Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail (CLOSED)

HARD 363 reviews
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Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail (CLOSED) is a 22 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Haena, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
22.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6177 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

scramble

washed out

closed

Hāʻena State Park and the adjacent Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park (including the Kalalau Trail) on Kauai are closed due to flood damage affecting both the parks, as well as the highway and bridges which access the parks. Closures will likely be for an extended period of time, as damage assessments and repairs must be completed. http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/hiking/kauai/kalalau-trail/ The island of Kauai is called the Garden Isle for many reasons. Many of which will become apparent as you hike through the jungle on your way through the Na Pali coast. The hike begins at Ke'e beach, at the end of the road on Kauai's North shore. You immediately begin climbing up and old trail, build with paving stones, but somewhat slippery and crumbling. Long legs are a bonus here, as well as excellent grip on your hiking boots. The hike heads up and along the edge of the hills, very close to the ocean. There are great views of the Pacific here, as well as majestic jungle mountain views. The trail curves in and out of the many ridges that reach to the ocean, and then slowly works its way back down to Hanakapi'ai Beach, which is the halfway point (in!). A good spot to cool off and relax, before heading inland for the next two miles. Head up the stream to the right, and follow the trail all the way to Hanakapi'ai falls.

4 days ago

Incredible hike! Wish we had brought backpacking gear to do the whole thing! Not a lot of elevation gain though so it was easy to do about a 10km stretch (20km total) in one day. Start really early so you can have the trail to yourself and enjoy sunrise! It gets extremely crowded later on

12 days ago

Great trail, it’s particularly harder when it’s raining and wet. I’d suggest a hiking stick if you don’t have one grab one before you start. Keep an eye out for weird feral cats on the first beach and the occasional friendly rat.

22 days ago

Great mixture of challenging but quick. Watering hole at the end is a must!

25 days ago

Great scenery right from the start, which improves the further you get into the hike. Unclear why AllTrails lists it as 9 miles each way - definitely marked as 11 and certainly felt like 11. Either the markers or the app is incorrect.

Regardless, the last four cliffside miles are fairly safe in the dry but in moderate rain some of the narrow muddy walkways (i.e. not crawlers ledge) around mile 8 felt not just heady but genuinely dangerous. We didn't have trekking poles but really missed them when trying to keep from sliding off a muddy cliff. Many water sources, so use iodine. Also, plan for rain even if not explicitly forecasted.

25 days ago

Started out rather easy, however,trail became a bit tough as we hiked towards the falls. As a firefighter and EMT, I would suggest having a first aid kit and splinting supplies. As well as a way to purify your water , due to risk of running out on the trail. The.first aid kit may come in handy, not for you, but for someone else! I saw this first hand while hiking back from the falls . A hiker had broken her ankle and had to be flown out via Kauai fire & rescue chopper. If you have the resources , a Sat phone would be of great use when an emergency takes place on Napali trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible!! Only did the first two miles to beach, full of gorgeous views the whole way. You can continue up to a waterfall an additional 1.8 miles from the beach. Any further along the trial and you need a permit to continue. We reached the parking lot at 830 and there was plenty of room in the farther second lot, but this fills up fast and people start parking along the road. Bathrooms at the trailhead and the beach at 2 miles. Several stream crossings but able to stay dry with balancing. Recommend hiking shoes or waterproof hiking sandals with straps, though saw plenty doing it in sneakers. Nice to get out early but also be sure to catch some views post noon on the way back, as the light changes and water turns a beautiful azure blue.

1 month ago

One of the best hikes I have been on. Most of the reviews and you tube videos are pretty misleading about the dangers. Crawlers ledge is not a big deal. At no point did I feel like I was in much danger. Yeah if you fall it would be bad but honestly by the time you get there (mile 7, 8 or 9 not sure) you have pretty well been tested. Just keep your eyes on the trail as you go and stop walking if you want to look around. The river crossings were not a big deal either. I know that can change but just do what the signs say. If it’s really muddy and fast looking don’t cross. If the river is moving rocks (you would hear) don’t cross. I feel like people make a big deal about that stuff more to seem extreme or daring than to warn people. No body wants to see anyone get hurt. Be smart but don’t let the dangers stop you from going. It is an extremely rewarding experience. It would be even more so if you were scared of those things and did it anyway. The thing that surprised me about the hike was how hard it was. I have done some 20 to 25 mile days before so we thought about doing it in one day but decided we wanted to camp at the beach. Good thing to because by the time we got there we were ready to call it. I don’t know if it was the humidity or the constant up and down but it was a hard 11 miles. I saw some people recommended staying at the camp at six miles. If you have 3 or 4 days and your worried about the difficulty that’s probably a good idea. Take two weeks if you need to. It would be worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Spent a leisurely 6 days (Feb 2018) there and back doing all side and waterfall trails. Take your time to enjoy the views. Caught a break with little rain but trail had been closed for several days prior to our start which made for awesome waterfalls but very muddy and slippery conditions

