For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

Homonalino Beach is very quiet, secluded and not well known to tourists. Unlike many of the Big Island’s Public Beaches, Honomalino isn’t accessible by road. This makes it a nice peaceful and quiet place to relax. The hike to the beach from the parking lot is just under a mile, requires little effort, and when you reach the beach, you’ll be rewarded with picturesque scenery and a beautiful black sand beach.

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 20 minute walk each way

Location: 40 miles south of Kona

Distance: 1.5 miles (2.5km) round trip

Elevation Gain: none

Difficulty: 3/10 – Walking over lava rock

Season: Year Round

Additional Requirements: N/A

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kailua-Kona: Head south on Highway 11 (Alii Hwy) out of the city for roughly 34 miles until you reach Milolii Rd (just south of the 89-mile marker). Take a right on Milolii Rd and follow the long, progressively narrowing road for 4.5 miles through the fishing village of Milolii until it ends at Milolii Beach Park. The trailhead is off the Milolii Beach Parking Area.

From Hilo: Just like from Kona, head south from Hilo on the Highway 11 for about 85 miles until you reach Milolii Rd (between the 88 and 89-mile marker). Take a left on Milolii Rd and follow the long, progressively narrowing road for 4.5 miles through the fishing village of Milolii until it ends at Milolii Beach Park. The trailhead is off the Milolii Beach Parking Area.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: The trail crosses sharp sections of lava rock so footwear is important. The hike can be done in flip flops but closed toed shoes will protect you from stubbing a toe on the sharp rock. There is also a brief section of the trail where you’ll have to walk through water so bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet.
  • Water: This hike isn’t very long but it’s always important to be prepared and stay hydrated.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy at the beach.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Snorkeling Gear: Bring your snorkeling gear, there are a lot of fish, caves, and lava rock formations to look at under the water.
  • Games: Bring a beach towel and some beach games. Football, Frisbee, spike ball, paddle ball, water bouncers.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Campfires: No campfires or overnight camping allowed on this beach.

No Facilities:There are no facilities on this beach of any kind so be sure to plan ahead.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike to Honomalino Bay is straightforward and takes around 20 minutes.  From the Miloli’i Beach Park there is a marked trail that will take you to Honomalino Bay.

Image 1: Honomalino Bay Adventure Map

Step-By-Step Guide:

On the South side of the Milolii Beach parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) a sign marks the beginning of the trail to Honomalino Beach. Follow the marked trail south!

Image 2: Honomalino Beach Trailhead

Make sure you’re on the public trail and off people’s private property. You will see yellow arrows painted on the black lava rock indicating that you are on the right track. Initially the trail follows a lava rock retaining wall right next to the ocean. Stay to the right of this wall. At one point you will have to get your feet wet as the trail cuts through a shallow section of ocean.

Image 3: The trail to Honomalino Beach

After the short water hop, the trail should be quite clear. Follow the trail as it weaves through dense vegetation and over barren lava flows. Just before the beach, you’ll pass some more private property, remain on the trail and you’ll be at Homonolino in no time!

Image 4: Vegetation along the trail
Image 5: A tree overhanging the trail

Honomalino Beach (Route marker #2 on the map) is a beautiful black sand beach and a great place to spend a relaxing day. When you have got your fill of the beach return to your vehicle the same way you came.

Image 6: Honomalino Beach

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Honomalino Bay adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

Have fun out there!

– ETA

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Despite its politically incorrect name, Squaw’s Tit is one of the best hikes in the Canmore area.  The route takes you through dense forest, up a beautiful creek bed and along a narrow ridge with a shear drop off to the valley below.  The climax of the hike is an exciting scramble to the summit.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 5-7 Hours

Location: Canmore, AB

Distance: 12km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2500m

Elevation Gain: 1300m

Difficulty: 8/10 – Route finding, exposure, large elevation gain and moderate scrambling.

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Canmore: Take Hwy 1 just west of Canmore to the Harvie Heights exit. Take the exit and head northwest 800m down Harvie Heights Road. Park your vehicle in the small lot on the north side of the road.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain.Be sure to bring enough water for 5-7 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the summit.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Squaw’s Tit is minutes from Canmore but does not receive near as much traffic as other hikes in the area.  For this reason, there is some route finding required at the beginning of this hike.  Through multiple treks to this summit, we have determined the easiest and most well defined route.  Starting from the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) off Harvie Heights Road there is a trail leading into the dense forest. From there you will travel along well-maintained paths to a drainage (Route marker #2 on the map). Follow this drainage until it becomes impassable and take the trail up the east side of the valley (Route marker #3 on the map) through the thinning trees.   Once you clear the tree line follow the ridge to the protruding nipple where some scrambling is required to reach the summit (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Squaw's Tit Adventure Map- Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Squaw’s Tit Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) there is a small trail heading into the forest. Follow this trail and you will come to a sign displaying the network of trails in the area.

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Anderson beginning down the trail

 

Make your way west to the drainage (Route marker #2 on the map) indicated by the blue line on the map. Our recommended route it to follow the “Ridge Traverse” and “Tibits Quarry Trail” as indicated by the red arrow.

