Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail

HARD 220 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
9225 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

sea kayaking

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. That's all there is!

backpacking
2 hours ago

An amazing but difficult trek! Here is a trip report I wrote up with maps, pictures, and logistics info. https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/napali-coast-state-wilderness-park-kalalau-trail/

hiking
5 hours ago

The Kalalau Trail was the most gruelling, physical, emotional and mental challenge I have ever put myself through!!!! 18 kms to the end on day one which took me 11 heart pounding hours! Needless to say the arrival into camp saw some tears. The hike out was thankfully done over two days but still very tough in the glaring sun and 30 degree heat, not to mention the constant inclines and declines. INCREDIBLE... I would definitely hike this again!

hiking
22 hours ago

1 day ago

Just did the first two miles and it was beautiful!

hiking
5 days ago

10 days ago

My shoe broke so I hiked 7 miles of this trail barefoot but it was still definitely worth it!

hiking
13 days ago

Difficult but so worth it! Was lucky with the weather

backpacking
17 days ago

Started late at 12:30 pm on June 19 and hiked 6 miles and camped at Hanakoa in light rain which kept everyone cool. Trail was dry and very little mud. Very few camp sites at Hanakoa and some mosquitoes. Not a nice camping spot. Next day hiked the remaining 5 miles to Kalalau beach. Trail was easier today than yesterday. Crawlers Ledge at mile 7 is way over exaggerated. Not a big deal at all. Plenty of great camping sites at Kalalau with shade and great views. We camped with tents but saw many hammock campers. Looks interesting and appropriate since there are many trees in the campgrounds. No mosquitoes at Kalalau. Nice! Beach, view, weather were all great. Definitely worth the effort. On the 3rd day packed and left Kalalau beach at 7am in clear weather. Got back to trail head at Ke'e at 1:30 pm. Stopped for lunch at Hanakapi'ai and soaked in the stream. Will do it again!

camping
23 days ago

Did the 4 miles to the waterfalls, stunning, really needed to hop in some cold fresh water after the challenging hike. Not super tough, but interesting enough to keep a millennial like myself entertained ;) The hardest part is he last mile back to the parking lot. The views are awesome!

hiking
23 days ago

25 days ago

I only did 4 miles of this hike, but it was the most beautiful hike I have ever been on! The views along the trail look like something from a postcard. The Na Pali coast is stunningly beautiful. This is a MUST see if you're in Kaua'i.
This trail may be a bit difficult for people that aren't hikers. After even just the first mile, over half of the people that had started the trail had turned back.
However, the famous lookout point of the Na Pali coast is only 0.5 miles in. You don't have to hike far at all to make doing this trail worth it. I highly recommend the Kalalau trail for the gorgeous vistas!

28 days ago

Hard? Maybe. Challenging? Yes. Worth hiking? Absolutely!

28 days ago

Breathtaking

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Such a phenomenal hike. Challenging, and worth every step

backpacking
1 month ago

No doubt about it, this trail was hard! I had a series of extraneous problems that affected my experience on the trail, but the experience made me unlikely to ever hike this one again. The tourist helicopters are a huge distraction and they really detract from the vibe and natural beauty of the Nā Pali Coast.
Crawler's Ledge is not so bad, but the short section immediately west of it is more dangerous than any other portion of the trail. When dry, the trail is unstable, powdery dirt, but when wet, it's a Slip'n'Slide of doom. There's nothing to hold onto and the wrong step can lead to an untimely demise, so it's best to hike when it's not wet.
The State is ramping up its efforts to clear out squatters in the Kalalau Valley, so the increased presence of park rangers (and their helicopters) is ruining the feel of the place. The squatters won't bother you, but the State certainly will, so make sure you've got a valid permit if you go. If I ever visit this portion of the island again it'll be by boat.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with breathtaking views. Make sure you arrive early as parking is bad and the trail can be crowded.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

I just posted a video on the trail on my YouTube and IG if you'd like to see what you're in for. https://youtu.be/ch-CnALYNiQ IG @Venturealoha