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9 extremely challenging but worthwhile hikes

By: Josh Lew on June 25, 2013, 12:22 p.m.
Kalalau Trail

Photo: Karl S Johnson/Flickr

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Kalalau Trail

This beautiful trail through the tropical landscapes of the Na Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is only 11 miles long. However, it has such extreme changes in altitude that most hikers require two days to complete the walk (there are camping areas half-way through the journey). The path travels along the beach and then turns inland and passes through two steep valleys, crossing several sometimes-swollen streams along the way. When traversing the walls of the valleys, trekkers will come across especially narrow spots, including one infamous area known as Crawler's Ledge. The steep climbs and dangerous drop offs are worthwhile for people who appreciate good views. There are stunning overlook spots where hikers can view both the ocean and the tropical valleys.