Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

MODERATE 140 reviews
#2 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

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

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. When hiking the trails of Kauai you can be forgiven for expecting to meet a T-Rex around the next bend, or to spot Indiana Jones running by with one hand on his hat and the other grasping some ancient artifact. Hollywood is a big fan of the this Hawaiian island's spectacular landscape, which is why it's a popular filming location for movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurasic Park. The 300 foot tall Hanakapi'ai Falls is definitely a spectacle you'd expect to star on the silver screen, and certainly worthy of a 8 mile out-and-back trek. Like most trails on Kauai, the route up to the falls is quite rugged and usually quite slippery, which is why we categorize this hike as hard. Also, this route should not be attempted during or immediately after a heavy rainfall.

34 minutes ago

2 days ago

4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Great views. Lots of people. Helicopters abound. Longer than it says.

6 days ago

6 days ago

Really good hike. Bring a lot of water - we went through 2L each. First two miles (trail for Kalalau) has a lot of traffic but clears out after the main beach. The first two miles is also mainly in the sun. The trail to the falls (which you can access about two miles in, after you cross the first major stream) is very muddy and you will have to cross several streams. The last half mile is very technical so be careful. Waterfall is totally worth it.

9 days ago

10 days ago

This was a difficult hike, but well worth it. Take plenty of water. Like twice what you think you need. Your feet will get wet so prepare accordingly. The water fall pool swim was invigorating.

hiking
11 days ago

This hike has some of the most incredible views in the whole world. The prettiest blue and green colorings. It's a lot of hiking on top of slippery rocks. There are some portions that are relatively flat and easy. My husband actually slipped off of the edge while we hiked it in December and was thankfully able to catch himself of some foliage. Scariest moment of my life! If you hike all the way to the waterfall, be prepared to cross the stream several times. If I do this hike again I might bring some type of chaco-type sandal for that portion because I got so tired of taking my hiking shoes and socks on and off.

18 days ago

First two miles are moderate and feature a few spots that are very close to complete drop offs. The second two miles are more strenuous with stream crossings. Amazing payoff at the falls and worth every step. As others have said, bring some sort of hiking footwear if you plan on completing the trail to the waterfall since the rocks and mud combination makes for some tricky footing. I did my hike in Keen hiking sandals and they held up nicely.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Couldn't beat this hike. We were the only ones at the falls. Almost weren't able to do it for rising waters.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Wow! This trail lives up to everything in the reviews. Dirt, mud, rocks, bamboo, stream crossings (they aren't all gentle). Lots of elevation change in the first 2 miles. Beautiful coastline views too. We even saw whales are the trek back. Once you cross the stream and start towards the falls this trail turns nasty, but totally worth it. The waterfall is amazing!

One tip, definitely wear shoes with good grip that you're OK hiking in once they're wet, because they will be.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

Muddy at times and super slippery, this trail is not for the faint of heart. Totally worth it in the end! The waterfall is gorgeous but the swim is cold!