January 08, 2016

Waialeale Blue Hole, Kauai, Hawaii.
The Waialeale Hole hole hike is at the base of Mt Waialeale which is one of the most, if not theeeee... most impressive cascade hikes that I have ever seen on the planet! A-freakin-mazing, and no wonder why Hollywood filmed Jurassic Park and King Kong among other movies, this place looks like a place time forgot.

Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
The cliff walls dominate the backdrop and the sky as they reach over 4000ft. into the clouds and to the top of one of the wettest places on earth. At the top of  Mt. Waialeale, geologists and volcanologists believe that there use to be an ancient caldera that was built from volcanic activity rising out of the sea 5 + million years ago where the lava flows kept layering on top of one another, thus creating this massive mountain of sorts which is believed to be an ancient caldera.
Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
At the top of Mt. Waialeale a depression was filled in by impermeable volcanic lava flows and subsequently made a cloud forest out of the plateau that is home to some of the rarest plants and swampy growth ranging from wicked looking ferns, adaptive pine trees, and altered grass lands to thrive in this wet environment. The Rainfall is estimated to fall 360 days out of the year thus making this dwarfed eco-system, a fragile habitat at the top. Since the mountain is impermeable to water absorption the water flows down through Waimea Canyon eating itself deeper into the brittle soil deepening the "Pacific Grand Canyon" on one side and flows over the massive 4000ft. cliff on the other side creating waterfalls thousands of feet in length that almost surround the hikers below.
Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
 I had the pleasure to view Mt. Waialeale from the top the day before so I wanted to get a good view of the bottom which ended up being me dragging my jaw the whole time up the trail in pursuit of the blue hole. These falls are so impressive that it was hard to comprehend and think about how high these falls actually were.  When I was there, there must have been at least 12 muli-tiered falls ranging from 2000ft. to 3500ft. cascading down the wall. At times I felt like a velociraptor would come cutting through the bamboo brush or a pterodactyl would fly through the air towards the wall with a shrill sound of dominance in the air but the occasional tour helicopter flying over my head brought me back to reality as they continued to fly periodically for a glimpse of the weeping wall.
Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
I got up super early, once again to park my rental at the arboretum and start out on a 3.5 dirt road hike just to get to the trailhead. My rental could have made it over the first overflow spill on the road to the next spillway, but than I would have some negociating to do with the potholes before running into a swamp of a pothole that was knee deep in water. This must be the natural filter that keeps people from continuing on the road.

Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
 This is where the 4x4 comes in handy and a jeep to clear over the water would be an ideal automobile to have. After this crossing the road is pretty straightforward, you want to turn right at the T-section and take the left at the fork which leads to a gate, follow that to the Jurassic park entrance gate.

Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
 It was interesting to make it to this point because this is where they had the Jurassic park gate and everything looked really familiar. The palms and the dead looking tree in the foreground became familiar and the opening to the Waialeale started to take its gigantic form.

Entrance to Jurassic Park where the entrance to the Waialeale blue hole allows hikers access to the trail head. Not my Photo.
 continuing down the road it got pretty choppy but after a half mile, you make it to a reservoir and the trailhead to the Blue Hole hike.
Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
There was another tour company there with a guide taking people back to the blue hole and although they invited me to join them, I elected to pursue the trail on my own to get as far as I could before I had to turn around.

Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
 It was a going to be a 10 hour trip to the blue Hole so time was running out for me and I had to make a dash for the bamboo forest and wade through the water as the helicopters started to fly over my head carrying tourists for a high overview of this place.  Now that is something I would like to see from above! Rainbows appeared out of the walls and the jungle below like we were in a biological prism of lucky charms.

Waialeale Blue Hole Hike Kauai Hawaii
I waded over boulders and large rocks in the clear water while gawking at the shear cliffs and towering cliff as it appeared to a little get bigger the closer I got to the blue hole. I ran into a waterfall that I had to climb which must be climbed to the left and that took me to some amazing viewing area wall. I continued on but unfortunately the clouds started to roll in and the threat of a flash flood was becoming more evident.  I decided to turn around about 75 percent of the way to the blue hole. booo!!! well at least I am still alive and can return another day, which is something I am absolutely doing in the very short term!! This is a drainage system for one of the wettest places on earth so care must be in consideration when dealing with this hike and flash flood danger.
road to Waialeale Blue Hole, Kauai, Hawaii.
The Blue hole is one stop but people can actually get to the far back where there is a grotto of sorts and the community of towering waterfalls which must be some of the tallest in the world.  It looks like you can almost be surrounded by this from aerial photos.  I hold this hike in high regard and I would even recommend this hike to the most jaded of hikers for its gothic green monster views. It is on my Even Further short list of places to go.  If you are not proficient with stream crossing, flash flood danger, and land navigation, than I recommend hiring a tour guide which will hike with you to the blue hole or beyond. I also ponder how this frontier would accommodate a canyoneering expedition?
Waialeale Blue Hole from above. not my photo

VIDEO of the Waialeale Blue Hole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQFxwdy5W9A

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