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!
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!
After satiating myself photographically, it carefully returned back to the higher point where Jenn and Brian were waiting for me.
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.
Back along the crest of the ridge, back up the steep grassy slopes, back up along the edges of cliffs we went.
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