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The trail to the drainage

 

The drainage is large and impossible to miss. Follow the drainage northeast up the mountain.

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson hiking up the drainage

 

Depending on the water levels in the drainage, it may be easy to walk right up the middle.  If there is a larger volume of water flowing through the drainage keep to the right hand side as this is the direction you will ultimately go.  There is some minor scrambling as you climb up the drainage over small waterfalls.

 

The drainage reaches a point where it is too difficult to continue travelling up but there is a small path on the right hand side (Route marker #3 on the map). Take this trail east up the side of the drainage valley.

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: The trail out of the drainage

 

At this point you will start to gain elevation very rapidly.  The trail will take you to the east up through the trees.  Once you break through the tree line the trail ends and you will be on a shale slope.  Ascending up the shale is difficult and frustrating, so work your way left to the ridge.

 

There is a large drop to the valley below from the ridge. Follow the ridge to the summit being cautious of your footing on the lose rock.  Some scrambling is required as you make your way along the ridge.

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: The ridge to the summit

 

After a physically demanding climb up the ridge you will be presented with your final challenge of the hike, summiting the nipple. From your current location, it will be very clear as to how this summit received its name.  Although it looks like the climb to the top is near impossible it is relatively moderate.  Stay to the left as you approach the nipple and ascend the slope on that side.

Continue as far around the northwest side of the nipple as you can and there is a fairly easy trail that will lead up and to the right to the summit (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Head around the right side of the nipple
Squaw's Tit - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Ascend the back side of the nipple

 

Once you have reached the top, take in the incredible views of Canmore and the surrounding area.  Make sure to take a brief rest and replenish on food and water as the downward trek is challenging and requires as much attention and care as the climb up.  Return down the same route you ascended.

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Squaw’s Tit adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Yamnuska (Mt. Laurie) is a moderate scramble with unique elements that make it a very fun and popular hike.  Highlights include an exciting walk along the ledge of a cliff assisted by a chain, a great scree slope for the descent, and a spectacular view of both the mountains and prairies.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 Hours

Location: 65 km west of Calgary off of Hwy 1A

Distance: 10.5 km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2240m

Elevation Gain: 900m

Difficulty: 7/10 – Route finding, rapid elevation gain, and basic scrambling.

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 65 km to Hwy 1X (exit 114).  Follow 1X 3.5 km north to Hwy 1A and head 2km east.  Turn left into the marked Yamnuska day use area.

From Canmore: Take the Trans Canada (Hwy 1) east approximately 20 km to Hwy 1X (exit 114).  Follow 1X 3.5 km north to Hwy 1A and head 2km east.  Turn left into the marked Yamnuska day use area.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long with lots of elevation gain.Be sure to bring enough water for 3-4 hours of physical exertion.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the summit.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The starting point for this hike is at the Yamnuska day use area. From there you will hike around the east side of the mountain and ascend the north face.  On the descent you will make your way around the west side of the mountain and take the scree slope down under the south cliff face to return to the day use area.

 

Yamnuska Adventure Map - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Yamnuska Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

Follow the trail from the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map) about 500m to a sign that shows climbers to the left, hikers to the right (Route marker #2 on the map). Take the route to the right

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trail from the Parking lot
Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The trail fork

 

The path will wind through the forest to the bottom of the east side of the main cliff face. From this point on there is some scrambling required to reach the mountain’s summit.

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail to the base of Yamnuska

 

The easiest path is conveniently marked with blue spray painted squares.  The path begins by climbing through the Chimney in the cliff (Route marker #3 on the map).

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Blue markers along the trail
Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: The Chimney

 

Follow the path from one blue square to the next winding your way up the north side of the mountain.

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The trail on the north side of Yamnuska
Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: The painted blue markers

 

You will eventually come to a narrow path along the edge of a cliff with a chain to hang onto as you traverse (Route marker #4 on the map).   Follow the chain across the side of the cliff and then down a small ledge.  From here follow the path as it dips below the next cliff before ascending to the summit (Route marker #5 on the map).

You can descend the mountain the same way you came, but the fastest, and most fun, route down is the path to the west side of the cliff face. Take the trail down the scree to the west.  You will eventually wrap around to the south side of the cliff face.

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The route down from the summit

 

Once under the south cliff face follow the path as far to the east as you can go.  There will be a few paths that appear to head down the scree slope below but you want to continue as far as you can to the very last one (Route marker #6 on the map). Take the last scree shoot that cuts straight down and continues as a path into the trees below.  The descent down the slope is a lot of fun as you can run or hop down the loose scree all the way to the trees below.

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Traverse the base of Yamnuska
Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: The scree slope

 

Once you are back in the trees follow the marked path to the sign you passed on the way up pointing climbers left and hikers right (Route marker #2 on the map). From the sign follow the trail down back to the parking lot.

 

Yamnuska - Canmore - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Follow the blue markers back to the trail

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Yamnuska adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

The Puna Coast Trail to Apua Point is a long and beautiful scenic trail over many different kinds of lava rock. Along the trail, there are ruins from ancient Hawaii, coastal cliffs and hardened lava flows from different eruptions over hundreds of years!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 10 hours or an overnight trip

Location: Southern Coast of Volcano National Park

Distance: 10 mile (16km) round trip

Highest Elevation: 150ft

Elevation Gain: 150ft

Difficulty: 7/10 – Black lava rock with uneven footing under the Hawaiian sun with no shade

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Kailua-Kona: Head south on Highway 11 (Alii Hwy) out of the city for roughly 95 miles until you reach Crater Rim Drive in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Take a right onto Crater Rim Drive and follow it south through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Chain Of Craters Rd. Follow Chain Of Crater Rd roughly 16 miles to the Apua Point Trailhead. The Trailhead is not very well marked. There is a bit of a shoulder on the road to pull over at and a sign marking the start of the Puna Coast Trail.

From Hilo: Just like from Kona, head south from Hilo on the Highway 11 for about 25 miles until you reach Crater Rim Drive in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Take a right onto Crater Rim Drive and follow it south through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Chain Of Craters Rd. Follow Chain Of Crater Rd roughly 16 miles to the Apua Point Trailhead. The Trailhead is not very well marked. There is a bit of a shoulder on the road to pull over at and a sign marking the start of the Puna Coast Trail.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the lava rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike may not involve a lot of elevation gain, but it is long and hot! Be sure to bring enough water for 8-10 hours of physical exertion. 4 quarts/liters recommended.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well. Try to avoid very salty snacks because they just make you thirstier. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice. If you’re camping overnight, you will need to pack more than just snacks.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Keep yourself shaded from the sun. Wear a hat, shirt, and shorts. If you plan on staying overnight at the bay, a hoody, windbreaker or a pair of sweats. It doesn’t rain often, but it’s nice to be prepared for these situations.
  • Sunscreen: It will most likely be sunny so if you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • First Aid Kit: Lava rock is incredibly sharp and will cause cuts if you stumble and fall. Be safe and stay on your feet!
  • Sleeping Gear: For the overnight hikers, sleeping bag, hammock, or tent.
  • Headlamp/flashlight: If you are camping you will want a light for when it gets dark.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: Scorpions, back widows and centipedes can be found in shaded cracks and under rocks. They don’t bite often, but give your clothes and shoes a shake before putting them on in the morning.

Turtles: Endangered Hawksbill sea turtles nest at Apua Point. This is also a resting place for Green sea turtles. DO NOT camp in areas posted as turtle nesting areas.

Permit: All overnight backcountry camping requires a permit. Permits are 10 dollars and must be obtained from the backcountry office no more than 24 hours in advance (They can be reserved up to a week in advance). The backcountry office is located just off of Crater Rim Drive and is open from 8am-4pm daily.

Facilities: There is an outhouse at Apua Point as well as a water catchment tank. Check with a ranger at the permit house for information on the level of water in the catchment tanks.

Volcanic Area: The volcano is active and conditions are always changing. Stop into the Visitor’s Center to check for any trail closures or hazards.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike to Apua point is a hot, exposed trek over ancient lava flows.  The trail can be difficult to follow at times, but as long as you keep the coast to your left, you will eventually reach Apua Point.

 

Apua Point Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Hiking To Apua Point Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The hike to Apua point starts on the side of Chain Of Crater Rd (Route marker #1 on the map). A sign marks the beginning of the Puna Coast Trail which will take you to Apua Point. Follow the trail over the lava rock west with the coast on your left.

 

Apua Point Trailhead - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Anderson at the Trailhead

 

The Puna Coast Trail is not very well defined! The only way to be sure that you are still on the trail is to keep following the rock cairns. Rock cairns are basically just big piles of black lava rock, and they’re spaced out every few hundred feet.  As long as you keep passing them, you’re on the trial.

 

Apua Point Cairns - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Cairns Mark the Trail
Apua Point Trail - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Following the Lava Rock Trail

 

After a few miles, far off in the distance, you will see about a dozen palm trees swaying in the wind. These palm trees mark Apua Point! If you keep following the rock cairns, they will eventually take you right to the coast.

 

Apua Point Coastline - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson Checking Out The Coast
Apua Point Coastline - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Waves Crashing Against The Coastal Cliff

 

Not too long after walking beside the coast, you’ll come to an ancient goat corral. These rock walls are the remains of an ancient fishing village destroyed by a tsunami after the 1868 Hawaiian earthquake. These rock walls might be your only chance for a little shade for the day.

 

Apua Point Trail - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The Lava Goat Corral
Apua Point Trail - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Lava Rock Wall Rubble

 

From the fishing village remains the hike to Apua point is about 2 miles. The green palm trees should be fully in view so follow the trail as best you can to the point. When you make it, take some time to explore or relax on the beach and enjoy the sunset.

 

Apua Point - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Hammocking at Apua Point

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Apua Point adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Most people that experience the Blue Hole don’t actually step foot in it, but view it from the window of a helicopter. The Blue Hole is surrounded by miles of thick rainforest, mountains, and rivers, which makes it one of the most remote places on Kauai. It is also one of the most difficult places to reach by foot. Seeing the Blue Hole’s 3000ft high wall of waterfalls, sprinkling life into the canyon makes the struggle getting there worth the time and effort. Also, helicopters are expensive!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 8-10 Hours

Location: 8 miles west of Wailua

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km) round trip from the dam

Highest Elevation: 1950ft (633m)

Elevation Gain: 1500ft (450m)

Difficulty: 10/10 – Difficult route finding, boulder hopping, wet slippery trail.

