people choose to camp at the end of the trail, and make their way back the next morning.
5) Snorkel Oahu’s North Shore
My husband, along with his 14-year-old brother, went snorkeling at Three Tables, on Oahu's North Shore. They swam out a bit too far, and ended up miles down the coast at another beach – tired, and pretty sunburnt. But they also say that it was one of the coolest things they have ever done. If you’re not an experienced swimmer, it’s best to stick to one beach.
6) Uluwehi Falls
Known to locals and visitors as Secret Falls, this is a popular day adventure on Kauai’s east side. The trailhead is located up the Wailua River, so you will need to either book a guided tour or rent kayaks or canoes. Once you reach the trail, it is a muddy – and often slippery – 45-minute hike to the falls, but it is worth every second. And the journey is half the fun, right?
7) Corsair Plane Wreck
Lying 100 feet deep on the ocean floor where it has been guarded by eels and rays since 1946, is the Corsair Airplane Wreck. Scuba divers can explore the wreck from Oahu’s Portlock.
8) Haleakala National Park
With various hiking trails and miles of fascinating terrain to explore, Haleakala is paradise for the explorer within you. Check out the 10-mile sliding sands trail that takes you from Haleakala’s summit to the Paliku Cabins, descending through several miles of loose cinder.
9) Lulumahu Falls
Just steps away from the Nu’uana Pali Lookout is Lulumahu Falls, a popular waterfall hike that leads you through a bamboo forest, a splendid field reminiscent of the Sound of Music, and a dense jungle. Even better – somewhere in the vicinity are the ruins of King Kamehameha’s summer home, though I have not yet found them.
Where is your favorite spot, perhaps off the beaten path, to explore in Hawaii? Share your favorite spots across Hawaii to explore in the comments below. Adventure on, my friends.