Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 316 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

6.9 miles
2775 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



over grown


no dogs

Hanakp'ai Falls Trail is located near Hanalei, Hawaii and features a waterfall. The trail is primarily used for hiking. 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.

13 hours ago

1 day ago

2 days ago

Not easy. Pretty muddy in places. But worth it.

5 days ago

We made it a couple miles up. It was raining when we went and it was relentless so we turned back. Beautiful though. One of my favorite hikes even though I didn’t make it to the end.

7 days ago

8 days ago

10 days ago

Hiked this morning during and right after a heavy rain. Lucky to get out early as the trail was closed for most of the day. Difficulty definitely increases with the slippery conditions and high waters, but getting to the waterfall with the rain coming from above was a once in a lifetime experience. Great hike!

11 days ago

Wear good grippy shoes, or be ready to get your feet wet :-) The trail is quite muddy and slippery and there is a couple of water-crossing.
Well worth it on e you get to the waterfall. Bring your swimsuit !

This hike back from the falls was quite slippery and treacherous. I wish I'd had my Keens with me for the water crossings. For me, a large Gatorade was a must in addition to my water. I wouldn't have made it without. I am a sweaty hiker but I've never sweat as much as I did on this trail. The postings about bringing enough water are correct. Also the trail is littered with fallen guavas. Might be worth bringing an additional guava soda because it smelled so divine and made me crave it! (Note: there were some hungry kitties at the beach.)

14 days ago

15 days ago

My husband and I just finished this hike, and it was truly amazing!!! Make sure to wear your bathing suit so you may enjoy the beautiful waterfall!! We brought water shoes which made crossing the streams much easier!!! A few tips for others we learned and witnessed by other hikers. Bring Advil, plenty of water (2 liters each) plenty of snacks, bandaids, ace wrap, and extra socks. Go early for best parking we got there at 7:15 on a Sunday and most spots were taken. Enjoy!!!

15 days ago

15 days ago

15 days ago

16 days ago

I hiked this trail back in October 2014 when I was in beautiful Kauai for a friends wedding. This is a "must hike" if you are in Kauai. The beauty itself is magnificent! The trail is rated moderate and I can completely agree with that. The only negative is it's somewhat crowded although on the day we went I personally didn't think it was awful but someone was always in view. We went with a group of about 15 (started a bit late - 9am) of us thru the first section of 2 miles to Hanakapiai beach. The 2
mile hike to the beach you are rewarded with absolutely stunning views of the Na Pali coastline while walking the many switchbacks. Once we got to the beach we hung out, ate, chatted with
people and just took in what this paradise had to offer. The surf at the beach supposedly has swept people away and has caused several deaths and I believe it. There's signs posted (of course a few people were actually in the water) but you can tell right away with the magnitude of those waves crashing onto this isolated beach Mother Nature is a force!

Then it was go time and 6 of us continued upstream to our goal which was of course the falls another 2 miles away! This section was wet and muddy for most of the trail with a few creek/river crossings (easy rock hopping) but that's just hiking for you. Some parts we had to wait for the others in the group to catch up but that's what we do! In my opinion this section was more strenuous than the first 2 miles on the way to the beach.

The 6 of us ranged in ages from 16 to mid 30's (3 guys & 3 girls). 2 of the guys it was there first hike ever with one of them wearing flip flops (he wasn't happy with the choice at the end but he did it. My point is that it's doable for almost anyone with any kind of fitness level.

It was so so worth it because once we made it upstream we spent an hour or so awing, relaxing, and swimming in the pristine cold pool of water under this beauty of a 300' waterfall. You can swim behind the falls also as there is a ledge to stand or sit on and get another amazing perspective of the beauty that's surrounding you.

All in all it was one of those special days!! The memories alone I still carry with me to this day. I think we spent about 5-6 hours hiking with about 2 hours of relaxing so 8 hours all in. Round trip was an 8 mile hike which isn't to bad at least for my skill level. A bunch of reviews seemed to think it was a bit longer but it seemed pretty accurate to me. I didn't have my GPS watch that day but I did have my camera so I'll dig up some pics and post them.

Make it happen I promise you are gonna love it!

16 days ago

This was amazing. Strenuous but the views at the waterfall are incredible. Swim under the falls and there's a ledge you can sit on. There are a few opportunities to stray from the trail, ask if you get confused! Trail closed today until further notice, there's a fire nearby. So check the Kalalau Trail status before you go.

17 days ago

stunning views and Really moderate

18 days ago

20 days ago