Season: Year Round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Lihue: Take the HI-51 N, it will turn into HI-56 N, after about 4 miles you’ll come into Wailua. Take your very first left after the bridge in Wailua onto Hwy 580/Kuamoo Rd. Follow Hwy 580 west for 5.5 miles until you reach the Keahua Arboretum (Route marker #1 on the driving map). Beyond this, the road becomes unpaved, muddy and quite bumpy. Shortly after the Arboretum, the road continues up a small hill until you reach a Hunter’s Check Station/’Power Line Trailhead’ (Route marker #2 on the driving map). The road will fork here, take the left fork. Follow this road downhill and you will come to two stream crossings. The first stream has a concrete bottom and is safe for any vehicle, the second is not. We didn’t have a 4WD vehicle so we parked in-between the two streams and walked from there (Route marker #3 on the driving map). Continue on the road and you’ll reach a T intersection (Route marker #4 on the driving map) where you should take a right. Follow this road until you reach another stream. This stream might be impassable for a car and vehicles without 4WD. If you have a 4WD vehicle, continue across the stream, if not, this is where you will park and begin the hike.

 

The Blue Hole Driving Map - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: The Blue Hole Driving Map

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes that can get wet! Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike is long. Be sure to bring enough water for 8-10 hours of physical exertion. Bring water purification tablets if you want to refill in the streams.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the Blue Hole.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: There is a very high chance it will rain. Bring a rain coat. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen:If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight: This hike is long and the trail is difficult to follow. Make sure you bring a light in case you make a wrong turn and the hike takes longer than planned.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Shoes: If you approach this hike with the thought that you will keep your shoes dry/clean, you are mistaken. The sooner you accept that your feet will get soaking wet and muddy, the sooner you can march up and down the river instead of prancing around the bushes to keep your feet dry.

Slippery Rocks:When rock hopping up and down the river, be aware that rocks are deceivingly slippery. Some rocks may look like they’re dry and have grip but they can fool you. This would be a very bad place to sprain an ankle.

Flash Floods:Heavy rains can cause flash floods in streams and rivers. If there is flooding and fast-moving water, attempting to cross streams and rivers can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.

Route Finding:This trail is very difficult to follow and it is easy to get lost. Always tell someone where you are going in case something goes wrong.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary:The overall idea of this hike is to follow the river as far as you can until you reach the base of Mount Waialeale. In order to accomplish this, you will have to rock hop along the river, climb up a waterfall, through a gate, down some ropes and then you’ll reach the Blue Hole.

 

The Blue Hole Adventure Map - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Blue Hole Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

We were driving a Nissan Maxima and were unable to cross the final stream which left us walking from route marker #3 on the driving map to the trailhead. From where we parked you must hike to the T-intersection (Route marker #4 on the driving map) where you take a right and followed the muddy road to a yellow gate. Follow the road through the yellow gate and travel another 1.5 miles to the Jurassic Park gate (Route marker #5 on the driving map).

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The Yellow Gate
The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Following the Muddy Road

 

This gate may look like two telephone poles, but it is a significant mile marker. A half mile past this and you’ll reach a dam/weir where the hike begins (Route marker #1 on the adventure map).

 

The Jurassic Park Gate - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson at the Jurassic Park Gate

 

You may notice other vehicles parked here.If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can save a considerable amount of time by driving this portion.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Arriving at the dam
The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The dam

 

From the dam, make your way upstream on the right/north side of the riverbed. Trails will appear and disappear from the river side, take them when possible but don’t allow yourself to get so far into the jungle that you cannot see the river.  Hunters use these trails and have diversions leading them away from the stream, so be careful not to get too far from the river. After 2600ft (800m) on the right side of the river, hop over to the left/south side of the river and follow that trail. You will cross a small stream to reach the right bank of another river where the river had forked. Don’t worry as these river forks will all meet up and converge into one river again. When in doubt, follow the fullest option upstream and that will keep you pointed in the right direction.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Anderson following the “trail”
The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: At points the trail is well defined

 

2 miles from the dam you will come to a large waterfall (Route marker #2 on the adventure map). This is a great place to swim, cool off and clean yourself up (the “cleaning yourself up” might be more worthwhile to do on the way back). This pool is fed by three streams, a large one to your left, the middle stream that feeds the waterfall, and one off to the right. In order to remain on the trail to the Blue Hole, you want to make your way to the top of the waterfall and follow the middle stream (the one that feeds the main waterfall). There is a trail to the left of the waterfall that will take you up. It is not very noticeable.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: The Waterfall

 

After the waterfall, the trail will be marked with blue ribbon. At this point, these trail markers should be followed, and they will take you along the south (left) side of the middle stream to the Blue Hole. In 0.6 miles (1km) the stream forks, take the left fork.  If there are no trail markers in sight, walk along the left/south side of the river bank until you see a trail marker. Eventually the stream will become impassable and the trail markers will be what lead you up and around these impassable parts.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 11: Blue trail markers
The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 12: Another trail marker

 

The trail will rise and take you along the gorge where you can look down at the stream below. Eventually you will come to a waterfall with pig fence across it. The pig fence has a gate (Route marker #3 on the adventure map), go through it.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 13: The Gate

 

From this point on you will be surrounded by large canyon walls.  Follow the rough trail as it veers left deep into the canyon. Eventually you will hit the back wall, also known as the Blue Hole! Soak in the views as you are standing in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The return trip is just as challenging as the trek in, so be sure to leave yourself enough time to hike out before sundown.

