Thursday, November 17, 2016

5 Awesome Things about Hiking in Hawaii

If you like hiking or just loving coming in contact with nature, then these 5 awesome things about hiking in Hawaii will sweep you off your feet. Hawaii is an exceptional place to live and one that just helps people to relax and appreciate the value of nature. Just be careful because one hike and you may find yourself obsessed with Hawaii for the rest of your life. 

1. The Volcanic Craters

Hawaii is home to the most spectacular volcanic mountains. You will enjoy the stories and mysteries locals tell about each one of them. Some of the popular volcanoes aNBd trails are the extinct Diamond Head or as it is known by the locals Leahi, and the Kilauea Iki Trail. There are also a variety of backpacking and hiking options such as House of Rising Sun, Haleakala. 

2. An incredible endemic Animal and Plant Life

There is no place in the world where you can get the magnificent scenery of mountains, covered with beautiful flowers where you will hear an Apapane or Elepaio chirping. The climate is changing, and new species are being introduced, it is therefore only a matter of time before all these species get lost. If you visit Haleakala, you may see Silverswords locally known as Ahinahina in full bloom. That is why you need to go and capture some moment for yourself. Looking at all the beauty, you will appreciate how much the rest of the world has lost. 

3. Magnificent Waterfalls

There is no greater site in nature that the view of a waterfall surrounded by lush green vegetation dotted with flowers. It just looks like a paradise of sorts. If you take the winding Hana Highway, you will come to the spectacular Waimoku Falls. If you go to Oahu, you can make a stop at Waimano waterfalls and enjoy the multi-tiered waterfalls before you. If you talk nicely to the local, they will also show you secret waterfalls that are slightly off the main rail.  

4. No winter

There is no winter in Hawaii which means that you can get out and enjoy the sceneries almost any day of the year without freezing. The only months that you might need to stay a little bit indoors or just brave it out are the rainy months that start from November and end in March. The good news is that it is at this time that the spectacular waterfalls also reach their peak flow. Winter months are also the best to hike to the ridges. You will get a nice breeze, and you will not feel the sun as being too much.  

5. No Deadly animals

Yes, that is right. In other places, getting into the jungle is always not such a nice idea because who knows, you might come home with a snake bite. Not in Hawaii, there are no snakes in this island. There are no bear or cougars either. Only wild boars, which some might consider not a danger. If you spot one, just clap really loud, yell at it, and keep moving. It is said that there are strong Hawaiian spirits in some islands, you may experience that "Mana" of ancient Hawaiian culture.  

Everywhere you are in Hawaii rocks, whether you choose the lush valleys, the scenic ridges, the waterfalls, the volcanic mountains, or the wonderful beaches, you will love what you see. If you want a place to unwind and reconnect with nature, then Hawaii is the place to visit. You do not have to pay for anything else, just being there starts the fun. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy

Man, have we been grinding it out.  Between work, play, people visiting and the rest of the stuff that life throws at you...we have definitely been struggling to find some "us" time and take to trails and bays to do our two favorite things on Oahu:  Hike and Snorkel

The good news is that we have a trip for the middle of May schedule to go to Kauai.  We plan on hiking, snorkeling, zip lining, hanging out at the pool, and eating as much as we can jam into 6 days on the short, Island hop.

And, oh man, has it been a while since I've posted over here!  We were actually on the Big Island late last year where we did some really awesome snorkeling with dolphins, manta rays (at night, no less) and took a short hike to the Captain Cook Memorial for some awesome hiking there, too.  We stood on top of Mauna Kea and watched stars and planets together.  It was pretty awesome.

I'll promise to get back here more often.  Thanks for sticking with.

In the meantime, watch our awesome video of snorkeling with dolphins on the Big Island.  It was really one of the most peaceful and amazing experiences I've ever had.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Find the Best Snorkeling Conditions in Hawaii for Tourists and Locals

Since I've arrived in Hawaii I've been chasing the best snorkeling.  The truth is that depending on where you are on the Islands then the snorkeling can vary from day to day and even hour to hour sometimes.

You know, the winter months on Oahu can get down right treacherous.  Winter runs from October to around early April in the Islands.  Yes, its a few degrees cooler and it rains a lot so "winter" is only a relative term, especially if you're from Massachusetts like me.

Don't Snorkel North or South in the "Winter"

So, in the winter, the North Shore and West side of Oahu beaches can be dang treacherous, like I was saying.  Shark's Cove, fore example, can be a calm sheet of glass with gorgeous, clear snorkeling water during the summer months and in the winter be a death trap.  You just don't snorkel on the North Shore or West Oahu during the winter.  Don't do it.

However, depending on weather patterns, storms (on or off the Islands), and tides the snorkel and SCUBA conditions can still be very different from day to day and (in my case) weekend to weekend.

My Go To Snorkel Conditions Report for Oahu and the Other Islands

So, I've been using this page:

Hawaii Weather Today is a pretty awesome reference point for the entire Island chain and includes sections like our snorkel and SCUBA report, surf report and a WHOLE bunch of other stuff that I don't completely understand.  The guy who owns/runs it, Glenn, is a genius in my eyes and he does a thorough and extensive job. 

For people like me, though, he keeps it pretty dang simple.  Snorkeling conditions are either Poor, Marginal, Good or Excellent.  Also, the snorkel report covers 2 days...the current one and the next and, as an added bonus, the water temperature.  And the site does this for South, West, East and North shores.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Beware of Ratings on Oahu Hiking Trails on Review Websites

The more that I've hiked on Oahu, the more I realize that you can't really trust the ratings that some people give to certain trails.

What some people will get on Yelp! and TripAdvisor to rank as a "novice" trails are actually, in many cases, a lot more difficult than that.  Many people don't realize that, while they may hike often, many of the people who are reading these types of reviews are visitors to the islands, or people who don't hike often.  They're looking for a workout and some good views.  They're not looking to get extreme or start the next "Unreal Hawaii".

Sure, some of them are in great shape but that doesn't equate to great hiking shape.

Here's an example that I like to keep in mind:

I did the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail with my wife and daughter recently.  While this isn't an extreme hike, it is not a novice hike.  It is muddy and steep in some areas.  There is an area where you have to use the help of  a rope to get up and down.

So, if my mother or a family with really young kids had read "novice" trail then they may have attempted it. That would have sucked.

In my time hiking on Oahu, I've seen kids with flip-flops being drug through the mud on trail, like the Maunawili Falls Trail.

I've seen a 75 year old lady, in high-wedged shoes huffing and puffing up Diamond Head. I thought she was going to die.

Nothing makes me shake my head more than seeing men and women hiking in flip-flops (or "slippers" as they tend to be called here.)

Keep this mind when Hiking in Oahu:

  • You can't always trust the ratings on review sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor.  Consult many different sites.
  • Always read a hiking safety article that is Hawaii based.  There are unique risks when hiking in Hawaii.
  • If you're just looking for a photo walk or a real easy hike DON'T read Hawaii adventure blogs or extreme hiking blogs.  
  • When in doubt, hire a tour guide.  

The Views are Great Though!