Great hike. For those who like a workout you get great inclines going in and going back. You have to cross the stream 4 or 5 times which makes for some fun frogger type action. Gorgeous views of the coast and the waterfall at the end is beautiful. You can even take a dip in the pool if you like. No doubt your shoes will get muddy so don't worry too much about keeping them clean at the beginning. Get there early for good parking and so you can enjoy the waterfall to your self.
Beautiful beach at the end of this hike! The real treat though was the view of the coastline just after the beginning of the hike. If you can't make it to the beach, at least go see that! It's absolutely breathtaking. The trail was a little more difficult than expected, but my girlfriend is (or was, before this!) a beginner hiker and she had no problems. Might be difficult if you have knee problems.
Difficult trail to rate. You start at the HI State park and I have been to parks in developing countries that have better facilities! The parking lot is very rough, as in if you have a car you will need a spotter so you don't high center on rocks and you will only be able to park in certain stalls. Did I mention this is the official parking for for the park! The Trail itself had wonderful scenery but was very, very busy. As a lot of tourists (non-hikers) do this trail I saw a lot of really bad trail etiquette. Radios blaring in backpacks, people passing on other on difficult sections, etc. I don't know if the views make up for this.
The difficulty of the trail itself really depends on the weather. Most of the trail is steep on mud. When dry it's fine, if there is rain it turns to grease. My tip is to arrive early, have walking sticks, take your time on the mud and bring a towel and beach shoes for the one large stream crossing at the end.
Wasn't planning on doing this hike this time around but last minute decided to give it a go, and by last minute I mean the night before. My best friend and his girlfriend came with. We didn't prepare at all in advance aside from an hour of shopping for food. We woke up early and drove to the trail head to start at 7am. We packed that morning we each took a couple of cliff bars a hammock, extra pair of socks and 2 liters of water. We started off at a decent pace slow enough to take in all the natural wonders that surrounded us for the next 11 miles. Along the way we met wonderful polite people and swapped some trail stories. At around mile maker 7.5 we ran into some Aussies who were incredibly scared and nervous about continuing along the trail past crawlers ledge, so nervous in fact they called a rescue helicopter. We assessed the situation and determined that we would continue and passed this point of "friction" with ease. We ended at Kalalau beach at 2 in the afternoon and took in the breathtaking views and enjoyed the golden sands while the sunset. That night we slept in hammocks while enduring a few rainstorms (I advise taking a tarp). The next morning we woke up and started back we left the beach at 7am and arrived at the trail head at 1pm.
Trail was muddy, full of switch-backs, tons of rain the first 4 miles, but AWESOME! We hired Kayak Hawaii to shuttle us from and to the Lihue Airport, on-time, friendly and they kicked-ass! Hiked in one day, camped for two nights, and hiked out in one day. To do this trail you have to be in decent shape, not a fluffy couch potatoe, as it does require some skill and lots of ups and downs. if you're thinking about hiking the coast, DO IT!
I brought a tent and mat to sleep in because all the posts I had seen nobody took a hammock; well, there's tons of trees all along the way and at the beach campsite, so a hammock is totally doable (will be much lighter in your pack). I brought plenty of food, but honestly, you could get away with a loaf of bread and peanut butter.
Take a Frisbee too!
Amazing trail that is less of a hike and more of a "journey". Made it to mile 8 and turned it back due to trail conditions. Rained all day and made the red hill sections hazardously slippery. If you hike it on a rainy day I would make your go-no go assessment when you reach the red hill at mile marker 7.5. We were wearing altra trail running shoes and hadn't slipped all day until we reached that point. Amazing trail but use good judgement!
Such an amazing trail. We hiked the 2 miles in to the beach, took a few photos and then continued our hike to the Hanakapa'ai falls. We started our hike at 10:30am arrived at the beach by 12:30pm. We then continue to the falls around 1 arrived at 2:10pm. The hike to the falls is extra muddy and there are 4 small rivers to cross over. There are also a few spots where the trail looks like it go in two different directions but luckily there are red ribbons on the trees to keep you on the right path. We swam in the beautiful pool of the waterfall (it was freezing) but well worth it as you can get behind the falls. We then left the falls at 3:00 pm, it rained on us a couple of times but luckily the jungle blocked most if it and then we finally finished the long trail of 4 miles back by 5:15pm.
I have to say the views are breath taking. The beach is cool but you can't swim because the tide is too strong. If you're planning to go on this trail go to the falls it's worth it but take extra clothes (especially socks) because your feet will get wet and muddy. Bring lots of snacks and plenty of water. My husband and I went through 3 water bottles each. Be prepared to slip in the mud it's inevitable haha.