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic views, muddy in wintertime, nur worth it. Long and exhausting because of the high humidity. Crawlers Ledge is not difficult at all.

My wife and I hiked around 3 miles along the trail before we headed back. The trail is beautiful with plenty of vista points along the way.

Breathtaking

backpacking
1 month ago

Stunning the entire way!! Did this July of 2016. First: DO NOT let reviews scare you about Crawler’s Ledge! Could be a bit unnerving if you have a true fear of heights I suppose but really exhilarating otherwise. Second: Be sure to allow a few days to explore the valley before heading back! Would be a shame to miss that experience!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Beautiful views!

2 months ago

This is a beautiful trail not for the casual stroller. It’s dirty, wet and very slippery. That being said, it’s one of the most beautiful trails I’ve every seen. This trail is highly trafficked much of the time.

hiking
2 months ago

A must do if you're on Kauai! Incredible views even if you go the first 1/2 mile. I was crunched for time, so only made it to mile 2 (the beach) and it was still totally worth it. Bring a snack to enjoy! Most beautiful blue water to contrast the greens and browns of the coast. We were able to see some whales at the emergency helicopter landing spot. Amazing view. Be prepared for mud and steps and slippery terrain (so wear good shoes!), but so much fun. I hope to come back and hike further next time!

backpacking
2 months ago

should be experience hiker, roughest 11 miles you will do, bugs bites, hot and muggy, unpredictable weather.

2 months ago

My favorite trail of all time so far! The trickiest part is the mud of course, but so much fun. We only went to the 2 mile beach mark, we were tuckered out! There was a boar skin hanging at the beach...?
Met lovely people on this trail. Our honeymoon was so great with this hike added to it.

hiking
2 months ago

Have done it in january. Masterpiece of all hikes! We got perfect weather on our two days trail, so we were lucky. We started at 6:00 and we have done it to Kalalau beach in 8h30m with all views enjoying, taking photos and also Hanakoa falls side trail. Return way was 6h of fast walking. We wanted to sleep in the car at Kee parking the night before, but cops woke us up and sent us to Haena beach, where sleeping in the car was ok. Also even when cops obviously somehow monitor Kee parking, we didnt want to let our car there because of car break ins rumours. So we left it on Haena beach, where is a lamp. So with road walk from haena, and with Hanakoa falls, it was totally 25miles of hiking, so count with that. Generaly it was muddy only in first 4 miles, nothing extreme - classic kauai trail mud. When we were here 3 years ago, the mud was extreme in first 2 miles - liquid mud above ankles! After 4th mile it got drier and drier - changing to the desert, what was a surprise for me. But those views! Amazing! The hardest part was probably Hanakoa falls side trail, where we got 2 minor injuries, probably because this trail is not used that massivly. The falls were high and beautiful, with swimming possibility. We slept on the beach one night, nothing special needed for overnight - 1 sleeping bag for 2 people was handy, then 2 air pads and water resistant layer under it. We made a basic shelter above us from our rain coat ponchos. Atmosphere on the beach was unique, you leave your gear on the place chosen by you and nobody will touch it. There is nice shower in small waterfall directly on the beach end. Some guy gave us fruit, also you can see naked people there, so swim suit is not necessary to carry. But carry water filter and small bottle (we had two 1.25L bottles for 2 people), there are many streams for filtering fresh water. Also take trekking poles and high boots! Get permit for it in advance, it gets sold out quickly for every date one or two months ahead. And be physically prepared. We were preparing the days before on another Na Pali trails - Kalepa ridge, Nu'Alolo ridge and Honopu ridge - amazing trails with amazing views on Na Pali (when the weather allows)! Especially Kalepa ridge was extremly nice. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

