June 16, 2012 - 3 went

Tunnel Hike... from "Jurrasic Park" gates to Hanalei Headwaters

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Added by Chris
on Jun 17, 2012.
 
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  • Chris

    From the end of the second tunnel, looking downstream, you can see the upper ridges of the 'Okolehao trail... I've mapped both hikes on the attached picture. The GPS said it was 4.3 miles one-way, but it was without signal for awhile... so I'll call it 9.5 miles (round trip) in 9.5 hours. It was especially muddy, more trail has fallen away, and the brush is usually over your head (and grabs for your clothing and skin). We wore the 5-fingers Vibrams, which worked really well in the mud, but not well in the creeks and tunnels (you can feel the rocks)... all around, they're a pretty good shoe for Kaua'i. I shot a little video, will post.

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  • Anne C.

    do you recommend this shoe, or do you think that a closed toe all terrain shoe would have worked better? (Teva make those).

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  • Chris

    I've yet to find the best all-around shoe for Kaua'i. I've done the Tunnels in Chaco's and Five Fingers. The FF's were great with the mud, no hesitation in walking straight through the middle of the mud (what slows you down most is trying to pick your steps through the mud), they didn't hold on to a lot of mud, and they only let very small pebbles/sand through (vs. Chaco's/Keen's where you need to remove the shoe every once in awhile to get a painful rock out from under your arch). You do need to get used to FF's first. I hiked Hanakai'ai the next day, and my feet really hurt from the rocks after that. Nice hiking boots might get ruined. They may pick up tons of mud that needs to be frequently cleaned off during the first two miles. They shouldn't pick up pebbles/rocks. Your feet will most likely get soaked and cause blisters, especially in the second tunnel and stream crossings. Maybe two pairs of shoes: hiking boots for the first two muddy miles, and Chaco/Keen/FF for the tunnels and stream crossings. The stream crossings also need a good sole for wet rocks; I've taken a few end's with the wrong sole on a slick rock. My canyoneering shoes are best for those... but only if you know you can cross the stream without stepping in it. There just isn't a perfect shoe. I'd recommend the FF as a good all-around shoe for this hike, but your feet will hurt afterwards.

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  • Anne C.

    Thank you so much for all this information. I dont know of a hiking shoe that is trustworthy on slimy rocks, does that exist? I still like the idea of the all terrain Tevas that I own, I can deal with the occurrance of a few stones, they do stay on in mud too. I usually wear some of those low rise sport socks inside them and that avoids blisters happening, but dont get heavy when wet.

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  • Chris

    That's a really interesting idea. The topography looks good up until the quarter mile closest to the second tunnel end. It's hard to tell if that one would be tough from the map. IIRC, it didn't look all that hard to just start walking down the creek from the end of the second tunnel. I would think it would be best to start from below and work up... my fear here being private property... if you have to bail on proceeding forward, it would be best to have just a mile back to the river road rather than six miles to the loop road (especially if you made it down that first quarter mile and decided you never wanted to go across that again). The best slimy rock shoes I've found are the Canyoneer's from 5-10... meant for Southern Utah Slickrock. The fit is horrid (my toes are still numb... I'm a standard "D" width, but their "D" is like a "EEE"), but the soles stick at any angle to anything wet.

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