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Hanakapi'ai Beach is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 4.2 mi Elevation gain 1,131 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Beach

Cave

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

Washed out

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

NOTE: Advance reservations are now required for all visitors (except state of Hawaiʻi residents). Please see state park website for reservations and information https://www.gohaena.com/ 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.

Camping and Permits Camping permits are required when continuing beyond the 2 mi. mark at Hanakoa Valley and into Kalalau, even if overnight camping is not planned. Permits can be obtained from the State Parks office in Lihue or on-line @ Hawaii State Parks. A maximum stay of 5 nights is allowed in Napali Coast State Park. Within the 5-night maximum, no 2 consecutive nights are allowed at Hanakapiai or Hanakoa. Facilities The authorized camping areas along the trail do not have tables or drinking water. Composting toilets are available. Parking for the trail head is usually difficult at the end of the road and a grass parking lot on your right as you enter Haena State Park is the suggested area for day parking.

Business Hours: 8am to 5pm HST, Monday - Friday Phone: (808) 635-4024 or email info@kauai.com

At the end of the road (Hwy 560) Kee Beach on the North Shore of Kauai is the starting point of the Napali Coast and Kalalau Trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (644)
Photos (1425)
Recordings (466)
Completed (1840)
Chris Nguyen
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HikingMuddyRocky

Hanakāpīʻai Valley and beach via the Kalalau Trail is one of our favorite hikes in Kauai. Our favorite part of the hike was the Hanakāpīʻai stream crossing and beach at the end. We started our hike at the beautiful Keʻe Beach in Hāʻena State Park. The first part of the trek was a steep and rocky climb (with a 500 ft elevation gain in about half a mile) in a lush jungle setting. Because of the recent rainstorm, this part of the trail was muddy and extremely slippery. However, this wet jungle setting gave way to a drier dirt trail along the cliff, overlooking the mesmerizing blue-green water below. What a treat! Approximately, a mile into the hike we were rewarded with the majestic view of the Nāpali Coast, making this one of the most beautiful trails that we have hiked. The last half of the hike was a descend down to Hanakāpīʻai Valley. In order to get to Hanakāpīʻai beach, we had to cross a running stream, which the kiddos found thrilling. We made sure that they took extreme caution when crossing. Hanakāpīʻai beach was stunning and remote. Although the waves were too big and strong for my liking, the kiddos loved playing in it. After our lunch on the beach, we decided to head back. Totally, recommend this hike in the Northshore. Happy hiking!

Brian Murphy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Amazing views of Na Pali Coast and the Pacific Ocean. Trail can be slick when it rains, but not excessively challenging. There is a cave on the beach to explore or for shelter. One of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen - prepare to hike back in the dark with a flashlight.

View Brian's Recording
Kylie Adamek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

One of my favorite hikes of all time. The trail can get a little muddy during the rainy season so wear some sturdy shoes and bring a change of clothes.

Ashlee Eastman
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HikingMuddyRocky
Tigran Muradyan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 8, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
View Tigran's Recording
Irena S
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HikingMuddy
View Irena's Recording
Patrick Richards
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HikingFeeMuddyRocky

Great hike, even with the rain making it a little slippery. River was high but worth the crossing

Michael Uttecht
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 25, 2020
HikingMuddy

Beautiful scenery as you hike along the coast through gorgeous jungle environment. We were lucky as it did not rain the day of or day before hike so trail was manageable in regards to mud. If rain in forecast- avoid. You cross one stream just before you reach the beach. The easiest crossing is downstream ~500 ft near beach

Andrew F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2020
HikingFeeRocky

Incorrect recording info. 2h28min 7.41km

View Andrew's Recording
Perry Berkenpas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 18, 2020
HikingMuddy

Great views, it rained on the way out but that created a very slimy trail in the way back in. Traffic was okay but as we started at 8am. The beach is no longer a sandy beach as a storm last year has removed all the sand. It is all lava boulders at this point. Beautiful place to watch the waves. We spent 30min at the beach and the entire out and back took 2.5 hours. Our pace was strong as we passed folks so for most it would take longer. Next time we will go up to the waterfalls, which looks like that it would add 2-3 hours.

Denis S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
HikingBugsFloodedMuddyRockyWashed out
View Denis's Recording
Wesley Lundin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2020
Hiking

This is a wonderful trail. I would consider it moderate to extreme. The waterfall is well worth it. The ocean and views were beautiful.

Tom Robertson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 31, 2020
Hiking

Outstanding hike!! Beautiful sunshine, nice breeze, and moderate surf. Saw one whale in the wake of a catamaran. Trail has three stream crossings and only the last was significant. It hadn’t rained for several days and some locals said this was as dry as they seen the trail for awhile. So take advantage!!! Aggressive climb but manageable. Happy to have achieved this bucket-list hike!!

Bronwyn Rhind
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2020
Hiking

Excellent trail, mostly in shade (we set off about 10am). It hadn’t rained the week leading up to our trek, so it wasn’t too muddy at all... my partner wore trainers/sports shoes with no worries. I wore hiking boots which I appreciated although now my feet a bit sore. When you get to the 1st crossing (just before the beach) the quickest way is to take off shoes and cross there. If you really don’t want to take shoes off then we found a path just before the ocean (took a lot longer though). We are not experienced hikers or very fit either and it took 6 hrs to return + 15 mins for lunch at waterfall (around 1.5 hrs to beach, and another 1.5 hrs waterfall). Sometimes it’s hard to know where to cross, but then you see someone coming the other way. We did notice ribbons on the way back and not sure if we just missed them earlier at other crossings. I’d call it moderate to hard trail, lots of up and downs and you need a base level of fitness to be comfortable. Don’t attempt if you have bad ankles or something as it’s pretty hardcore flexing and bending. If you see a stick devotedly grab it, or bring poles - I found a stick and made it heaps easier. We caught the shuttle which was a good system - gets full so don’t miss the time you booked. Make sure you ask what time the last shuttle is if setting off after 10am as we were a bit paranoid but ok in the end. Hope you enjoy!

Tobin Bechtel
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HikingMuddy
View Tobin's Recording
Kyle Acott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 23, 2020
Hiking

trail was mostly dry and in good shape. we did the hike with our 9 month old in a carrier and saw several others doing the same. beautiful views of the spectacular cliffs and huge ocean waves. for the reservations if you want to walk or drive in you will need to book 30 days in advance. however we were able to book the shuttle the day before. it costs more ($15/person) but at least you can pick a nice day instead of gambling 30 days in advance.

View Kyle's Recording
Heather R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 22, 2020
HikingMuddy

I had a short amount of time on Kauai so I went to the beach instead of all the way to waterfall. Gorgeous hike. Took the 730 shuttle from Princeville. Recommend goings early because as I was coming back trail was getting incredibly crowded with later shuttles/private cars. Saw a lot of people struggling in flip flops/sandals- def recommend hiking shoes, and poles were also helpful. Almost everyone took their boots off stream crossing before the beach and went barefoot. Take your time and be careful!

Josh Hansen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 8, 2020
Muddy
View Josh's Recording
Greg P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 31, 2019
Hiking

One of the nicest trails I have ever hiked in terms of the views which were stunning. Bring lots of water on a hot day. The beach is dangerous especially in winter. We saw around two dozen people who were eating their lunch and enjoying the view of the ocean get swept into the ocean by a sneaker wave with no warning and many got injured, some badly enough to need helicopter rescue.

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