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Kauai Trails: Walks, Strolls, and Treks on the Garden Island (Kauai Trails: Walks, Strolls & Treks on the Garden Island) Paperback – May 1, 1997

24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Kauai Trails: Walks, Strolls & Treks on the Garden Island
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Press; 2nd edition (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899972144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899972145
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,921,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello, readers! I'm always happy to receive your constructive comments on books of which I'm the sole or co-author. Please submit your comments right here on this page, or address e-mail to me in care of publicity@wildernesspress.com. I'm also on Facebook.

My dear friend and superb photographer Susan Morning, of a local weekly, "The Mammoth Times," took the photo of me at the 2010 Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, where she was taking photos and I was working as a volunteer. Since much of the featured jazz music dates from the nineteen-teens and twenties, we enjoy dressing up a little with things like feather boas (this one courtesy of my friend April at Burger's).

I'm a native Southern Californian, a graduate of Stanford, and a now-former-but-previously-long-term employee of Hughes Aircraft Company (now part of Raytheon). In the mid-1970s, friends at Hughes took me on my first backpack -- something I'd never even heard of before. But I was driving a small station wagon at the time, and I think they were more interested the wagon's capacity for packs and people than in my company.

That little trip changed my life! We went to a trailhead on the west side of the Sierra Nevada, a trailhead whose name I can't recall. For the first quarter-mile, which was through forest, I thought I was going to die. I just KNEW I had made the worst decision of my life by getting mixed up in this ridiculous and painful "adventure."

Then we reached a point on the trail where the forest gave way to meadow, and the light, space, and sheer beauty of the Sierra blew me away. I fell madly in love with the Sierra Nevada. That never changed: the Sierra Nevada is the great love of my life.

Later in that decade, I visited Hawaii for the first time but saw only the populated sides of it. Eventually, I did more research into the islands' history, human and natural, and into the wide range of opportunities they offer for hikers and backpackers. After seeing the islands from that perspective, I was a convert. With respect to the "beach scene," I'm a great one for the mountains. There's nothing like Haleakala's "crater," or the great lava moonscape of Mauna Loa. Oh, wait, there are the marvelous trails in the Koolau Mountains behind Honolulu, especially out of Makiki Valley, and Kauai's Kokee State Park is always a joy....You get the picture. So while Hawaii might not be a great love like the Sierra, it certainly has stolen much of my heart.

I've been sidelined for 3 years by breaking my leg in 2008 and in the process destroying my knee severely enough that it didn't heal after initial surgery. I had to have the knee replaced in early 2009. Then, in 2010 shortly after the Jazz Jubilee, I developed a heart problem that I've since learned to live with -- and take meds for. Now I'm back to hiking and loving it, though not yet going as far as I plan to eventually. The crystal ball says there's llama-packing in my future!

This summer, 2011, I look forward to re-hiking as many of the trips in *Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Dayhikes in the Sierra* as I possibly can, plus making a long, llama-assisted loop through beautiful Emigrant Wilderness.

I live on the east side of the Sierra now, in a little burg called Big Pine. If you blink between Independence and Bishop, you'll miss it. There's a truly great High Sierra trailhead just up the hill from me. And all the eastside trailheads are rather close, to my great delight.

It's my sincere hope that by using my books, you'll find more enjoyment than ever in exploring our glorious Sierran and Hawaiian outdoors, and that you'll support the never-ending campaign to keep them from being over-exploited for commercial gain. Happy hiking to all of you!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is easily the best Kaua'i hiking book - buy it if you intend to do any hiking on Kaua'i. A small nit, the information on the Alaka'i Swamp Trail is out of date. This trail is now boardwalk right through to it's end at the Kilohana lookout (an amazing feat of engineering!). Far from being the endless slog through inhospitable "telephone pole bogs", this hike is now a snap, rewarded by an awesome view of the whole NE quadrant of the island from the edge of the Wainiha Pali (weather permitting!).
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Starr on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A trail guide should do two things:

1. Accurately describe, in detail, trails, access, condition, etc.

2. Inspire the reader to hike said trails

Kauai Trails: Walks, Strolls, and Treks on the Garden Island is mediocre when it comes to the first, and horrible when it comes to the second.

