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This was a great perch. I had a clear line of sight right down to Kalalau Beach. I could clearly see the end of the Kalalau Trail, a kayak parked on the beach, even the volleyball net. I was that close. If I was a hand-glider, I could have been down on the beach in 15 minutes. If I was a base jumper, I could have been down in 5!
Kaaalahina Ridge and Na Pali Coast
Lower Kalepa Ridge
Walls of Honopu Valley
With the exception of my macro lens, I took out and used every single lens I had with me - from wide angle to full zoom with tele-extender. The beach, the near cliffs, the far cliffs, the ocean - everything was a good shot. I just needed to be careful not to drop any expensive gear where I wouldn't be able to retrieve it!
Fantastic Flutings
Closeup on Kalalau Beach
Knife-Edged Ridge and Red Hill
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Distant Maunapuluo
Nakeikionaiwi Cliffs
Brian observes from a distance
After satiating myself photographically, it carefully returned back to the higher point where Jenn and Brian were waiting for me.
Spires of Lower Kalepa
Jenn and Brian at Lookout
Kalepa Ridge and Kalalau Beach
We had lunch on our open ridgetop in the open sun. We continued to be super-fortunate with the weather; a few wispy clouds had formed in upper Kalalau Valley, but other than that, it was sunny and calm, with very little haze. We could not have asked for better conditions. I imagine that there are many days where this ridge is completely socked-in with cloud.

After our lunch break, it was time to turn around and head back up. It wouldn't take us very long to do so, either: the hike down to this point on the ridge was only 1.1 miles in length and 650 feet of elevation loss from Kalalau Lookout. This was not going to be a long hike.
Green Walls of Kalepa Ridge
Climbing back up
Another Kalalau Valley View
Back along the crest of the ridge, back up the steep grassy slopes, back up along the edges of cliffs we went.
courtesy JInnes
Air Plant
Skirting the void
Mists of Kalalau Valley
Back through the tunnel
Slopes of Lama Trees
Brian finishes up
We topped out back at the green railing of the Kalalau Lookout, two hours and twenty minutes after starting out. It was amusing to notice the somewhat startled visitors at the lookout as we popped out of the foliage below the fence. Probably they thought we were some reckless, careless vagabonds!

So, let me summarize for a moment: This trail is awesome! It was just as we'd hoped: spectacular and lightly-trodden.

If you are interested in reading more about our Kalepa Ridge hike, along with lot of extra pictures not in this main narrative, please click here.
Interactive Trackmap - Kalepa Ridge Hike - Double-click to expand
Kalepa Ridge Trail - Hike Data
Start Time: 9:58a.m.
End Time: 12:25p.m.
Duration: 2h26m
Distance: 3.54 km (2.2 mi)
Average Speed: 1.5 km/hr (0.9 mph)
Start Elevation: 4133ft (1260m) *
Max Elevation: 4199ft (1280m) *
Min Elevation: 3564ft (1086m) *
End Elevation: 4199ft (1280m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 631ft (192m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 616ft (188m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
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[ Return to "A Hawaiian Kaleidoscope" Home page | Introduction | Mildly complicated journey | Visit to Pearl Harbour | Downtown Honolulu | Kaua'i - The Garden Isle | Na Pali / Kalalau 1 | Na Pali / Kalalau 2 | Waimea Canyon & Kalepa Ridge | Maui - The Valley Isle | Exploring Kaupo | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 1 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 2 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 3 | Haleakala bike descent | Maui beach & snorkel | Flight to Big Island | Hawai'i Volcanoes NP | Mauna Loa Backpack Prep | Mauna Loa Climb | Mauna Loa Descent | Paniolo Greens | Hapuna Beach Park | Pu'ukohola Hieau | Sunset at Hapuna Beach | Ph'uhonua o Honaunau | Farewell to Hawaii | Supplemental: Kalalau Trail | Supplemental: Kalepa Ridge Trail | Supplemental: Kaupo Trail | Supplemental: Paliku to Haleakala Summit | Supplemental: Mauna Loa via Observatory Trail | Supplemental: USS Bowfin and Missouri | Hapuna Beach Sunset | Hawai'i Flora and Fauna | The Blue Pilot | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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