Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 256 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.

Loved it! Start early as there is limited parking.

Great hike, lots of different terrain. Bring more water than you think you will need if you go all the way to the falls.

4 days ago

5 days ago

6 days ago

You reach the end, hot, tired, scratched, bruised, and then you dive into a crystal clear, ice-cold pool under a 400' waterfall. As epic a 4 mile hike as exists on this earth. Highly recommended, but would say the rating is difficult, not moderate. This is likely not for the average tourist. Hiking knowledge and some fitness are most helpful. That being said, it was not nearly as muddy as i expected and did not require as much scrambling as I expected. Start as early as you possibly can. it's worth it!

9 days ago

9 days ago

I just did the hike and it's a very beautiful hike and it's not that difficult. The review Amanda Parker left is not even accurate to how the trail is. We got to see some beautiful scenery as we got closer to the beach and crossing the rivers was not a problem at all. my wife and I had a tub of ice cream the day before and had no problem doing the hike. Awesome views, awesome waterfall, awesome beach. ITS WORTH IT!

10 days ago

10 days ago

11 days ago

this trail was everything a trail should be! beautiful scenery, rock climbing and a waterfall at the end. The trail itself isn't difficult, it is just difficult to keep your footing in a lot of areas because of the rain making it super slippery. I wore sandals and it was a good decision, there are quite a few river crossings and for me it was easier to just get in the water and walk across. I would recommend this trail to a friend!

12 days ago

Incredible hike! The falls at the end of the trail are just otherworldly, I can't recommend enough.

We had a dry day -- we visited in early August -- and the trail was not too bad at all. There are a few streams to bounce across but nothing too heinous.

We are both intermediate hikers and it took us about 5 hours round trip (including around 45 mins for swimming once we hit the falls).

12 days ago

13 days ago

Great hike up and back.

14 days ago

15 days ago

16 days ago

19 days ago

Amazing hike! I have to say I agree with some of the reviews that this hike is on the harder side than moderate. It took us 6 hours total to hike 8 miles out-and-back.

The 2 miles to the beach are quite easy ( although will put some strain on your knees), but from the beach to the waterfalls, you should be ready for all sorts of terrain: river crossing with slippery rocks ( which were a breeze with my hiking sandals since I went straight into the water and just walked across every time), rock-climbing sections next to moderately risky cliffs, especially in the last half-mile or so before the waterfall, and lots of mud.

Despite everything, the view of the falls was breathtaking! Swimming under the falls was also an amazing experience. So as long as you have appropriate footwear, sun protection, and the will to hike the distance, you'll love this hike.

Some DOs and DONT's of this hike:
- Do not park at the no-parking zones at the sides of the highway -- you WILL get a parking ticket.
- Do not forget to bring an insect repellent. The areas next to the river (virtually everywhere) are filled with mosquitos and they'll get you as soon as you're out of your car.
- Do leave early. Don't forget that the hike itself takes 6 hours, you will probably want to spend some time on the beach (hopefully not swimming) and the falls (yes swimming!) and you don't wanna be stranded on the trail after sunset.

19 days ago

Okay, after reading the reviews I had to comment and review. As is obvious, the hike is not for everyone. Though, me and my husband have completed this hike today and I have to say we LOVED IT!!!

I would have to agree that it is a difficult hike and if you read it, the board itself that advises you right before it states "should only be attempted by experienced hikers". It did have up and down hill, stair paths, unpaved narrow winds, and rock walls with active running water you'll need to somewhat scale across. But it was very doable! There are many dry areas you will have for foot paths more so than wet on a good day. Last two miles are the most challenging.

The views were breathtaking and astonishing I've never marveled at such beauty! Him actually being to quite a few countries said this was astonishing and a new favorite.

Experience should tell you (as well as all the signs on how to cross a river) that you should actually wade across the rivers and not jump across the rocks as that is far more dangerous. It was simple enough honestly many people were able, but for everyone it's different.

Hanakapi'ai Beach (half way point) was also very delightful! There was actually a pool of water (separated by much much sand from the ocean) that many families and children enjoyed. We also delighted in the water!

Hanakapi'ai falls were MARVELOUS! Though it was also ice cold the swim was spectacular (signs advise not to swim because of falling rocks).

GPS confirmed the trail signs off slightly. It took us 6 hours out and back. Swim at your own risk just as you hike at your own risk don't rely on this as advice as the weather patterns and rain contributes to drastic changes in the hike daily. Much luck if going!

20 days ago

Breath taking! The views along the whole trail are to be appreciated! I'd say accurately graded as a moderate trail.

21 days ago