Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, HI 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 2907 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)

hiking
15 days 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.

16 days ago

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

16 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

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

hiking
26 days 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
27 days 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!

hiking
27 days ago

This was an amazing hike. However, it is a very popular hike so be prepared to run into lots of people even mid week early in the morning. It seemed like most of the people are just hiking to the beach which is the half way point to the falls.

The hike itself is moderate to difficult. The first half is moderate depending on your level of fitness. The second half is difficult depending on weather and level of fitness. Very buggy when we went. The hike up to the falls is all slippery jungle with four creek crossings. Follow the red ribbons as some places the trail is easy to vear off of.

The falls are amazing! Well worth it. Bring offerings for the feline waterfall dieties!

1 month ago

Amazing

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail typical Kauai trail with some wet spots, took my 21 month old in a babypack so 35+ pounds and hiked there and back with a 30 min rest on beach total time 3 hours. Anyone can do this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

it rained on us today (10/21/16). The 5 stream crossings were pretty fun but rough. Muddy, slippery, and overall awesome! Worth it seeing the magnificent falls.

1 month ago

Amazing hike but difficult during or after it rains. Pack plenty of food and water. I went through three liters without going to the bathroom once. Also, make sure to follow the ribbons tied to the trees once you get on Hanakapiai Trail (after Na Pali). If you do start hiking the wrong trail, which happened to us and judging by other reviewers it happens often, do not be alarmed. Just retrace your steps, find the first split, and look for the correct path with a ribbon tied to a nearby tree. Finally, plan at least 8 hours in case flash flooding stands you on either side of the river during the falls hike. Challenging hike but well worth it in the end. Felt like Rocky afterwards!

1 month ago

Amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Tough and slippery but stunning! Definitely wear good boots or hiking shoes.

hiking
2 months ago

Tough hike, but well worth it. Beautiful views on the first 2 miles in, then a rough up and down hike to the waterfall for another 2 miles. Definitely bring plenty of water and something to eat. There's a few small waterfalls on the way to cool you down, but don't drink the water.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome, muddy, bucket list of fun. Myself, my wife and three teenage daughters made it there and back in eight hours or so. Swimming at the beach at the end at sunset made for a memorable ending.

2 months ago

The highlight of our trip to Kauai! Such beautiful views and the waterfall at the end was breathtaking. We swam underneath it (water was FREEZING!) Bring plenty of water and shoes for river crossings. The trail can change hourly depending on the rain so make sure to watch the forecast. We were climbing through mud and most of the trail turned to little waterfalls partway.

2 months ago

pretty difficult for a novice. please bring PLENTY of fluids and food

2 months ago