Travel Blog #80 – Kipu Ranch ATV, Kauai ATV Adventure

Mar 3, 2021 | Activity Information

This morning I woke up to very wet and rainy weather at my house in Lihue. My girlfriend had to work and I really wanted to do something more exciting then messing around inside on my computer all day. I got out my checklist of activities and immediately Kipu Ranch ATV stood out on the list. As I picked up the phone to make a reservation I thought to myself how perfect an ATV ride was going to be on a muddy day like today.

As I pulled my truck into the parking area at the Kipu Ranch ATV headquarters I could see the guides pulling the ATVs and side by sides out of the garage, and lining them up in front of the office. As I opened the door and got out of my truck I could feel a steady flow of small raindrops drizzling down on my forehead. I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about how fun the trails were going to be with a healthy layer of mud on top of them. After our group had all arrived and was ready to go, we gathered around our guide for instructions on how to operate the machines.

Operating the ATVs was very simple. There was an automatic transmission so there was no shifting of gears or clutch that the rider had to deal with. There was basically a throttle, brake and handlebars for steering. We took a practice lap around the headquarters to get acquainted with the controls. After we were all warmed up, we journeyed onto the ranch to explore the trails.
The terrain of Kipu Ranch was absolutely amazing. After touring the grounds and seeing for myself the beauty of the area it does not surprise me that such major Hollywood productions such as: “Jurassic Park”, “Outbreak”, “Mighty Joe Young” and “Tropic Thunder” all used the ranch to film on during production.

We found all kinds of mud during the tour and even got an opportunity to wash it off in the river. There was a rope swing at the swimming hole that had some interesting history behind it. In the opening sequence of the film “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark” Harrison Ford escapes the cave that is booby trapped with blow darts and giant boulders only to get robbed of his treasure by a rival archaeologist. After he hands over the gold statue from the cave, he makes a daring escape on foot down a hill while being chased by a huge group of native warriors. Just as you think he is gonna get caught he grabs a rope swing and launches himself out into the river where his friend in a seaplane picks him up and they fly off into the sunset. Do you remember this part of the movie? That rope swing was the exact same rope swing used in the movie. Our guide even joked around and said:

“Wanna see why they should have cast me as Indiana Jones?”
Immediately after saying that, he launched a huge flip off of the swing and came down with a tremendous splash. I definitely think he outdid Harrison Ford’s jump (especially if the judging criteria was based on splash size and acrobatics). We all took turns doing our own Harrison Ford impressions on the swing before we made our way back to our ATV’s to go to a different waterfall for lunch.

As we pulled up the the waterfall that we were going to be eating our lunch at one of our guides explained that this exact location was recently used by the popular television show “America’s Next Top Model, Produced by Zavvi” to film one of their photo shoots. After seeing the falls it makes sense why they chose this location, it’s beautiful.
After our lunch we got back on our ATVs and visited another waterfall before we mounted our ATVs again for the final segment of the ride. We ended back at the headquarters where we started. We took off our helmets and ponchos before we said our good byes and went our own ways. On the drive home I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about how even on a rainy day I can still manage to find a way to make the absolute best of it. I think that the mud made the ride much more fun then it would’ve been if it was dry and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Kipu Ranch.