 

The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 14: The Blue Hole
The Blue Hole - Kauai - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 15: The Blue Hole

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Blue Hole adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

The hike to Nanue Falls is very short and only 18 miles north of Hilo.  Although this hike is short and doesn’t require much time, it is challenging as there is no trail and you must rock hop along slippery boulders up the creek. The waterfall is beautiful and worth the trek, but even the most sure-footed hikers are likely to take a slip and end up getting wet at some point.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1 Hour

Location: 18 miles north of Hilo

Distance: Less than a mile

Highest Elevation: 300 ft

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: 4/10 – Slippery boulder hopping necessary

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Hilo: Take Hwy 19 north of Hilo for 18 miles and take your first left passed mile marker 18. (If you’re coming from the north, after mile marker 19, you will cross two bridges, after crossing the second bridge, take your first right) follow this road for 2.5 miles past the World Botanical Garden registration area. 75ft after crossing a small bridge there is an area on the right just passed a guard rail to pull over and park your car.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear you can get wet: Your shoes will very likely get wet. Water shoes would be a good option.
  • Water: This hike is short but it is always smart to bring a little bit of water.
  • Snacks: A snack might be necessary if you plan to stay at the falls for any length of time.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen:If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience. There were a lot of mosquitoes on this hike so definitely pack some bug spray.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Cliff Jumping: Always be cautious when jumping off cliffs into water. Know your limits and check the water below you thoroughly before jumping to make sure it is deep enough.

Flash Floods: This area of the Big Island receives over 100 inches of rain annually. Heavy rains can cause flash floods in streams and rivers. If there is flooding and fast moving water, attempting to cross streams and rivers can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The hike to Nanue Falls is short and straightforward. From the Nanue Bridge the hike follows the Nanue stream upstream to Nanue Falls.

 

Nanue Falls Adventure Map - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Nanue Falls Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

When you’ve passed the bridge, and found your spot to park beyond the guard rail (Route marker #1 on the map), take a walk back onto the bridge. This isn’t part of the hike, but the bridge is pretty neat. It was built in 1930 and has the word “Nanue” etched into the concrete. Running underneath this bridge is Nanue stream. Take a look upstream as that’s where you’ll be going.

 

Nanue Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Nanue Bridge

 

Over the guard rail you parked beside on the norht side of the road is a path through some thick overgrowth down to Nanue stream. Once you hit the stream, take a right and walk under the bridge. Be careful walking under the bridge as the ledges don’t have a lot of area to walk on. If you want to enbrace getting your shoes wet, jump in and just walk up the stream through the water. You’re bound to slip on a rock and get your shoes wet at some point, might as well embrace it early.

 

From the bridge, this hike is pretty straight forward, just head upstream until you reach the waterfall. Hop along the rocks whichever way you think is easiest or if you have already got your shoes wet, head straight up the creek. The rocks can be slippery so be a little extra wary as to where you plant your feet.  Beware of spider webs, there are a lot of them.

 

Nanue Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Mattson descending to the stream
Nanue Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson heading upstream

 

From the bridge to the falls is no more than 800 yards. After rounding a bend, you’ll be able to see the falls and a nice pool to swim in at the bottom (Route marker #2 on the map).  Enjoy your time at the falls but be very careful if you choose to jump!  We thoroughly checked the depth of the pool prior to cliff jumping but the depth of the water can change and newly fallen rocks can create unseen cliff jumping hazards.

 

Nanue Falls - Hawaii Big Island - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Nanue Falls

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Nanue Falls adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Ice Box Canyon is a great hike for a hot summer day. The narrow walls of the canyon stand hundreds of feet high and provide shade that keeps the canyon cooler than the surrounding desert. Depending on the season, Ice Box Canyon can contain beautiful streams and waterfalls flowing down the back of the canyon. The view looking through the canyon back toward Red Rock Conservation Area is unique and really highlights the distant red colored rock of the Calico Hills. As you hike through the canyon, there is boulder hopping and scrambling opportunities that make this hike both challenging and enjoyable.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-4 Hours

Location: 27km (17 miles) west of the Las Vegas Strip in Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

Distance: 5km (2.5 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1532m (5026ft)

Elevation Gain: 352m (1154ft)

Difficulty: 6+/10 – Boulder hopping and scrambling are required to get to the pools. Very advanced technical scrambling is required to climb higher in the Canyon.

