The Napali Coast State Park stretches 6,175 acres and 17 miles across Kauai's northwestern shore and is maintained by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The park's lush landscape is defined by its rugged terrain with high sea cliffs (the na pali) and steep drop-offs that give way to beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the Kalalau Valley. The park can be explored by boat, helicopter, or by foot. Hiking is the most popular way to experience the natural beauty of the park. The most renowned hiking trail in the park, the Kalalau Trail, was built in the 1800s and spans from Ha’ena State Park to Kalalau Beach. This is a great hike that stretches 11 miles (22 miles roundtrip) across the park passing through lush valleys, including Hanakoa Valley, stream crossings, and two beaches. The hike takes at least a day to complete through to the end, thus a camping permit is required to do the entire hike or to hike past Hanakapi’ai Valley. Completing the trail in its entirety is only recommended to for experienced hikers. The trail ends at Kalalau Beach where there is a designated camping area for hikers. The portion of the trail stretching from Ha’ena State Park to Hanakapi’ai Beach makes and excellent day hike for those looking to experience a portion of the trail without obtaining a permit. Day hikers can also extend their hike to Hanakapi'ai falls from Hanakapi’ai Beach. Hikers must use extreme caution due to the rugged terrain and often muddy conditions caused by heavy rain in the area and occasional flash flooding. Hiking shoes are will good traction are recommended, especially for those completing the whole trail and make sure to bring plenty of drinking water. If you do not want to hike, there are many local companies that offer boat tours or helicopter tours.

backpacking
4 days ago

should be experience hiker, roughest 11 miles you will do, bugs bites, hot and muggy, unpredictable weather.

My favorite trail of all time so far! The trickiest part is the mud of course, but so much fun. We only went to the 2 mile beach mark, we were tuckered out! There was a boar skin hanging at the beach...?
Met lovely people on this trail. Our honeymoon was so great with this hike added to it.

Have done it in january. Masterpiece of all hikes! We got perfect weather on our two days trail, so we were lucky. We started at 6:00 and we have done it to Kalalau beach in 8h30m with all views enjoying, taking photos and also Hanakoa falls side trail. Return way was 6h of fast walking. We wanted to sleep in the car at Kee parking the night before, but cops woke us up and sent us to Haena beach, where sleeping in the car was ok. Also even when cops obviously somehow monitor Kee parking, we didnt want to let our car there because of car break ins rumours. So we left it on Haena beach, where is a lamp. So with road walk from haena, and with Hanakoa falls, it was totally 25miles of hiking, so count with that. Generaly it was muddy only in first 4 miles, nothing extreme - classic kauai trail mud. When we were here 3 years ago, the mud was extreme in first 2 miles - liquid mud above ankles! After 4th mile it got drier and drier - changing to the desert, what was a surprise for me. But those views! Amazing! The hardest part was probably Hanakoa falls side trail, where we got 2 minor injuries, probably because this trail is not used that massivly. The falls were high and beautiful, with swimming possibility. We slept on the beach one night, nothing special needed for overnight - 1 sleeping bag for 2 people was handy, then 2 air pads and water resistant layer under it. We made a basic shelter above us from our rain coat ponchos. Atmosphere on the beach was unique, you leave your gear on the place chosen by you and nobody will touch it. There is nice shower in small waterfall directly on the beach end. Some guy gave us fruit, also you can see naked people there, so swim suit is not necessary to carry. But carry water filter and small bottle (we had two 1.25L bottles for 2 people), there are many streams for filtering fresh water. Also take trekking poles and high boots! Get permit for it in advance, it gets sold out quickly for every date one or two months ahead. And be physically prepared. We were preparing the days before on another Na Pali trails - Kalepa ridge, Nu'Alolo ridge and Honopu ridge - amazing trails with amazing views on Na Pali (when the weather allows)! Especially Kalepa ridge was extremly nice. Enjoy!

Masterpiece of all hikes. We did it in january on very good weather, it was muddy from start to 4th mile, but nothing extreme (when we were there before 3 years, the mud was really extreme - liquid mud above ankles). After 4th mile the trail was more and more dry.. changing slowly to the desert. We had only 1,25l bottles each and a water filter, it was more than enough, there are many streams to grab water if you need. The so called dangerous cliffs at the second part are not so dangerous, as some ppl describe here, but still nice walk in those parts! We started at Kee at 6:00, and we were after 8,5h on Kalalau (with resting, photos and Hanakoa falls side trail), we slept 1 night on kalalau under our raincoats (ponchos) with 1 sleeping bag for 2ppl as a blanket. We also had sleeping mats and wet isolation under them (no tent). The way back took us 6h (with fast walking). Awesome trail, the views on the second part are breathtaking, was lucky with excellent weather. Also good comparison with views from other na pali trails we did - Kalepa ridge and Nu'Alolo - which were also really nice (we did also Hon

We hiked to the beach and back (+/- 4 miles). Amazingly beautiful. The trail was muddy most of the way with rain falling sporadically. Hiking shoes/ boots are a must to keep you from slipping around on the muddy sections. Trekking poles or walking sticks definitely come in handy. Basically come prepared. This is not a leisure walk, but it’s worth it.

