Hanakapi'ai Beach

MODERATE 24 reviews
#3 of 3 trails in

Hanakapi'ai Beach is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, HI that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.6 miles 1158 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

washed out

This is the first 2 miles to Hanakapi'ai Beach along the Kalalau Trail in the Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii. This first portion of the trail is heavily used. The trail is often muddy and slippery due to sporadic rainfall. It is not recommended for children under age 6. The hike to Hanakapiai beach is by far one of the most beautiful trails in all Hawaii. The first two miles of the Napali Coast trail is breathtaking. The Hanakapiai Trail will climb steadily for the first mile to an elevation of 400 feet. Dont let this discourage you, as soon as you reach the first mile vista, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the Napali coastline and an aerial view of Kee beach and the coral reef that creates the protective lagoon at Kee beach, perfect for snorkeling during the summer months. As you make your way along this portion of the Kalalau Trail you will switchback from coast to valleys, over fresh water streams and waterfalls. As you make your final descent into Hanakapiai Valley you will discover jungles of twisted vines, wild ginger, bananas, guava, varied Ti plants and at the end the cool waters of Hanakapiai Stream. The crystal clear river that flows from the falls two miles up river is a refreshing reprieve for tired, hot and muddy feet. Cool off in the river the ocean here is NOT for swimming. When you reach Hanakapiai stream you will need to cross the stream by boulder hopping. The beach is on the other side and during the summer months this beautiful beach is great for sunbathing, exploring the rocks and caves. But at no time is swimming recommended. The views from the beach back up the valley are magical. Most people make this their turn around point, but for those with the time and endurance can trek up the river trail another two miles through bamboo forest; the hike is 4 miles round-trip to beach, 8 miles round-trip to Falls. Caution: During heavy rains and high surf this trail can be extremely dangerous near the river and the shorelines. Do not attempt to cross the river during heavy rains. Flash flooding can occur without notice.

20 days ago

Incredible!

hiking
27 days ago

Scenic trail. Pretty easy. Good to do in the morning for a perfect view of the colors of the coast. Better to check he weather and make it when it's not raining. The scenario looks like a garden, beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Most scenic hike we've ever done. Breathtaking views. Our group was all middle aged but in decent shape. We found it to be a bit strenuous at times, but not too bad. The slippery mud is what we found most challenging. I fell twice. The hike back was harder for us since our legs were a bit tired by then. We were soaked from crossing the river to get to the beach & also covered in mud, but It was definitely worth it!!

hiking
3 months ago

I started from the Ke'e Beach and hiked up to the Nā Pali Coastline via the Kalalau Trail. I would rate the trail was hard because it was up and down on a rocky and some part of slippery muddy trail but the views were spectacular.

hiking
5 months ago

6 months ago

One of the best hikes I've ever done. The views are spectacular and the beach feels private and peaceful. Highly recommend!

hiking
10 months ago

Only took an hour to reach the beach. Path was very slippery due to the water runoff but it was all worth the trek. The stream you had to cross right before the beach was also pretty cool.

11 months ago

Unbelievable!!!

1 year ago

Muddy and lots of people, but the views are incredible!

hiking
1 year ago

Nice hike beautiful scenery and restful at the beach.

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful but pretty strenuous at times.

1 year ago

Probably best hiked in the morning due to the constant sun exposure in most spots. The views are the most incredible though when the sun is straight up. The colors in the water incredible. Bring plenty of water because you will go through it pretty fast. I think I poured one full water bottle on my head to cool down. A hat is not a bad idea. Watch your footing in the initial section of tree roots and enjoy the amazing views. When dry it's a pretty easy trail...when wet the skill level required ramps up pretty quickly.

hiking
1 year ago

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Great hike, with probably the BEST views you will ever see on a hike!!! It is not that hard of a hike if you wear the proper running shoes, please don't go with sandals.... I saw a couple of girls and they had to turn around. It is muddy and slippery in some spots. There is nothing crazy, the climbs are easy so are the downhill portions. There was some people that seemed to have problems, it is not for people that are not in decent shape. But the views are all worth it!! Bring at least 1-2 litres of water, and some snacks to have once you reach the beach. DO NOT swim in the winter months. We were there when the first northern swell of the season was coming in, and ohhh the waves. 10 footers that would sweep away the best swimmer. If you wan to cool off go in the river at the beach.

hiking
2 years ago

Scenic but muddy. On the way down we had to really take our time to keep from falling. If you can, wear boots, bring trekking poles and water shoes you can use to cross the river. The trail description, etc at the top are all spot-on.

hiking
2 years ago

Hiked this the first day way got to Kauai. Went with wife and kids (6&8). We all had a blast. It was set and muddy. The views were amazing. We didn't make it too far with the kids. Came back to Ke'e beach and hung out the rest of the morning.

hiking
2 years ago

If you don't have time to do the entire Kalalau Trail, this section is your best bet. The trail says "difficult" but honestly, with the views off the Nā Pali Coast distracting you every minute of the way, you won't even notice it. The sweeping cliff sides and lush foliage are but a sweet match for the endorphin rush you'll experience while making the climb (to and from). The Kalalau Trail is rated one of the most scenic in the world, for a reason. If you visit Kauai and don't at least give yourself the gift of seeing part of the trail, you'd be doing yourself a massive disservice. While you're out there, you might as well continue to Hanakapiai Falls; you won't be disappointed.

hiking
3 years ago

Great hike, but you must continue on to the falls to make it really worthwhile!