Season: Year round (December to March for best views of waterfall)

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Las Vegas: Take Nevada State Route 159 5.5 miles west from the Las Vegas city limits and turn right onto Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop Dr.  The fee to enter the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area is $7 dollar per vehicle.  Once you have entered the Conservation Area, the Visitor’s Center is on your left. Drive along Scenic Loop Dr. approximately 4 miles and park at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.  Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: Bring two bottles of water per person to stay hydrated while you explore the canyon.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing :Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible there will be snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny, and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss along the way.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: Watch where you put your hands and feet!  Rattlesnakes, scorpions and venomous spiders may be taking shelter under rocks and shrubs where you can’t see.  Never try to touch, collect or kill these animals.

 

Heat and Dehydration: In Red Rock Canyon there is little shade and the days can be very hot.  Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day.  Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake.  Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking.

 

Flash Floods: Avoid hiking in canyons during rainstorms and move to higher ground.  Due to the topography of the area, flash flooding can occur very quickly. Do not attempt to drive or walk through water flowing across a road or trail.

 

Scrambling:  Walking or climbing up steep terrain that requires the use of ones hands is considered scrambling.  Scrambling does not require the use of specific climbing equipment such as ropes or harnesses and for this reason exposed scrambling can be very dangerous. Stay within your limits when scrambling, and always keep in mind that it is often easier to scramble up a rock face then climb back down it.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: The starting point for this hike is at the Ice Box Canyon Parking Lot. From there a well-travelled trail heads west across the desert to the mouth of the canyon. Once inside the canyon, the trail gets a little more difficult to follow.  You will have to climb over large boulders and crouch under some low hanging tree branches as you head deeper into the canyon. At the far end of the Canyon, depending on season, you will come to a series of waterfalls and pools.  From here there is the ability to scramble higher up in the Canyon to get an extraordinary view looking back toward where you came from.

 

Ice Box Canyon Adventure Map - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Ice Box Canyon Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

The trail begins at mile 8 on the 13-Mile Scenic Drive at the Ice Box Canyon Parking Lot (Route marker #1 on the map).  From the lot follow the well-traveled trail that heads west towards the mountains. It’s best to start this hike early in the day as you are exposed to the hot sun until you enter the canyon.

 

Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The Ice Box Canyon Trailhead
Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: The trail heading towards the canyon

 

Once in the canyon, the trail gets more difficult to follow and there is some tricky rock hopping required. The trail isn’t well marked but if you stay in the wash weaving your way around boulders west into the canyon, you’re headed the right direction.  A large fallen Ponderosa Pine is a landmark (Route marker #2 on the map) along the trial that will let you know you’re headed the right way.

 

Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: Anderson scrambling over a large boulder
Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Anderson crossing the Ponderosa Pine

 

From the Ponderosa Pine the canyon forks left (south) and right (north). Stay left on the trail and after about a 5-minute walk you will reach a small pool of water.  The rocks around the pool have been polished by water for hundreds of year and are very slippery so watch your footing.

 

Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson walking around the lower pool

 

Continue around the first pool as there is another pool and waterfall a short scramble above (Route marker #3 on the map).  At this point the trail hits a dead end but it is a scenic spot to enjoy a snack, take a break and enjoy the view looking back at the canyon.

 

If you are extra adventurous and an experienced scrambler, you can trace your way back to the Ponderose Pine and head north. Not far from the Ponderosa Pine on the north side of the canyon there are some ropes anchored in place (Route marker #4 on the map). These can be of assistance on the way down if you choose to continue climbing up the canyon wall.

 

From here on there is no marked route higher up the canyon wall.  If you enjoy free climbing, there is the ability to get above the waterfall at the pools visited earlier, but it requires some very technical climbing.  DO NOT climb higher than what you feel comfortable with and keep in mind that it is often easier to climb up something than back down it.

 

Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Mattson scrambling higher up the canyon wall
Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Anderson using the ropes to descend

 

After some intense climbing up the canyon wall the view looking back from the canyon to Red Rock Canyon is stunning and an awesome reward for the hard work required to get to this point.  Be extra cautious on the return journey as climbing down the canyon wall can be as difficult if not more difficult than the climb up.

 

Ice Box Canyon - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Anderson checking out the view looking back into the canyon

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Rawson Lake adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Turtlehead Peak Trail is an 8km (5 mile) round trip hike in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This steep, well-travelled trail is one of the most difficult day hikes in Red Rock Canyon. The climb can be quite strenuous, but the beautiful view from the peak is well worth it. Intermediate level scrambling and loose rocks along the trail add to the difficulty of this hike. Red Rock Canyon is just a short drive from Las Vegas and this hike is a great option for those wanting to get away from Sin City for a day of adventure.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 3-4 Hours

Location: 27km (17 miles) west of the Las Vegas Strip in Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

Distance: 8km (5 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1932m (6300ft)

Elevation Gain: 550m (1800ft)

Difficulty: 6/10 – Rapid elevation gain

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Las Vegas: Take Nevada State Route 159n5.5 miles west from the Las Vegas city limits and turn right onto Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop Dr. The fee to enter the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area is $7 dollar per vehicle. Once you have entered the Conservation Area, the Visitor’s Center is on your left. Drive along Scenic Loop Dr. approximately 4 miles and park at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.  Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with runners but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: This hike includes lots of elevation gain and there is no shade from the sun. Bring at minimum a couple water bottles each to stay hydrated.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible there will be snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny, and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss along the way.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife:Watch where you put your hands and feet! Rattlesnakes, scorpions and venomous spiders may be taking shelter under rocks and shrubs where you can’t see. Never try to touch, collect or kill these animals.

