Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 401 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
2296 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.

5 days ago

A little muddy but so worth it, the waterfall pool is awesome!

6 days ago

next time I'll make sure to get permit to do the whole coast

16 days ago

I would change this to hard if it has been raining. The trail is VERY muddy and rocks have been placed the first 2 miles making it slippery. I have done several hikes in flip flops but I would never do this one. By the end we were all covered in mud from the knee down. However, the views along the way are gorgeous. We took our 4 teens and it took us 5.5 hours after stopping at the beach and falls for 45 minutes.

16 days ago

Gorgeous trail with amazing views! However, I would definitely rate this as hard. Muddy and very slippery, multiple stream crossings on slippery rocks, and lots of high-stepping both up and down. I agree with the reviewer who said that whoever described this trail as moderate must be in their 20s.

18 days ago


18 days ago

Did this hike in January with 4 friends. It rained earlier this morning just a little bit and it was very muddy and pretty slippery. We all absolutely loved this hike and thought it was a “must do” hike in Kauai! Take water and a swimming suit to swim in the waterfalls pond.

20 days ago

If you love working hard for an amazing view, this is most definitely the trail for you! Due to the exorbitant amount of mud-trudging required, I recommend something besides your favorite shoes or your flip flops :)

Prepare for a cold misty wind at the base of the falls, but the waterfall is so glorious, you prolly will forget you're chilly.

25 days ago

Magnificent! Our second time hiking here. Thankful for our boots (merrell/oboz) in Thursday’s late afternoon mud and rain. Although we saw a few barefoot folks who were quite swift-moving. Be plenty ready to get muddy. It seems like less folks continue on to the Falls from the beach. As others mentioned, be patient with parking options. We arrived at 11am and parked in the 2nd lot, furthest away.

27 days ago

Challenging with the mud but very nice! I'd suggest to leave very early to avoid the crowd. We arrived there and nobody was there yet. That was great.

1 month ago

Beautiful! Hiking this region of Hawaii has been on my bucket list for a while and this trail did not disappoint. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks though! You won't want to run low at the beach and miss out on the falls.

1 month ago

Perfect hike showcasing a slice of Kauai, if you don’t mind getting muddy & wet. Started at 8:30am & closest car park at start of trail was already full so glad we chose to park in the 1st one & walk 500m to the beginning of the trail. What I love most about this hike is you don’t notice the gradual ascent as much as others I’ve done in hotter, less tropical conditions. You’re constantly sheltered & surrounded by lush rain forest but this also means the ground is a slushy, muddy mess so be prepared for slips & falls along the way. Walking poles would be ideal and of course good quality hiking shoes. We saw people walking this trail barefoot at the beginning but by the time you’ve crossed the first stream, shoes are mandatory & the barefoot brigade have stopped. Keep going to the end & you’ll be rewarded with a most stunning waterfall where you can have a little swim & happy snap. Highly recommend. Enjoy!

1 month ago

Started at 8:30am , first car park next to trail was already full. If you’re not starting super early I’d suggest parking in the 2nd car park and walking 500m to start of trail. Didn’t rain today and was still super muddy so much easier if you wear shoes with grip. Small water crossing just before arriving at the beach. About 4 water crossings on trek to waterfalls. Be prepared to get a bit wet and muddy.

1 month ago

Awesome trail and great diversity on the trail. Can’t beat the view you get from the hike. Pretty slippery on several spots as there are running streams, muddy rocks, and red clay that can definitely be challenging if there has been any precipitation (no matter how little) before your hike. Due to the canopy being so thick at certain segments of the trail, I doubt that the wet clay ever dries. Be wary when stepping on slippery rocks. Take a hiking pole with you. Definitely helps!

1 month ago

Agree with reviewers below that you will want sturdy hiking shoes and trekking poles - we had one each, but I would have liked to have two. Even though it was a beautiful sunny day, the trail was very muddy and slippery when we went at the beginning of December. We saw one hiker with crampons and were slightly jealous. If you are fairly nimble, you may not have to get your feet wet crossing the streams. We were able to jump from rock to rock, but maybe we went on a day where the streams were running low. We are avid hikers and this hike took us a little over 4 hours.

1 month ago

We hiked this trail yesterday 12/13/17
We arrived at 9 am and the closest parking lot was already full. It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to the waterfall. We are both avid hikers and live in Carmel Ca. where there is an abundance of trails right in our backyard. Having said that, this trail is very slippery and in my opinion dangerous. We saw people in flip flops , sandals & sneakers. I was so happy to have on my hiking boots , wish I had brought poles for this hike. In the first 2 Miles we were so careful to try and keep out feet clean and dry .... trust me... you are going to get wet & muddy . You have to cross the river 4 times to get to the waterfall so just embrace the elements and get wet & muddy from the get go.
The hike was so worth it and we will 100% do it again, but those of you that rate this hike Moderate must be in their 20s
I’m 53 a little fluffy and we are pretty sore today.
We brought two large water bottles , some jerky and a bag of nuts ...... round trip with plenty of time to enjoy the beach and waterfall took us 6 hours.

1 month ago

Not sure why my tracking on All Trails cut out on the descent but it took us 6 hours and 20 minutes total and we were at a slow to medium pace coming out. The trail was extremely muddy and slippery but we had quality hikers with good soles. We saw lots of people sliding and a few falls in running shoes / trainers. I would probably rate it hard as a good portion is scrambling in extremely muddy / slippery conditions not conventional hiking.
It was definitely the best vacation hike I have done over the past 30 years aside from the Canadian Rockies. I would do it again in the summer after a stretch of a week or so without rain. Some great pictures and met lots of people as the trail is heavily traveled. The overflow parking was full and people on the road when we came out. Get there early take

1 month ago

November 22 2017
Weather Wet and slush
Trail Muddy wet slippery
Must Equipment Trekking Poles Good Merrill Hiking Shoes
River Conditions Waist high fast moving waters

Great hike, hard and tough.
Unlike many reviews this is during wet and raining conditions. Need to be in good fitness. Saw many in flippers and sliding.
Views are awesome and worth the effort.
Best hike in Kauai.

2 months ago

Views are simply amazing. Muddy and some challenging spots, so wear the right shoes. Go early to beat crowds. Garden of Eden!

2 months ago

Awesome trail, an absolute must if you enjoy beautiful, lush, and green coastal scenery. The hike to the falls and the option to take an extremely refreshing dip is worth the trek alone. Only negative thing that I can think of, which this really didn’t bother my wife and I but it may bother some, is how muddy and slippery it can get. Unfortunately we did not bring trekking poles with us on our trip (we will next time) but those definitely would have made the hike much easier in navigating some of the more rocky and slippery parts, but again we did fine without them. Overall we really enjoyed the hike and highly recommend it.

2 months ago

Gorgeous vistas of the na Pali coast and ke'e beach, well established trail

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