Hanakapi'ai Beach

MODERATE 96 reviews
#3 of 3 trails in

Hanakapi'ai Beach is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1158 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

washed out

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.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

Loved this trail, it is challenging if you are not an active person but very doable. Your shoes will be muddy, I recommend taking a walking stick from the pile at the trail head, you will need this for the mud spots and also to cross the water/ rocks. Unless you don’t care about wet feet. Also a lot of people came back covered in mud from slipping. Don’t forget water and bug spray. Not as hard as you think, worth it for the views. Bring a snack for the beach before you head back. Just as challenging on the way back.

hiking
20 days ago

Outstanding views!

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

It is an awesome hike! It's rather challenging in the last quarter mile as the grade is rather steep. Take at least a liter of water per person. You cannot avoid getting your shoes muddy. Warning to parents: there were a couple topless women at the beach. They were sunbathing or changing clothes -- not walking around indiscreetly. Nevertheless, topless.

1 month ago

Wouldn't leave the island until you hike this one. Slippery in the morning after heavy rain. Proper shoes and water...you will need it!!! Go to the falls it's worth every step

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I hiked this trail after a morning of snorkeling. I’m a hiker and he is not but I wanted to take advantage of the trail head being right there and the fact that we had a parking spot. So anyhow this hike can be done for non hikers as long as the trail is dry, which it was on 9/24. I was fortunate to have hiking shoes in the car which I suggest. He however only had water shoes. These worked but I do not suggest them at all. Make sure you have a thick sole to absorb the very rocky trail and a nice tread. Many hiked in Tevas and a few locals were barefoot. The hike is longer than 2 miles, that was agreed by everyone we saw. It can be quite hot as it is exposed. Views are well worth the hike and the beach is gorgeous. Saw lots of kids on the trail and parents carrying baby’s in packs. Great family hike. Carry lots of water and have a snack at the beach.

1 month ago

Worth every minute!

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of people

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

The view is mesmerizing!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago