Bill Crane and Dick Ramirez, recipients of the Chester Versteig Award (Angeles Chapter's highest leadership award) and Joan Weaver are combining their leadership experiences, expertise and enthusiasm by leading a backpacking and day hiking trip to the island of Kauai, the Garden Isle.
The Backpacking Committee's Twenty-forth Annual Hawaiian Islands Backpack adds a day hiking segment for those who wish an intimate Kauai experience along with the comforts of condo and cabin nights. Bill's experience gathered over fifty Hawaii trips enables him to construct an itinerary that highlights Kauai's outstanding attractions. The June 19 to 26 outing on the Garden Island of Kauai is filled with the varied and the unusual: hiking and history, land and sea, camps and hotels, and the lush ferns and streams of a sub-tropical rain forest.
A set-up night precedes our backpack at cabins at Kahili Mountain Park. Day hikers will stay here three nights. Here, group equipment (supplied stoves, fuel, pots) and food is distributed amongst the participants and leaders for each to carry part of the load. Extra luggage is stored in the cabins while we backpack. From Kokee State Park backpackers begin a moderate trek (4miles, 500' gain) into Sugi Grove on the edge of the NaPali - Kona Forest Reserve. The non-backpacking day hikers will be lead by Dick Ramirez on a discovery tour around Kaua'i with easy to moderate day hiking for two days.
A layover day gives backpackers the opportunity to explore further into the Alakai Swamp, hiking mostly on boardwalks over waist-deep mud. The boardwalks were recently constructed to preserve the ecology of the swamp, not to save your boots from being sucked off by quagmire. While the Alakai is full of native birds, ferns and bogs, there are no gators, crocks or snakes and nary a mosquito. Nobody there to bite you!
On Tuesday the backpack will return to the trailhead to meet Dick and his group. All stay two nights in rustic cabins in lush Kokee State Park. From the cabins, the groups takes a Grand Napali coast overlook hike (called "Most Scenic"by Outside magazine), 6 to 10.5 mi, 1,500' gain. Overlooking the most remote valleys of the Napali coast, you'll stand 2,000 feet above their verdant floors.
A seaside condo will provide respite for our final two nights on Kaua'i. The near-by sparkling white sand beach at Poipu Beach provides marvelous snorkeling with Blue Sturgeons. In the 78 degree, amazingly clear waters colorful tropical fish will surround you. Swim or snorkel on top with the trumpet fish or breath-hold dive down to the parrotfish nibbling on the coral. Yellow tangs, Sergeant majors and Queen triggerfish abound in nature's aquarium.
A tour of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens will be an education about native plants of the Islands, the plants brought by the Polynesians, and introduced species invading Hawaii's natural habitats.
Another delightful tradition is the ice chest of cool drinks in the van for cabins and condo stays - it is not carried on the backpack!
The week concludes with our ALOHA DINNER the lavish gourmet buffet at the Hyatt Regency Resort.
As usual, we expect this trip to fill fast to the trip limit of 20. Breakfasts and dinners are cooked group commissary style giving participants an opportunity to learn our sumptuous recipes and the enrichment of camaraderie with fellow hikers. All help with duties. Group transportation is in vans. That and logistics are included as are the two condo nights, cabin nights (five for day hikers, three for backpackers), backpacking stoves and fuel, water filters, group commissary equipment, camp fees, and anything else leaders Joan, Dick and Bill can think of to enhance this outing.
The day hikes are moderate. One must be in good shape for the backpack and submit a resume of recent backpacking experience and conditioning. Everybody needs a day pack, snorkeling gear (not taken on backpack), the ten essentials, mosquito repellent, and backpackers will need a backpack and a waterproof tent (best to share). A detailed list will be sent to participants. A pre-trip meeting provides an opportunity to meet fellow travelers, find a tentmate and ask questions.
Trip price is a mere $655(non-members $709.50) if reserved by April1, 1999. Between April 1 and June 1 the price jumps to $705 (non-members $775); after June 1 $755 (non-members $830).Plane fare from the Mainland to the Kauai is extra and seats are limited. Reserve your spot by sending a $200 deposit ($45 non-refundable) check made out to the Backpacking Committee, Sierra Club, and three (3) large self-addressed stamped envelopes to leader, Bill Crane, 22351 Mission Circle, Ca., 91311-1257. A trip sheet is available by sending a sase to Bill. For information call him (818-773-4601) or assistant Joan Weaver (818-717-1946), or day hikes leader Dick Ramirez (805-254-0211).
RETURN TO OUTINGS KAUAI TRIP SHEET