Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 120 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

6.9 miles 2775 feet Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

Hanakp'ai Falls Trail is located near Hanalei, Hawaii and features a waterfall. The trail is primarily used for hiking. The first 2 miles is a moderate hike to Hanakapiai Beach. From there it is another 2 strenuous miles to the falls. The trail is very muddy and slippery during the first mile. When hiking the trails of Kauai you can be forgiven for expecting to meet a T-Rex around the next bend, or to spot Indiana Jones running by with one hand on his hat and the other grasping some ancient artifact. Hollywood is a big fan of the this Hawaiian island's spectacular landscape, which is why it's a popular filming location for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurasic Park. The 300 foot tall Hanakapi'ai Falls is definitely a spectacle you'd expect to star on the silver screen, and certainly worthy of a 8 mile out-and-back trek. Like most trails on Kauai, the route up to the falls is quite rugged and usually quite slippery, which is why we categorize this hike as hard. Also, this route should not be attempted during or immediately after a heavy rainfall. Elevation gain: • 600ft (from 50 - 500ft)

8 hours ago

Muddy at times and super slippery, this trail is not for the faint of heart. Totally worth it in the end! The waterfall is gorgeous but the swim is cold!

1 day ago

Hardest 8 plus miles I have ever done
Hot humid 7 stream crossings so you will get wet
Slippery rocks,muddy

hiking
8 days ago

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.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike! Can get tricky at times with some river crossings, but definitely worth it! FYI if you bath in the waterfall make sure you bring a towel, it's COLD!

14 days ago

17 days ago

Leave early to avoid crowds otherwise amazing hike

hiking
23 days ago

One of the best hikes in Kauai, go early or deal with the crowds, be prepared for mud and multiple river crossings.

hiking
24 days ago

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2 months ago

This trail is a buggah, but worth every step! I think my husband and I were the oldest people to go out to the falls today and we met up with every honeymoon couple in Kauai which made for a happy trail. Go early in the morning, as early as daybreak. Then you get a parking space and the trail, going up at least, is manageable with the mud.Halfway to the falls we had the beach entirely to ourselves! The whole trip down was an adventure in slip and slide and by the time we reached the bottom we looked like we'd been swimming in mud... everyone else looked much cleaner, which we didn't get, but oh well. As others have stated bring lots of water, it's humid and warm, some food, and as one wise contributor noted: offerings for the kitty goddess who seems to reside at the falls. It took us about 6 hours total with stops at the beach and at the falls. Plan for a swim at the falls, it's fantastic! Oh, I slipped into the "stream" twice I think on the crossings. Besides some bruised pride it was no big deal. Everything is just slippery! One more thing: bring bug spray - one man who was with us at the falls and who we met up with several times on the way down said he was eaten alive. We sprayed before hand and had no trouble. It is a very buggy trail.

2 months ago

I would do it again but with hiking boots! Beautiful !

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

great destination trail. quite slippery, and challenging. Falls at the end were spectacular. Pool below amazingly refreshing (cold).

hiking
2 months ago

Hi everyone, I did this hike back in July, and I'm sharing my experience with anyone who wants to hear about it. Or even just questions or tips etc.

Shoot me an email :)
J.annegabuten@gmail.com

hiking
2 months ago

I liked this hike a lot, the blisters and pain was totally worth the waterfall at the end but I do think this hike is for more experienced hikers, the first two miles to the beach are fine and moderate and BEAUTIFUL! Then the two miles to the waterfall are strenuous! I am an avid hiker but I wouldn't say I'm advanced and it was pretty killler for me. And then going back was tough as heck. The trail is muddier later in the day from everyone trecking through with wet shoes and wet clothes (you get wet on this trail whether you want to or not). It was a beautiful trail but strenuous. If I were to do this again, I'd bring a big lunch to eat at the waterfall and more water then just my camelback, as well as my hiking *boots* (not hiking shoes) and a towel and then keep a plastic bag and a change of shoes in the car for after the hike. Good hike! Props to those who do it with babies on their backs but holy cow, I wish I was more prepared!