Sunday, January 8, 2012

Trail Report: Poomau Ditch Trail

hiking poomau ditch trail
Poomau Ditch Trail Views are awesome!
The island of Kauai sees innumerable tourists every year. Trying to find some solitude was very difficult on my first trip to Kauai. Five years later, I went again but I had a plan. After doing more preparatory reading, I selected several locations which I thought would provide beauty and solitude. One such location was the Poomau Ditch Trail as described in the Kauai Revealed travel book.  This is located deep within the Kauai jungle in Kokee State Park. 

Our adventure began at the ranger station. I walked up to the ranger and asked her what she could tell me about the Poomau Ditch Trail.  She paused, gave me a strange look and then asked the question "Where did you hear about that trail?" in a very accusing manner. I calmly said that I had heard good things about it. She looked at me like I was crazy and told me "the trail was overgrown and was not in any passable condition."  Normally that would discourage me from going if I believe the person was telling the truth. However this sounded like a lie.  My wife overheard the conversation and agreed that it sounded like a lie to her as well. Therefore we disregarded this advice and drove off into the jungle.  I had previously entered GPS waypoints for the road as well as for the trail head. It's a good thing I did that because the signage along the road is lacking.

Trail goes along the hillside.

Another typical trail shot:  nothing difficult or dangerous.


At the location where we expected the trailhead to be, we found a trail in excellent condition. Because of the severe warning at the ranger station, I was expecting the trail to deteriorate any minute. However the ranger's advice was wrong. This trail was in wonderful condition. It was an easy climb, gradually going up along the side of a canyon, eventually reaching a spectacular overlook.  Along the way we would look down into the canyon and see the waterfalls getting farther and farther below us.

Looking down into Poomau canyon from mid-trail.

At our destination, a spur trail went out to a point that defies description.  On the left-hand side, down a very steep drop-off, there are two canyons that converge. Each of the canyons has waterfalls and large rivers that are easily visible from this point. On my right hand side the land drops off extremely steeply, so steep that the bottom cannot be seen. Straight ahead, the ridge extends farther and farther out, becoming more and more knifelike. If the wind blew, I would not be able to stay on the ridge.  It was very narrow. I did not go very far.


At the end of the trail, I went a little bit further. 
Poomau Canyon Waterfall drops in 3 huge steps
The ridge knife-edge
Looking across the valley
We had such a spectacular time. Nobody else was on the trail. I guess everyone else listens to the bad advice. After taking in the view for several more minutes, we decided to journey our way back to the car. We walked through beautiful trees and hillsides covered with grass and flowers.


Walking back to the car

That's the trail report. I hope this information will help others like myself who want to experience this part of Kauai.  Happy travels.

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