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.

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

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!

Went with my 11 & 16 year old to the waterfall. Perfect day hike for an active family. Both my kids said it was a highlight of our Kauai trip and we did a lot of awesome things! Very beautiful.

Awesome hike, but be prepared for the mud and a few slips here and there!

Amazing views! Special location. This was our fifth or sixth time on the trail. It’s always been a bit muddy, yesterday was no exception. Plan to finish with muddy shoes. Best to start as early as daylight allows. This helps with traffic, parking and mud.

8 days ago

We’re in decent shape and made it to the beach in exactly 1 hour with taking pictures. The mud can really slow you down. One of the more beautiful places on earth is at the 1/2 mile make in this hike.

Amazing hike! Definitely heed the warnings at the trailhead, conditions and unpreparedness can make this trail very dangerous.

The beach is beautiful. During low tide, you can access a tunnel on the left side of the beach. You can go inside but be careful you don’t get stuck in there.

I have never been more thankful for my waterproof boots with excellent ankle support. The trail is very slick, muddy, and uneven. However, it really was a cool experience just to hike on the Na Pali Coast! My favorite parts of the trail were when it opened up to the views of the Coast further down. I also loved the views of the ocean along the way. The beach at the end is great for hanging out, having a snack, and watching the waves before you head back. We were debating continuing to the Falls but ultimately decided to head back. Awesome trail, and a must-do on Kauai.

We hiked the 22 miles there and back in one day for my 40th birthday. Definitely a bucket list hike and once in a lifetime experience. We left at dusk and had to use our phones for light the last 1.5 miles because it got dark. We brought a water filter to refill our water bottles. The slippery rocks beat up our feet and i ended up with a black toenail. We weren’t sore the next day but our feet ached. We wore old tennis shoes we threw away afterwards. That being said, the hike is absolutely gorgeous. Views of the Nāpali coast for most of the hike. The beach is beautiful (and nude). There were hippies that live there full time.

I would change this to hard if it has been raining. The trail is VERY muddy and rocks have been placed the first 2 miles making it slippery. I have done several hikes in flip flops but I would never do this one. By the end we were all covered in mud from the knee down. However, the views along the way are gorgeous. We took our 4 teens and it took us 5.5 hours after stopping at the beach and falls for 45 minutes.

Gorgeous trail with amazing views! However, I would definitely rate this as hard. Muddy and very slippery, multiple stream crossings on slippery rocks, and lots of high-stepping both up and down. I agree with the reviewer who said that whoever described this trail as moderate must be in their 20s.

The best experience of my life, hands down. This entire coastline, and Kalalau Beach is like a paradise lost (except for the abundance of tourists nowadays including myself). Be mindful of this special gift... stay on trail, pack out ALL your trash, and let nature entertain you rather than making all sorts of racket with bluetooth speakers. Hawaii is magic!


Did this hike in January with 4 friends. It rained earlier this morning just a little bit and it was very muddy and pretty slippery. We all absolutely loved this hike and thought it was a “must do” hike in Kauai! Take water and a swimming suit to swim in the waterfalls pond.

If you love working hard for an amazing view, this is most definitely the trail for you! Due to the exorbitant amount of mud-trudging required, I recommend something besides your favorite shoes or your flip flops :)

Prepare for a cold misty wind at the base of the falls, but the waterfall is so glorious, you prolly will forget you're chilly.

very muddy, but really gorgeous views and lovely beach at the end of the trail

Rained all day did not make it to far. Incredible views. We will be back!

Magnificent! Our second time hiking here. Thankful for our boots (merrell/oboz) in Thursday’s late afternoon mud and rain. Although we saw a few barefoot folks who were quite swift-moving. Be plenty ready to get muddy. It seems like less folks continue on to the Falls from the beach. As others mentioned, be patient with parking options. We arrived at 11am and parked in the 2nd lot, furthest away.

Challenging with the mud but very nice! I'd suggest to leave very early to avoid the crowd. We arrived there and nobody was there yet. That was great.

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