North Shore, Haena
4 miles round-trip to beach, 8 miles round-trip to Falls
Moderate to Strenuous
What to bring
Sunscreen, Water, Appropriate Hiking Shoes with ankle support
Uneven terrain, slippery when wet
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At the end of the road (Hwy 560) Kee Beach on the North Shore is the starting point of the Napali Coast and Kalalau Trail. The hike to Hanakapiai beach is by far one of the most beautiful trails in all Hawaii. The first two miles of the Napali Coast trail is breathtaking. The Hanakapiai Trail will climb steadily for the first mile to an elevation of 400 feet. Don’t let this discourage you, as soon as you reach the first ½ mile vista, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the Napali coastline and an aerial view of Kee beach and the coral reef that creates the protective lagoon at Kee beach, perfect for snorkeling during the summer months.
As you make your way along this portion of the Kalalau Trail you will switchback from coast to valleys, over fresh water streams and waterfalls. As you make your final descent into Hanakapiai Valley you will discover jungles of twisted vines, wild ginger, banana’s, guava, varied Ti plants and at the end the cool waters of Hanakapiai Stream. The crystal clear river that flows from the falls two miles up river is a refreshing reprieve for tired, hot and muddy feet. Cool off in the river the ocean here is NOT for swimming.
When you reach Hanakapiai stream you will need to cross the stream by boulder hopping. The beach is on the other side and during the summer months this beautiful beach is great for sunbathing, exploring the rocks and caves. But at no time is swimming recommended. The views from the beach back up the valley are magical. Most people make this their turn around point, but for those with the time and endurance can trek up the river trail another two miles through bamboo forest;
During heavy rains and high surf this trail can be extremely dangerous near the river and the shorelines. Do not attempt to cross the river during heavy rains. Flash flooding can occur without notice.
Camping and Permits
Camping permits are required when continuing beyond Hanakoa Valey and into Kalalau, even if overnight camping is not planned. Permits can be obtained from the State Parks office in Lihue or on-line @ Hawaii State Parks.
A maximum stay of 5 nights is allowed in Napali Coast State Park. Within the 5-night maximum, no 2 consecutive nights are allowed at Hanakapiai or Hanakoa.
Facilities The authorized camping areas along the trail do not have tables or drinking water. Composting toilets are available.
Parking for the trail head is usually difficult at the end of the road and a grass parking lot on your right as you enter Haena State Park is the suggested area for day parking.