 

Heat and Dehydration: In Red Rock Canyon there is little shade and the days can be very hot. Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake. Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking.

 

Flash Floods: Avoid hiking in canyons during rainstorms and move to higher ground. Due to the topography of the area, flash flooding can occur very quickly. Do not attempt to drive or walk through water flowing across a road or trail.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Turtlehead Peak Trail starts at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot. The trail heads north from the parking lot to a signed fork in the road. From the fork the Turtlehead Peak Trail heads north towards Turtlehead Mountain. The trail then climbs in elevation up the side of the mountain and eventually approaches the summit from the north. The peak offers an incredible panoramic view of the entire Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.

 

Turtlehead Peak Adventure Map - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Hiking Turtlehead Peak Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the trail from the north side of the lot.

 

Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot trailhead
Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Hikes starting from Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot

 

The trail is well signed.  After about 2km (1.3 miles) there will be a fork in the trail splitting the Calico Tanks Trail from Turtlehead Peak (Route marker #2 on the map).  Stay left and follow the Turtlehead Peak Trail north.

 

Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail to Calico Tanks and Turtlehead Peak
Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Calico Tanks and Turtlehead Peak Trail fork

 

As you gain elevationthe trail becomes less defined. Although the final destination at the top of Turtlehead Mountain is always within sight, there are various trails of different difficulties to reach the peak. Periodic blue paint markers will help guide you along the easiest and most well defined route to the peak.  The blue markings begin once the trail starts to gain elevation (Route marker #3 on the map) and you follow them for the remainder of the hike.

 

Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Blue trail markers
Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Anderson following the marked trail

 

The trail will take you west of the summit and you will make your final approach to the north side of the peak from the east. From there, scramble up a short steep section south to reach the true summit.  (Route marker #4 on the map).

Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Mattson approaching the peak

Once you reach the summit, take a well-earned break and enjoy the views. There is lots of room at the top to relax, eat lunch, sign the Summit Registry, hang your feet over the cliff edge and take in the view.

 

Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: Signing the summit registry
Turtlehead Peak - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 10: Anderson taking in the view

 

When you are ready to begin the return journey follow the same trail back to Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot that you approached on.

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Rawson Lake adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

With easy access from Las Vegas, Calico Tanks is a great hike for families and hikers of all ages and abilities.  This trail offers a short but interesting hike through the Calico Hills. Calico Tanks Trail includes some fun, and fairly easy scrambling over beautiful red sandstone formations. At the end of the trail, depending on the season, there may be water present in a Tinaja (natural water tank). There are great views from the tank but you can continue to scramble up to Calico Tanks Peak for an even better view of Red Rock Canyon. We hope you enjoy your adventure!

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 1-2 Hours

Location: 27km (17 miles) west of the Las Vegas Strip in Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

Distance: 4km (2.5 miles) round trip

Highest Elevation: 1500m (4921ft)

Elevation Gain: 140m (450ft)

Difficulty: 4/10

Season: Year round

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Las Vegas: Take Nevada State Route 159 5.5 miles west from the Las Vegas city limits and turn right onto Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop Dr.  The fee to enter the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area is $7 dollar per vehicle.  Once you have entered the Conservation Area, the Visitor’s Center is on your left. Drive along Scenic Loop Dr. approximately 4 miles and park at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: A good comfortable pair of running shoes is all you need for this hike.
  • Water: A couple bottles of water per hiker should suffice as this hike isn’t too long or strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike.  Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: Temperatures can get up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Shorts, a breathable long sleeve shirt, and a hat can help protect you from the sun and heat. In the winter, the temperature can drop below freezing and it is possible there will be snow. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny, and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss along the way.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike.

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: Watch where you put your hands and feet!  Rattlesnakes, scorpions and venomous spiders may be taking shelter under rocks and shrubs where you can’t see.  Never try to touch, collect or kill these animals.

 

Heat and Dehydration: In Red Rock Canyon there is little shade and the days can be very hot.  Limit sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day.  Appropriate clothing such as a hat and long sleeve shirt can protect your skin from the sun as well as reduce the risk of dehydration. The hot weather increases your need for fluid intake.  Ensure you are hydrating throughout the day, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking.

 

Flash Floods: Avoid hiking in canyons during rainstorms and move to higher ground.  Due to the topography of the area, flash flooding can occur very quickly. Do not attempt to drive or walk through water flowing across a road or trail.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Calico Tanks Trail starts off at the Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot. The hike heads north from the parking lot to a signed fork in the trail. From the fork, the Calico Tanks Trail heads into the Calico Hills where it winds overtop and through unique sandstone formations.  The official trail ends at an overlook of a large natural water tank but you can scramble from there to the summit of Calico Tanks Peak.

 

Calico Tanks Adventure Map - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Hiking Calico Tanks Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the trail from the north side of the lot.