Crowded but worth it for the amazing views along the coast.

Don’t do this hike if it’s raining. Just. Don’t.
“But, I flew all the way to Kaua’i!”
If it’s raining, don’t do it.
The trail turns to slick mud.
The river, which you have to cross multiple times on the second part of the hike to the falls, becomes dangerous to impassable. The water can go from ankle deep to chest deep in a matter of 30 minutes. Several people were stranded today.
No matter how many times or how much bug spray you apply, the rain washes it off, and the mosquitos swarm you as soon as the rain stops (this is mainly on the hike from the beach to the falls).
If the rest of this review has not dissuaded you from attempting the trip in the rain, at least only do this first two miles to the beach. There are some decent views, and no river crossing. But don’t head up to the falls. Your life may depend on it.

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike in tropical conditions. A bit wet and slippery but fun to do. Took us 2.5 hours out and a little less coming back. Several stream crossings which can be tricky depending on water levels.

Great falls reward at the turnaround point with the opportunity to recharge with a cold water swim (you must do this!). You can swim out into and through the waterfall...exhilarating!

It’s grueling and full of life questions but I guarantee hiking back there is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Do it right... bring coffee, cheese, bacon and spliff materials (American spirit). Get to the beach, roll a spliff and ask who’s flying pizzas. You’ll make friends and have a great time. It’ll change your life.

Beautiful views!! Lots of mud & stream crossings. I wouldn't recommend for small kids.

Awesome views. I recommend picking up a walking stick at the trailhead. A kind person gave me his stick part the way up and it was invaluable.

Great vistas, but crowded and very wet muddy On the easier side of moderate.

Great adventure into the beginning of the Nāpali Coast. Can be very muddy as we experienced, still walkable, just slower. The waterfall is awesome, worth the extra hike, just be prepared for sections of mud and a few creek crossings. The crossings have plenty of rocks to walk across, they could be fairly challenging if there has been a lot of rain though.

Beautiful coast line as you hike the Nāpali coast before heading up to the waterfall. Wear or bring something to swim in at the falls. A great pool at the bottom of the falls to cool off in before your return trip. Unlike hikes in cool Waimea canyon this trail is low in elevation (but with lots of up and down terrain) and thus you are hiking in the hot humid weather. Bring plenty of water and you will be thankful.

At first we planned 5 days but the forecast wasn’t looking good so we waited but no luck, it rained a lot. My partner felt into a river after 2 miles so his boots were wet. We made it to mile 6 but rained all night. In the morning we decided to turn back. Also, I was afraid of mile 7 the open area and narrow trail with sheer drop on the side. Very muddy, very strenuous specially with 45 pounds backpack... would love to do it again when it is dryer and less weight.

hiking
24 days ago

Awesome among awesome trails. If it rained (often does) plan extra time for slippery downhills, particularly near the stream around 1.6 mi. Some people do this hike every day they visit Kauai, I can see why. Hiking poles very helpful.

Gorgeous hike, but definitely muddy in this wet season. Bring rain gear and proper shoes, but definitely worth it. Goes up and down so not overly strenuous.

hiking
1 month ago

A little muddy but so worth it, the waterfall pool is awesome!

next time I'll make sure to get permit to do the whole coast
wow!

Alrighty. Humping it in from Ha’ena Beach Park, hiked it to the end which accordingly is 12 miles, but the miles felt really long. The first 6.5 miles is mostly in the jungle with the occasional appearances on the cliff ledge near the water. Mind you majority of the hike is on the ledge. If camping comes to mind going or coming back, you can camp at mile 2, mile 6, and at the end of the trail. Anyways, when you get to Crawler’s Ledge, just before mile 7, is where it opens up and the views get better. Be prepared to hear the helicopters the entire hike. Just before you descend to the beach, there’s a Kalalau sign and just to the left you get slapped with another amazing view. It’s a great hike. Just remember to stop then look. It can be slick along the trail so mind your step. Plenty of streams along the way, so replenish your water sources (filter). Fruit trees scattered about at the end and a waterfall as well to clean up and replenish your water sources. If you have extra food you don’t need, pass it on to some of the folks that stay camped out at Kalalau Beach. Enjoy!

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