Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail is a 12.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 12.9 km Elevation Gain: 699 m Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

no dogs

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/ 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. Hollywood is a big fan of this Hawaiian island's spectacular landscape, which is why it's a popular filming location for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park. Like most trails on Kauai, the route up to the falls is quite rugged and usually quite slippery. This route should not be attempted during or immediately after a heavy rainfall.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Probably the best hike I’ve ever done in my entire life! Loved every part of it! Bring plenty of water and ideally waterproof shoes

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful waterfall hike

muddy
rocky
2 months ago

EPIC!!!! You can't leave Kauai without doing this trail! Make sure you start out as early as possible to avoid afternoon storms and trail traffic. I recommend taking the north shore shuttle so you don't have to mess with parking and it includes your park entrance. The first part of the trail is wide and well groomed with fun waterfall crossings and great views of the Na Poli coastline. The second part up to the waterfall gets more muddy and slightly more technical. I highly recommend good hiking boots although I saw people coping with strappy sandals. There are several river crossings which you can avoid if you are good at balancing on wet, mossy rocks but I opted to just wade through the shin deep river which was refreshing. The waterfall at the end is absolutely gorgeous and worth a refreshing dip. Be careful on the slick rocks around the water and I wish I had water shoes with me as the rocks are sharp in the shallow edges of the waterfall. The center is pretty deep as I couldn't touch at 6'3" and make sure you swim around behind the waterfall for a cool view. My suunto clocked 8.43 miles with 2,346' elevation gain. Took me 4hrs 23mins of hike time plus an additional 30mins having lunch and swimming at the falls.

muddy
2 months ago

This trails offers a bit of everything. First two miles have great views, well maintained well travelled trail. The second part is more technical and involves crossing streams by boulder hopping, muddy slanted terrain, mossy rocks, etc. The waterfalls are spectacular and if you dare, you can swim in the water! Head to the trail early in the morning to beat the trail traffic. Make sure you end the hike with a well deserved swim at Ke'e Beach. Note: I saw many people wearing poorly chosen footwear for this hike. Forget about sandals and sleek running shoes. Come prepared with proper hiking footwear (or barefoot if that's how you roll).

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Weather was perfect today, we got lucky because big storms coming the next few days. Waterfall was spectacular, as was the view of the Na Pali coast for the first two miles. Can’t recommend this hike enough!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Really fun, hard hike. Truly a climb in places. We’re in fairly decent shape and we were pretty exhausted by the end. Good walking sticks help, especially when the trail is muddy. Start early if you have a shuttle to make it back to. When the trail is hard to find, look for the tree tape and follow that. People try to mark the trail as best they can. Wear shoes or boots that have good traction and can get muddy and wet- the river crossings are easier walking through than bouldering, especially for those of us who are short or have short limbs. However, do not cross if the river is swollen and watch for flash floods. The waterfall is beautiful, as are the beach, bamboo groves and views of the cliffs from the first leg of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

the hike was spectacular today. overcast when we started but the sun came out by the time we got to the viewpoints. trail is surprisingly well maintained considering the constant rain and number of hikers. props to the rangers. highly recommend this hike. it was a major workout!

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Hiked this 3/4/2020. Beautiful, sunny and cloudless morning. We arrived around 7:30 and finished around 1PM. It was a challenge but so worth it! The trail was very muddy, expect to get dirty and wet. Many, many river crossings which require fancy footwork or getting your feet / shins wet. Be prepared for sloppy terrain and wild trail and you’ll enjoy it.

hiking
3 months ago

The view is absolutely gorgeous. We could see a rainbow over the ocean for majority of our hike out. We started around 930 am and a park ranger warned us about flash floods near the river crossings. The river crossing was absolutely dangerous and we watched several people cross, a few close calls. Wasn’t worth it for us so we hiked back. The four miles round trip was still well worth it. Lots of rain and pretty slick on the way back. Definitely recommend a rain jacket, good shoes/boots, and poles.

hiking
closed
flooded
muddy
3 months ago

If there’s a lot of rain in the forecast, I would suggest skipping this and coming back. We made it through lots of mud and rain to the first river crossing and it was quite dangerous so we turned back - waist+ deep. Apparently one of the later ones got as high as neck height! Trail has some nice views of the coast, but on a rainy day I might’ve skipped this and come back another day. Trail was closed once we got back to the trailhead.

hiking
muddy
scramble
3 months ago

Great hike! Get there as early as you can. We reserved the 630-1230 slot and arrived just before 7am. The trail was not too muddy out but considerably worse on the way back. Water crossings were a mix of ankle deep and waist deep. My wife (4 months pregnant, although regularly active) loved this hike. I would not recommend taking younger kids beyond the beach (half way point). Great hike overall!

hiking
flooded
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

What a trail! It was closed right after we started due to rain and wind. Tough going. Slippery. The stream was not passable. Lovely walk though.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Amazing. If you ever do this hike you must complete the full 8 mile hike to the waterfalls. The view from under the fall is totally worth it.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

What a beautiful trail to the Hanakapi'ai falls! The first two miles up the Na Pali Coast offer you stunning scenery which feels a little bit like it's out a movie or from a different planet ala Avatar. After that, THERE WILL BE MUD but just make sure to embrace it and then it should be fairly mild up to the falls. There are 5 river crossings (The hardest one at the beach 2 miles in) and they are all pretty mild, but it is important to take it slow. Overall, the biggest danger I noticed on this trail was that there seemed to be a bit of a logjam going up and coming down in the early afternoon which was an issue in the spots where the trail is thin and there's only room for 1 person. Nonetheless, the Hanakapi'ai Falls are magical and you can even go take a dip in the pool of water below although it is pretty cold.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

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