 

Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot trailhead
Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Hikes starting from Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot

 

The trail is well signed.  After about 2km (1.3 miles) there will be a fork in the trail splitting the Calico Tanks Trail from Turtlehead Peak (Route marker #2 on the map).  Stay right and follow the Calico Tanks Trail east.

 

Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail to Calico Tanks and Turtlehead Peak
Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Calico Tanks and Turtlehead Peak trail fork

 

The trail becomes less defined as you make your way into the Calico Hills.  There are a few sandstone ramps and stairs as you make your way along the intermittent trail. You will need to partake in some basic scrambling and climbing over rocks which adds to the enjoyment of this beautiful hike.

 

Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 6: Mattson hiking into the Calico Hills

 

After a bit of climbing, the Tinaja (natural water tank) will come into view (Route marker #3 on the map). The amount of water in the tank depends on the season, it can be dry in the summer months or frozen in the winter.

The tank is a great spot to take a break, have a snack, and enjoy the vantage point. The view looking back to the west (the direction you came from) is especially spectacular.

 

Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: The Tinaja (natural water tank)

 

The Tinaja is the end of the official Calico Tanks Trail.  If you’re up for an additional challenge and some more adventuring you can scramble to the summit of Calico Tanks Peak.  From the Tinaja, there is no marked trail to the summit.  The easiest route is to head northeast around the tank and begin scrambling up the sandstone face.

An American Flag marks the summit (Route marker #4 on the map).  At the flag, a box containing a “Sign In Registry” and a collection of items left by previous hikers await you.  Sign in and enjoy the scenic vista before returning to Sandstone Quarry Parking Lot by retracing your steps back down the same trail.

 

Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 8: Anderson at the summit of Calico Tanks Peak
Calico Tanks - Red Rock Canyon - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 9: The summit box at Calico Tanks Peak

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Rawson Lake adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA

 

For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE! 

 

Rawson Lake is a beautiful, green, alpine lake with Mount Sarrail as the incredibly stunning backdrop. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Kananaskis and reaching the lake is well worth the moderate climb. The trail to Rawson Lake begins at Upper Kananaskis Lake and offers great views of the surrounding mountains, Sarrail Falls and the lush forest.

 

 

ADVENTURE STATISTICS

Time Required: 2-3 Hours

Location: 136km west of Calgary in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Distance: 8km round trip

Highest Elevation: 2100m

Elevation Gain: 400m

Difficulty: 5/10 – Well marked trail with moderate elevation gain.

Season: June to mid-October

Additional Requirements: N/A

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Calgary: Take the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) west approximately 70 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail.  Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km. Take a left on Upper Lake Drive and park at the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.

From Canmore: Take the Trans-Canada(Hwy 1) east approximately 30 km to Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) and then follow that 50 km to Kananaskis Lakes Trail. Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and follow it for 13 km.  Take a left on Upper Lake Drive and park at the south end of the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.

 

WHAT TO BRING

  • Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes.Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
  • Water: Two bottles of water per hiker should suffice as this hike isn’t too strenuous.
  • Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike as well as a light lunch for when you arrive at the lake. Some of our favorites snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
  • Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
  • Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
  • Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
  • Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
  • Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss along the way.
  • This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike

 

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country.  It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife.  Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location.  Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.

 

Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
  • Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
  • Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.

To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca

 

HIKING DIRECTIONS

Summary: Rawson Lake is a scenic trail walk starting from the Upper Kananaskis Lake Day Use Area.  The trail follows Upper Kananaskis Lake Trail clockwise until it branches off to the south and begins gaining elevation to Rawson Lake.  The official trail ends at the North East side of Rawson Lake.  There is a less maintained rocky trail that can be followed around the lake to the far west side for a different view of the lake.

 

Rawson Lake Adventure Map - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 1: Rawson Lake Adventure Map

 

Step-By-Step Guide:

From the Upper Lake Parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map), follow the trail from the south side of the lot heading clockwise around Upper Kananaskis Lake.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 2: The trailhead to Rawson Lake

 

As you follow the trail, you will cross Sarrail Creek at Sarrail Falls (Route marker #2 on the map).

 

Sarrail Falls - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 3: Sarrail Falls

 

1.2 km into the hike (approx. 100m after crossing Sarrail Creek) you will come to a T-junction (Route marker #3 on the map).  Take the left trail with the sign indicating the route to Rawson Lake.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 4: The trail fork to Rawson Lake

 

Follow the trail as it begins climbing upward through the moderately steep switch backs.  The trail will level off and after kilometer 3, you will arrive at Rawson Lake (Route marker #4 on the map).

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 5: Mattson following the trail to Rawson Lake

 

This is the most scenic view of the Rawson Lake with Mount Sarrail as a backdrop.  You can continue around the south side of the lake to the west end (Approx. 1km to the far side).  The official trail ends part of the way around the lake, but there is a rocky trail that can be followed all the way to the west end.

 

Rawson Lake - Kananaskis - Epic Trip Adventures
Image 7: Rawson Lake and Mount Sarrail

 

Enjoy the beautiful scenery at Rawson Lake before returning to the Upper Lake Parking lot following the same trail in reverse.

 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide.  We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.

We also want to hear about your Rawson Lake adventures.  If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!

 

Have fun out there!

– ETA