The author seems to do her best to convince a hiker planning a trip to Kauai that (s)he should visit California instead. She rails on about garbage, introduced species, erosion, hippies, etc throughout the entire books. Let's keep it to one chapter, Kathy!

Worst of all, she bashes the Kalalau Trail, discouraging any Kauai visitor from hiking it. Nevermind that it's ranked one of the best hikes on the planet. Nevermind that on every internet hiking forum, trip reports are invariably glowing. Nevermind that many people who live on Kauai or visit Kauai regularly think it's a DON'T MISS hike. Kathy says, "It's overrated. Don't bother."

I'm sad that we don't have a guide to hiking the Garden Isle that's more positive and informative, better organized, with better maps...one that actually makes you think you'll have an enjoyable time hiking in paradise.

Purchase this book only because it's the best one there is, not because it's good. I personally recommend The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook. While it doesn't go into as much detail on the trails, it's far more informative, positive, and better updated. Kathy's book lists many trails as CLOSED which aren't closer, or may be damaged but are still hikable.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
Has good detailed hiking information, but not well organized. Book is essentially a list of trails. Trails in same area tend to be grouped, but there is no real breakdown by area to give a better idea of choices and how hike routes could be put together by combining connecting trails or to help choose hikes by by area. The information is there, but you have to work to sort through it and make your actual plan. Improves upon a key flaw of Robert Smith book(s) which is poor directions to finding hike starting points (except where does things like tells you to refer to #92, and #92 then refers to #85), but would recommend it more as a supplement than a substitute.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emily S. on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Just returned from 6 days on Kauai, where we enjoyed a number of the shorter hikes using the 2002 edition. The author's fondness for Kauai really comes through in each hike's description. The ratings of length, elevation gain, and particularly of what kind of footwear is needed for each hike were invaluable -- we didn't have hiking boots and focused on the "tennis shoe" options. As the author recommends, DO get supplemental trail maps even for what you might *anticipate* will be a straightforward short hike - we relied on Kauai Trails in attempting to find the Berry Flat & Discovery Center trails in Kokee Park since it looked so simple, and ended up spending a panicked hour on trails through thick growth of strawberry guava trees as the sun was setting because trail names/signs had changed. (If you do attempt Trip 40 or 41, check with the Kokee Museum for a map. Trips like 9- Kuilau Ridge on old roads are indeed straightforward and also rewarding.) Another possible frustration is with the driving directions, which don't use the ubiquitous mileage signs: On Kauai many spots of tourist/hiker interest are not clearly marked and with the one-lane roads you may not have an immediate opportunity to turn around to access the pull-over, so do read driving instructions carefully before you set out and pull over whenever you think you might have found the spot. As previously noted, instructions to refer to a previous hike listing can be frustrating and it would be helpful if the exact break point into Hike A and Hike B were marked in the text and on the maps. I was also concerned by the reference to picking up (a few) shells on Anini Beach given that if everyone took shells off beaches there would be none left for others to see or for mollusks' homes.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By MARC STEIN & JENNIFER STEIN on July 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was very helpful as we used it during our first stay on Kauai. We have two young children, and we found the Hiking Table very useful to easily locate hikes we could bring our kids on. We felt that we saw alot more of the island using these hikes then we would have with other guide books.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I found for hiking in Kauai - it's also the one all the stores over there carry. Definitely also ask the locals about the condition of trails when you get there - they usually have good recommendations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By a reviewer on September 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book may once have been useful, but we found it outdated to the point of uselessness. Some of the trails described no longer meaningfully existed as such, and one was a dirt road with a heavy 4wd traffic. After having been mislead one too many times, we abandoned this book completely and relied only on the trail descriptions in The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed (Ultimate Kauai Guidebook). That said, we looked to this book only for hikes, not beach walks and the like. It may be that it is a very competent guide for strolls. This book doesn't describe that many more hikes than the Ultimate Guidebook does, but the way some trails are broken into several hikes makes it seem at first glance that it does.
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