Hawaii, 1997 – Kauai and the Big Island

In 1997, Kathy and I visited Kauai and the Big Island, in conjunction with a fishing trip to Christmas Island, located 1000 miles to the south of the Hawaiian Islands. We were joined by Kathy’s folks, Rainie and Raymond, for part of the visit to Hawaii.

On Kauai, Kathy and I did the 22-mile roundtrip hike to the Kalalau Valley and back, along the rugged Na Pali Coast:

Kalalau Trail, along the Na Pali Coast

Google Earth wasn’t available in 1997, nor was the trail map seen below


The Napali Coast

The Na Pali Coast, from Princeville





Along the first section of trail

Along the first section of trail

Pink flowers

Pink flowers


Approaching Hanakapi’ai Beach


Hanakapi’ai Beach is seen directly ahead


The creek at Hanakapi’ai Beach, as it runs into the ocean


The creek at Hanakapi’ai Beach, as it runs into the ocean


The creek and the very steep canyon where it originates


The creek


Evening at Hanakapi’ai Beach


Evening at Hanakapi’ai Beach, Kathy

The trail to Hanakapi’ai Beach is a very popular day hike.

Trail scene

On the trail the following day

Trail scene

In Hanakoa Valley


Hanakoa Valley, Kathy


Steve, in Hanakoa Stream


Bamboo orchid

Agave stalk

Agave stalk

The climate begins to dry out

The climate begins to dry out some


Little creek

Feral goats

Feral goats

Kalalau sign

Kalalau sign and valley beyond

The Kalalau  Valley was known to be inhabited by a group of hippies, who called themselves “outlaws”, because living in the Valley was not permitted. It’s been estimated that they were about 20 in number, and we met a few coming and going along the trail.

The cliffs above Kalalau Beach are amongst the most photographed in the world – extraordinarily steep, and sculpted into knife edge ridges, like nowhere else.

Waterfalls, behind the Kalalau Beach

Waterfalls and famously steep and sculpted cliffs and ridges, at Kalalau Beach

Kalalau cliffs, the camping area and the beach

Kalalau cliffs, knife-edge ridges, the camping area, waterfall and the beach

View of more ridges further down the coast

View of more knife-edge ridges further down the coast


Nene, at our campsite, looking for a hand-out

On the return

Agaves, on the return trip

Blue flowers, on the return

Blue flowers, on the return trip

Waterfall on Hanaloa stream

Waterfall on Hanakoa stream

same as above

Dense vegetation

Hiking, and just getting wet in the rain

Hiking in the rain – not even trying to stay dry

Sunset, back at Hanakaap'ia

Pandanus tree at sunset, back at Hanakapi’ai

Chilly evening

Selfie – chilly evening

A last look at Hanakap'ai Creek

A last look at Hanakapi’ai Creek

We returned to Hanakapi’ai Beach for our last camp. The next morning, as we were strolling back towards the trailhead, a couple, with an infant in a backpack, were going in the opposite direction. I stepped off to the side of the trail to make room for them, but stepped to the outside, not the inside, of the trail. Next thing I knew I was falling head-first down the extremely steep slope … but quickly got stopped by the vegetation. I needed help getting back up to the trail. Whew!

We then met-up with Kathy’s folks to see more of Kauai. We drove up the Kokee Road, to view Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley from above.


Waimea Canyon

Kalalau Berach seen from an overlook, 5000' above

Kalalau Valley, seen from the overlook at the end of Kokee Rd, 4144′ above sea level


Kalalau Valley telephoto view. Note the knife-edge crest of the ridge in the foreground

Then we flew together to the Big Island, to spend some time at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

Rainie and Raymond, at the Volcanoes Hotel

Rainie and Raymond, at the Volcanoes Hotel

The Halemaumau Crater, with lots of steam

The Halemaumau Crater, with lots of steam

Out for dinner

Out for dinner with the folks, Kathy

Ropy lava, on the Chain of Craters Rd.

Ropy lava, on the Chain of Craters Rd.

Ropy lava, on the Chain of Craters Rd

Ropy lava, on the Chain of Craters Rd

The road disappears under the latest flow

Kathy and Rainie. The road disappears under the latest flow

In the 8 yrs. since our prior visit, flows along the western margin of the lava field had over-run the campground we had used in 1987, and some miles of road. But on this occasion (as opposed to 1987), the NPS were allowing people to walk anywhere they wished on the lava field, including all the way to Pu’u O’o, currently the most active vent. But such a hike would have been long, tough, and hot. So, instead of that, Rainie and Raymond treated us to a helicopter flight over Pu’u O’o:

Kathy, in the helicopter

Kathy, in a helicopter for her first time, with Rainie behind

Lava flow

Lava flow

Lava and the ocean

Lava spills into the ocean

Lava and the ocean

Lava spills into the ocean

Pu'u O'o

Pu’u O’o

A torrent of lave, in Pu'u O'o

A torrent of lave, in Pu’u O’o

One of the subdivisions lost to lava

One of the subdivisions over-run by lava

House isolated by lava flows

House isolated by lava flows

Kathy and I then flew to Honolulu, for our flight to Christmas Island, and it’s world-famous bonefishing. Here’s the link to that post:


About Evensteven

I am a photographer and author, and live in Embudo, New Mexico, alongside the Rio Grande. I have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: The Grand: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447 I have also published six additional iBooks: 1. The Salt River: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-salt-river/id12449222822. 2. Coyote Buttes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/coyote-buttes/id1271773201 3. Four Cornered, the Land: https://books.apple.com/us/book/four-cornered/id1384038899 4. Four Cornered, The Rivers: https://books.apple.com/us/book/four-cornered-book-two-the-rivers/id1402287568 5. Rio Marañon: https://books.apple.com/us/book/four-cornered-book-two-the-rivers/id1402287568 6. Rio Grande: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rio-grande-new-mexico/id1469126321
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