Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail

HARD 313 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail is a 19.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hanalei (Kauai), 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
19.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6676 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

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.

hiking
3 days 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 days 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.

13 days 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
14 days 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!

21 days ago

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

backpacking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

very muddy & slippery in Dec but worth the hike to see tje views

hiking
1 month ago

The most amazing hike I have ever done. We camped at the beach for two nights and it was amazing. The views were incredible. It rained on the way there which made it so much harder. Wear good trail shoes or hiking boots and take poles. We did both ways in one day. The hike in was fine but the last mile of the hike out was rough. Our knees were shot. Worth every second.

1 month ago

One of the greatest hikes on Earth

backpacking
1 month ago

One of the world's greatest backpacking trails. Suggest 2 days in and 1 long day out. Bring good footwear. Trails is often muddy and sometimes even washed out. Do not go in times of long periods of rain. Permit required.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible views. Loved hiking up for the views and coming down to the beach. Most stunning tropical landscape I've ever seen. Only got to go about 4 miles in and turned back. If you can, bring trekking poles - it's slippery and hard on bad knees. I will come back here one day to trek the whole thing.

backpacking
2 months ago

Came to Kauai to do this backpacking trip. Planned it for 6 months and geared up for something that EVERY review said was extremely difficult. The only thing extreme is the rugged landscape. The actual hike isn’t difficult, even with the wet and muddy conditions. Having said that, it’s not easy either. One thing for sure...it’s beautiful and something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Being from Oregon, I’ve actually been on hikes that are more physically demanding than this one. Make sure you bring a comfortable pack! For me, that factor was the most noticeable.
Got to mile 6 after a very late start on the first day. Set up camp and then the rain came, HEAVY, and continued through the night for 12 hours. By 6 am the next day, the stream from the day before turned into a river and was no longer passable, so we were forced to turn around. All the same, it was worth the trek. Put this on your todo list. It’s worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Went hiking this trail back and forth in one day. The trail in to Kalalau was 11 miles. We started 6:30 am and came back 5:30 pm.

backpacking
2 months ago

One day in one day out. Camped one night. Absolutely gorgeous. Need to cross rivers. Cliff session is at mile 7 but it is not too scary. Life time experience.

2 months ago

We did it

hiking
3 months ago

An absolute must! We hiked to and from Hanakapi’ai Beach, which is quite rewarding. We saw a few people with flip-flops, which is extremely dangerous. Wear good hiking boots/shoes. It’s very muddy and extremely slippery (especially closer to Hanakapi’ai Beach). There are lots of uneven rocks and you have to cross a small pond at one point. The Nā Pali Coast views along the way are breathtaking! Add this hike to your Kauai priority list! Kudos to those who hike the 22 miles!

hiking
3 months ago

Went all the way to final beach and stayed over night. Incredible isn’t even the word

hiking
3 months ago

most beautiful trail I've ever hikes. we did 1st 2-3miles ending at the 1st beach right after crossing 1st river. it was safe, just don not hoarse around its still a cliff side hike. This is not the scary part most people put on YouTube and you still get breathtaking views

hiking
3 months ago

Did the first part, going to Hanakapi'ai beach and then to the Hanakapi'ai Falls and back.
Not too strenuous but expect a lot of mud and a couple of water crossing on slippery rocks. Use the right shoes or get your feet wet ( I did !)
Well worth it once you get to the waterfall !

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