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On Walkabout at: The Princeville Ranch on Kauai

Basic Information

  • What: Horseback and Hiking Ride
  • Where: Princeville Ranch, Kauai
  • Cost: $135 per person
  • Time: 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: EasyMediumHardDifficult
  • More Information: Princeville Ranch website

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

Narrative

My wife and I both like riding horses so when we saw a brochure for a horseback riding tour on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai’s North Shore we decided to go and check it out.  It was about an hour’s drive from where we staying at the Sheraton Kauai Resort in Poipu to reach the North Shore location of the Princeville Ranch.  The ranch is real easy to find since it is located right off of the Kuhio Highway that accesses Kauai’s North Shore:

We had set reservations so the people at the ranch were expecting us and had our horses ready for us when we arrived:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

After filling out some paperwork at the ranch, we set off on our horses across the various fields filled with cattle:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

It began drizzle off and on a little bit, but we had raincoats that the ranch gave us that sort of kept us dry. As we crossed the fields we began to approach a forested valley up ahead where we could see people ziplining across which is one of the ranch’s other activities that visitors can try:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

As we approached the valley the vegetation became quite lush and beautiful:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

Here we dismounted and tied up our horses in order to hike down to the bottom of the valley where a beautiful waterfall is located.  The trail down into the valley was in good shape and not too steep to hike down:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

The vegetation was extremely thick all around the trail:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

After a short walk we reached the bottom of the valley where the waterfall is located.  The waterfall was bigger than we expected with it being 80-feet high.  We spent an hour at the waterfall eating the packed lunch that the ranch provides and swimming in the pool below the waterfall.  Here is a picture of me swimming in front of the waterfall:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

It was a lot of fun and of course no tour on Kauai would be complete without spotting one of the island’s ubiquitous chickens:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

After finishing lunch we then proceeded to climb up the waterfall; yes I said climb up the waterfall!  This was a bit unexpected, but the ranch had plenty of ropes installed to help with the climb:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

It was a lot of fun, but expect to get wet climbing up the waterfall:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

We then came upon a section that had a chain installed that we used to climb higher up the falls with:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

From the top of the falls we had a really nice view of the valley that we had hiked into that was so lush and green:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

There was also another small waterfall that we could see from the top of the big waterfall:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

Above the small waterfall we then had to make a creek crossing:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

Much like before there was a rope installed to help us cross the creek.  The rocks in the creek were a bit slippery, but by holding on to the rope everyone had no issues crossing the creek:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

After crossing the creek it was then just a short hike back through the beautiful rain forest to locate where we left the horses:

Picture from the Princeville Ranch

Conclusion

If on cue it seemed like as soon as we mounted the horses it started to downpour rain.  We made our way back to the ranch pretty quickly, but despite the rain on the ride back this really was a great adventure.  We thought we were just going to be taking a short horseback ride and an even shorter walk to a waterfall.  It turned into an unexpected adventure with us scaling waterfalls and crossing rivers.  My wife and I had a great time and would gladly pay the money again in the future to experience this again.  We figured since we paid all the money for the flight, hotel, and rental car on Kauai, paying $135 a person to experience something as unique as what Princeville Ranch offers is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall expense of the trip.  For anyone thinking of doing this horseback trip for themselves, remember some basic fitness is needed because visitors to the ranch will definitely burn some calories on this fun adventure.

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