Masterpiece of all hikes. We did it in january on very good weather, it was muddy from start to 4th mile, but nothing extreme (when we were there before 3 years, the mud was really extreme - liquid mud above ankles). After 4th mile the trail was more and more dry.. changing slowly to the desert. We had only 1,25l bottles each and a water filter, it was more than enough, there are many streams to grab water if you need. The so called dangerous cliffs at the second part are not so dangerous, as some ppl describe here, but still nice walk in those parts! We started at Kee at 6:00, and we were after 8,5h on Kalalau (with resting, photos and Hanakoa falls side trail), we slept 1 night on kalalau under our raincoats (ponchos) with 1 sleeping bag for 2ppl as a blanket. We also had sleeping mats and wet isolation under them (no tent). The way back took us 6h (with fast walking). Awesome trail, the views on the second part are breathtaking, was lucky with excellent weather. Also good comparison with views from other na pali trails we did - Kalepa ridge and Nu'Alolo - which were also really nice (we did also Hon

2 months ago

We hiked to the beach and back (+/- 4 miles). Amazingly beautiful. The trail was muddy most of the way with rain falling sporadically. Hiking shoes/ boots are a must to keep you from slipping around on the muddy sections. Trekking poles or walking sticks definitely come in handy. Basically come prepared. This is not a leisure walk, but it’s worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s grueling and full of life questions but I guarantee hiking back there is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Do it right... bring coffee, cheese, bacon and spliff materials (American spirit). Get to the beach, roll a spliff and ask who’s flying pizzas. You’ll make friends and have a great time. It’ll change your life.

backpacking
3 months ago

At first we planned 5 days but the forecast wasn’t looking good so we waited but no luck, it rained a lot. My partner felt into a river after 2 miles so his boots were wet. We made it to mile 6 but rained all night. In the morning we decided to turn back. Also, I was afraid of mile 7 the open area and narrow trail with sheer drop on the side. Very muddy, very strenuous specially with 45 pounds backpack... would love to do it again when it is dryer and less weight.

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous hike, but definitely muddy in this wet season. Bring rain gear and proper shoes, but definitely worth it. Goes up and down so not overly strenuous.

hiking
3 months ago

Alrighty. Humping it in from Ha’ena Beach Park, hiked it to the end which accordingly is 12 miles, but the miles felt really long. The first 6.5 miles is mostly in the jungle with the occasional appearances on the cliff ledge near the water. Mind you majority of the hike is on the ledge. If camping comes to mind going or coming back, you can camp at mile 2, mile 6, and at the end of the trail. Anyways, when you get to Crawler’s Ledge, just before mile 7, is where it opens up and the views get better. Be prepared to hear the helicopters the entire hike. Just before you descend to the beach, there’s a Kalalau sign and just to the left you get slapped with another amazing view. It’s a great hike. Just remember to stop then look. It can be slick along the trail so mind your step. Plenty of streams along the way, so replenish your water sources (filter). Fruit trees scattered about at the end and a waterfall as well to clean up and replenish your water sources. If you have extra food you don’t need, pass it on to some of the folks that stay camped out at Kalalau Beach. Enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

Went with my 11 & 16 year old to the waterfall. Perfect day hike for an active family. Both my kids said it was a highlight of our Kauai trip and we did a lot of awesome things! Very beautiful.

3 months ago

We hiked the 22 miles there and back in one day for my 40th birthday. Definitely a bucket list hike and once in a lifetime experience. We left at dusk and had to use our phones for light the last 1.5 miles because it got dark. We brought a water filter to refill our water bottles. The slippery rocks beat up our feet and i ended up with a black toenail. We weren’t sore the next day but our feet ached. We wore old tennis shoes we threw away afterwards. That being said, the hike is absolutely gorgeous. Views of the Nāpali coast for most of the hike. The beach is beautiful (and nude). There were hippies that live there full time.

hiking
3 months ago

The best experience of my life, hands down. This entire coastline, and Kalalau Beach is like a paradise lost (except for the abundance of tourists nowadays including myself). Be mindful of this special gift... stay on trail, pack out ALL your trash, and let nature entertain you rather than making all sorts of racket with bluetooth speakers. Hawaii is magic!

3 months ago

Rained all day did not make it to far. Incredible views. We will be back!

backpacking
4 months ago

Worth all the effort and risk!
Must get max 5 days permit.

hiking
4 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. Very challenging. Frankly worried about falling or slipping but with a walking stick I had more confidence. Beautiful views! We went to the river and turned around. Your shoes will get wet.

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