This Hawaiian Island Is Home to Breathtaking Waterfalls, Lush Hiking Trails, and Landscapes You’ve Seen in the Movies

  A verdant jewel towards the northwestern edge of the Hawaiian archipelago, Kauai is commonly known as the “Garden Isle.” It’s a well-earned moniker: nearly 97% of this rugged landscape remains undeveloped. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails hug pristine shorelines and moss-covered canyons. Cathedral-like spires of rock soar above the surf.

Honeymooners can have Maui. This place is reserved for those in search of natural wonder. And with the reopening of the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park earlier this year, there’s never been a better time to marvel at its majesty.

Kauai’s north shore was cut off to visitors after massive flooding wiped out parts of the roadway in April of 2018. It took 14 months of restoration to bring traffic back to Hāʻena State Park — gateway to the Kalalau Trail, Hawaii’s most famous hiking destination. The closure gave the local community an opportunity to better manage a delicate ecosystem that had become threatened in recent years.

“We were being inundated with two to three thousand visitors a day,” recalls Presley Wann, president of the Hui Maka’ainana O Makana, a nonprofit aimed at protecting the natural and cultural resources of the region. “Now you must plan visits to Ha’ena by making reservations on its website. There is a 900 person per day cap. And the feedback from both local residents and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive.”

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