on March 12, 2004
We made a great discovery, this book Kauai Trailblazer. We bought our copy at the airport when we arrived and it served us well. It was wet and soggy four out of the seven days so we gravitated to the dry side of the island as they recommended and stretched out walking long miles of beach. Right away we found out why this island is known for its rainbows.
Two must do's are kayaking the Wailua River and hiking the Black Pipe Trail in Waimea Canyon. The directions for the maze like trail to Waipio Falls were excellent. We were guided through all the paths twists and turns and ended up immersed in big open landscapes that are beyond words. We kept pinching ourselves. We've blown up many of the photos we took to preserve the memories. Our vacation was very energizing, a once in a lifetime experience.
My only advice is to read it before you go in order to strategize and prioritize. Over and over again it seemed nightfall came way too soon.
on November 19, 2003
Bought it, used it, plunged right in and enjoyed every second there. I had visited several times before and never hiked Kauai's disarmingly beautiful inner world: Kalalau Trail, Waimea Canyon, eye popping and spookey Akali Swamp. This book has pages and pages packed with all kinds of trails, all levels, short, long, easy, sweaty. Their directions got me to pocket beaches, some swimmable, others taboo. They warn you about dangerous currents, undertows. Sunny and honestly written, a really good book.
on May 10, 2003
I've lived on Kauai for thirteen years and consider myself a local. This is the only book I can really recommend to those who have never been here before. A testament to good travel writing. You can flip through the Best Of category, find somewhere you'd like to go and bam, hit the trail. When I'm stumped on where to take visitors, I always turn to this book. Mahalo to these adventure specialists who really know our island and portray it with so much aloha.
on June 8, 2004
We took our family of five (kids homeschooled) to Kauai in late May to duck under the wire for cheaper rates on a condo. It turned out to be an ideal time to go before summer vacationers hit the shores. We settled in and after the third day got restless visiting the same beach and shops. After asking around, this book often came up as the one having the best reputation.
We pretty much covered every mile of the main highway except Polihale (too hot that day). There were so many options for every interest and every level. For our two under four, Lydgate Park was THE answer with its beautiful playground and huge outdoor pond. We rented boogie boards at Poipu Beach one afternoon which was a whole lot of fun and took 3 of the driving tours. We purposely hit two of the farmers markets where fresh coconut juice sipped with a staw was the novel hit. We found everything by reading Trailblazer and were sorry we could only take the easy walks. Saving the five milers for next time,
on March 27, 2002
Everything about this book is excellent, from the long list of nontouristy things to see -- we saw only two other people all day as we biked the Powerline Trail -- to the remote white sand beaches (Larsen's and Secret). The dirt roads would have been impossible to find without exact directions. The authors don't overdescribe their hikes, although they prepare you for the length and possible dangers. Not knowing what was around every bend added to the surprise and adventure. I guess I liked the fact that most of the things to do were free and we ended up with vacation money left over. Instead of getting a $300 helicopter view, we saw the Kalalau Valley from the hiker's overlook. Being able to watch the clouds drift in and up the cliffs over a period of an hour was a once in a lifetime experience.
This is not the standard boring guidebook. The photos are uncommonly beautiful. We spent the last day going on three of the books four driving tours. It was the perfect ending to our stay and gave us a chance to video the island's highlights. Everyone deserves to see Kauai just once in their life and if you're an independent traveler, this is the only guidebook you'll need.
on September 7, 2000
Kauai Trailblazer is an outstanding guide for families and outdoor enthusiasts with an interest in hiking and exploring Kauai, one of the Hawaiian islands. Featured are "user friendly" descriptions of 199 hikes and strolls to mountain ridges, tropical gardens, beaches, jungles, coves, reefs, historic landmarks, ancient ruins, swamps, craters, forests, coastal bluffs, tide pools, towns, canyons, waterfalls, and river valleys. Details are provided for 68 beach (22 of which are only accessible by trail), 42 snorkeling polls (island favorites and hidden coves), 61 mountain bike rides, 27 kayaking waters (13 rivers and steams, 14 bays and lagoons), and 36 surfing spots. The informative text is enhanced with 10 maps and 130 photographs, resource links, and appendices of Hawaiian words, place names, movie locations, hula performances, farmer's markets, wether, flora, history and philosophy. If you are Kauai bound, begin with a thorough perusal of Kauai Trailblazer!
on December 14, 2000
I purchased this book because of the good reviews by other people. After using this book in Kauai, I found everyone to be correct about their reviews. While visiting a new place, it is very easy to get lost. This book was a wonderful resource, with much to my surprise, very accurate and detailed directions and intructions on how to get to your chosen destinations. This guidebook described detailed landmarks to locate almost any of the sites for all the activities. My husband and family were able to participate in some of the recommended hikes and water activites and found them to be very enjoyable because we had a good idea of what to expect as described in the book. The book is organized and easy to follow for all the different activities with suggested "do not miss" establishments along the way. We will use this book again the next time we are in Kauai.
on October 22, 2000
I bought KAUAI TRAILBLAZER for a recent trip to the Garden Isle and found it a friendly companion to have tucked under my arm. It's got explicit directions, so if you get lost, it's because you want to be lost! There is a soft subtlety in the photography--like snapshots in my memory, evocative. Imbued in the text is a sensitivity to the land and peoples of Hawaii. I was struck by a certain reverence that allows witness without disturbance. There is a marked dry wit to Sprout's writing style; he lightly peppers his guide with humor without detracting from the densely packed info he delivers to anyone wishing to visit Kauai--whether they want a useful first-time tour of some well-known sites, or desire to stray off the beaten path. The book definitely helped me and I highly recommend it. Aloha & best wishes, Doreen Sinky, BC, Canada
on July 12, 2002
We (two adults, one 10 year old) just returned from two weeks in Kauai. We didn't venture ANYWHERE without this book. It took us to places we never would have found on a map. The descriptions were accurate, the driving instructions complete, the writing enjoyable without being cutesy, the historical/natural history information fascinating. The "Watch Out" section at the end of each description (which pointed out possible dangers or problems at beaches or hiking trails) was very helpful in determining where we snorkled, body surfed or hiked.
One thing I would changed about the format: The maps for each area would be easier to use if they showed ALL of Kauai, with the area that is referenced highlighted. It was confusing in the beginning to be looking at only part of the island.
Very highly recommended. It made for an excellent adventure!
on June 21, 2000
Having never been to the island of Kauai before, Kauai Trailblazer was exactly the type of guidebook that I needed to help plan two weeks worth of adventure in the Garden Isle. My main desire was to snorkle the beautiful water. With it being my husband's first time in Hawaii, I wanted him to see all of the amazing fish that I had told him about. Kauai Trailblazer pointed us in the right direction and we ended up snorkling the most amazing coves! With the book in hand, we hiked beautiful trails that led right up the sides of cliffs to amazing waterfalls and romantic pools. Having an interest in history, Kauai Trailblazer was also able to direct me to museums, landmarks and ruins. Our time in Kauai would have been less fruitful without the help of this book.