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, bananaâs, 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.
Heading into Kauai’s interior and remote terrain offers dome of the most beautiful backdrops on the world. By doing a little planning and being prepared you will make your hiking trip one of your best Kauai experiences.
- Hiking Plan Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) you plan to hike and when you plan on returning.
- WaterÂ Drink one-half to one full quart of water or sports drink each and every hour you are hiking in the heat. Carry your water bottle in your hand and drink small amounts often. Make sure if you are drinking water from any streams or fresh water sources you purify your water with a purifier is certified to filter microbial leptosporosis or giardia (not all do).
- FoodÂ Carry high-energy, salty snacks as well as meals. The hike out is much easier when you provide your body with enough calories to support the extreme physical activity you are engaged in.
- Weather Check the weather before you set off on your hike. Kauai Weather Forecast
- First Aid It is important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be monitored closely. Don not expose open wounds or cuts to river water.
- Proper Footwear There are a variety of footwear options to choose from. The best advise is to wear what is comfortable for you. Do not break in new shoes along a hiking trail.
- ClothingÂ Dress in layers so you can protect your skin from the tropical sun. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen is recommended. A light rain jacket is recommended.
Wonderous Kalalau Falls
Today my wife and I, novice trekkers, embarked on the Kalalau Trail with the intention of seeing the Kalalau Falls before sunset! We were informed that we would have to trek four miles before being rewarded with an unforgettable view of the mesmerising falls, so we departed at 8am and after walking 2miles we arrived at theKalalau Beach at 9.30am as expected. Upon our arrival we were greeted by two local felines as well as a beautiful view of the inviting beach and its turquoise ocean. After enjoying a little morning tea with the local felines we left and upward for the falls. After negotiating another 90 minutes of undulating terrain, much of it wet, muddy and slippery, we were rewarded with the marvel of nature at its purest and best. The falls did not disappoint either. sheets of continuous water fell gracefully, what appeared from the sky into a large rock pool where they were greeted by eager trekkers and other folk who had taken the aqua plunge to wash the sweat from the brow or simply wash mud away from their scoured lower limbs. We joined some of our fellow trekkers in the pool for a refreshing swim before settling on the fall's embankment to enjoy a hearty lunch. Soon thereafter, we embarked on the return journey arriving safely arrived back at the car
park at 3.30pm. The return walk seemed somewhat easier but still as challenging. Fellow walkers were polite and seemingly always available to lend a helping hand when negotiating the unidirectional pathway was required. Overall, we consider the falls as an amazing experience with a wonderous reward provided for our adroit trekking effort.
It might be the most beautiful trail in the world...but I wouldn't know because after a 2-hr drive from Poipu, road construction and plethora of 1-lane bridge crossings I was forced to turn around and go home empty-handed due to a total lack of parking. One small lot, poorly laid out requiring people to 3-point their way out against onslaught of incoming cars, half the lot roped off...claustrophobically tight. Likewise no parking at road's end by trailhead. Family was pumped up to hike, ended up bitterly disappointed. Half-assed set up all around, could do better!
The waterfall is like a cloud falling from the sky. Truly magical. The hike is hard. We are not the strongest hikers. We left the trailhead at 7 am, and saw the sunset as we returned. A strenuous twelve hours, but the magic and beauty of the landscape kept us going. The waterfall and pool were a reward we will always remember. Our aches and pains today will soon be forgotten!!
Bucket List Worthy Hike!
Hike the Na Pali Coast on the Kalalua Trail from Ke'e Beach ... then follow the Hanakap'ai Stream to Hanakap'ai Falls ... then eat lunch at the edge of the waterfall pool ... then swim under the 410 foot waterfall ... 8 miles round trip of mud and lava rock and stream crossings through a tropical forest with 1,820 ft of elevation change (0' to 530' to 0' to 760' to 0' to 530' to 0')
A beautiful, long, amazing hike! We went all the way to the falls. Started at 9am and finished at 3:30. My hubby wore a Garmin Tracker - 16 km round trip (and apparently 3000 calories!)
The falls were amazing and the swim so refreshing. My first traverse through a stream down at the beach taught me that I didn't need to try to hop from slippery rock to slippery rock - just wade through the water and feel good about cleaning the mud off your shoes!.. so refreshing, and a lot safer than balancing on the slippery rocks. It is definitely a hike for the fit. Go early in the morning as the rain often moves in in the afternoon. I polished off at least 2 litres of water - I could have used more. We had lots of snacks and blister tape just in case!
worth every minute
The drive to the park and entrance is very enjoyable. Be prepared to park along the roadway. If you park in the lot, go slow. The walk to the beach was breathtaking. The foliage, flowers, sound of the ocean, and fresh air all beautiful. We spent some time on the beach as this was halfway for us. Very pretty and the surf was definitely too rough to consider swimming. We continued our hike two more miles inland to the falls, had lunch, watched many individuals slither into the water as the rocks were slippery and enjoy a swim. This last portion before the falls is a bit more than moderate so use care. Keep going it is worth the effort. Be just as cautious on the flat surfaces as there are slippery smooth rocks underfoot that can send you headlong. Bring lots of water, snacks, proper shoes and a watchful eye for the endless beautiful scenery.
We wanted to see the real Hawaii of the Lost series, and this was it. Our teenage kids had no trouble with the trail at all. My wife, a 48 year old with suspect knees and a life usually free of exercise of any kind was able to complete the hike to the beach and back - though it was challenging. Support and care was required for some of the muddier stretches. The views were majestic and we had a great time at the beach. We warned that since it was winter, there might be no beach at all - but instead we were met with a huge sandy beach that was perfect and awe-striking. My wife and I took 1hrs 30mins to walk back, resting a couple of times to watch the whales in the distance. This hike is a must. The car ride from Princeville was beautiful on its own.