Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail, Kauai: Hours, Address, Kalalau Trail Reviews: 5/5

Kalalau Trail
5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Hiking Trails
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This place is temporarily closed. Kauai's hiking trail along the Na Pali coast.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Popular mentions

5.0
1,665 reviews
Excellent
1,379
Very good
221
Average
41
Poor
17
Terrible
8

mgiord
Ocean City, NJ29 contributions
Nov 2021
A must do if you are physically able!! This was our 3rd trip to Kauai but our first time on the trail. I promised myself that I would conquer this 4 mile (round trip) hike the next time we were on Kauai and we did!! First thing was to make sure we got our reservation to enter the park 30 days in advance at gohaena.com or you will not be able to go. We would have liked to hike the additional 2 miles to the waterfall but time did not allow us as we started off a little late AND we were pretty beat once we got to the unbelievable Kalalau Beach. This is a strenuous trail with breathtaking views and I highly recommend a walking stick. It helped tremendously. Here is my tip: If you are not a typical hiker, like me, it really helps prepare you for the hike to start doing squats and lunges a few weeks before you go. This tip was brought to you by a 59 year old slightly overweight woman. Lol! Have fun and don't miss it!
Written November 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott L
Minneapolis, MN34 contributions
Nov 2020
The trail is an amazing experience. Starting at sea level and making its way up the coast, at times, you're over 1800 feet above the ocean with breathtaking views.

If you're hiking to Hanakapiai Falls, don't bother removing your shoes when you're crossing the river the first time by the beach. You will cross it four more times, and you will not be able to navigate without getting your feet wet, so grin and bear it. TRAIL SHOES are a must for the conditions.

I would recommend doing the trail first thing in the morning since the afternoon's heat can be pretty stifling, walking through the forest. COVID restrictions only allow day passes in windows (6:30-12:30 / 12:30-4:30 / 4:30-Sunset). You will need to go online and get a reservation.
Written November 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dan_Yucaipa_CA
Yucaipa, CA412 contributions
Nov 2021 • Family
Kalalau Trail

Kauai

You CAN and MUST Do This!

820127371

You MUST experience this hike on Kauai. Getting there is confusing. Hiking the trail is strenuous. The experience is totally worth it.

Getting there. Book a shuttle reservations and park entrance at the gohaena dot com site. This is what makes it confusing. You usually hear visitors refer to it as “Na-Pali Coast” which is the name of the wilderness area on the north side of Kauai. But, you enter the trail at Haena State Park. To do that, most people catch the shuttle at Waipa State Park. Got that?

Hiking. Yes, we personally hiked this in muddy conditions with our kids who were in elementary school. Worth doing it. Those same kids WANTED to hike it again. The only difference was that it had not rained much and the trail was dry. This was disappointing, in a way, because I had planned on tossing my old shoes at the end of the hike, and I did not need to do that. The hike to the beach is two miles and takes 2 hours. You do not need to be extreme athletes, but this is not a casual stroll. You must ascend and descend a rocky trail twice. The stream at the beach can be crossed relatively easily by going bouldering down to the coast depending on the tide and water flow on the stream. But it’s a hoot. If you have the food and water, you can go onto the waterfall for the full day experience.

Why do this? The views are that amazing. The experience is that awesome. Those little kids who did it 15 years ago grow up and carry their two year old for four hours because they wanted their own families to experience it.
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katya T
24 contributions
Jul 2021
Great hike, but getting a permit was tough - had to get up at 6am EST 30 days in advance. Also wish could go past the beach without getting a camping permit. For the hike to the waterfall (another 2 miles from the beach), highly recommend hiking poles, as there are 3 river crossings.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CMelam
Bend, OR316 contributions
Feb 2020
First of all, you have to have a permit to even access this hike. I believe you can go online 30 days before your visit and get your passes, but if you wait it's unlikely you'll get access. The limit is 900 visitors per day, and even at that it feels pretty busy on this trail. It had rained a lot the days leading up to our visit, so the trail was very muddy and slippery. This isn't a hike for everyone, but is steep and a somewhat dangerous in many places. We really enjoyed it, but were behind a woman who badly twisted her ankle at the bottom of the initial two miles hike and had to hike back out on the injured leg. The shortest four mile hike (2 in and 2 out) goes up about 800' and back down to a small river that you'll need to cross if you want to go further, or you turn around and go back how you came in. We chose to turn back here as most people were struggling to cross and our permit required we leave the parking area by noon. If you do want to hike further to the waterfall, that's another four miles and you'll need more than one permit to give you time. Go early to beat the crowds and bring a walking stick.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lynne M
40 contributions
Feb 2020
If you do any hiking at all, this is a fairly easy hike to the river, 2 miles in. If you don't do any hiking, you might find this quite strenuous. The trail is quite wide, easily marked but with rocks you need to step up and down from. There is some elevation gain/loss so again, if you do no hiking at all, you will find this tiring. Water is a necessity and you should bring snacks for energy. We were only doing a day hike but had obtained an overnight permit to hike beyond the river. We have hiked this trail numerous times and wanted to see what was beyond the river. The trail is infinately more difficult beyond the river. It is much narrower and you are hiking over smashed vegetation/mud instead of the rock trail prior to the river. The views are more obscured by vegetation here as well. We hiked 2 miles beyond the river till we came to a viewpoint with excellent views of the ocean and coastline before turning around. You need a permit to park your own vehicle at the beach/trailhead. Since we had a hiking permit, we were guaranteed a parking permit but they are $30. Otherwise you need to take the shuttle to the trailhead.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SnowBeans
San Diego, CA103 contributions
Mar 2020
Please ensure you do your research before heading to Kalalau Trail. In addition to permits required to go beyond the two-mile trailer marker, you must also reserve parking and/or get to the trailhead by way of a shuttle. Visit the Hawaii State Parks website for information.

If you are interested in viewing the breathtaking Nā Pali Coast and have hiked elevation before, this is the best way to see it. If you are interested in viewing the breathtaking Nā Pali Coast and believe you will be able to walk along the trail with ease, please ensure you are in good shape. It may not be the most challenging hike, but it is not for those who simply believe this is a two-mile walk. Be prepared with the appropriate footwear, clothes, water and snacks!

With all of that being said, this is THE BEST WAY to see the Nā Pali Coast. We hiked under the cover of clouds and with occasional light rain and I regret nothing. Stop to enjoy the view. Do not race to the finish.
Written March 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John H
North Salt Lake, UT60 contributions
Sep 2020
The Kalalau Trail has to be one of the most beautiful hikes on earth. You’ll see incredible views of the NāPali Coast, ruins from ancient Hawaiians, waterfalls, and if you’re there the right time of year whales jumping off shore. If you do the entire hike and camp at Kalalau Beach I would recommend bringing a backpacking hammock. There are a thousand good places to set up a hammock there. There’s also a waterfall right there so as long as you have a way to filter water you have a fresh water source. If you don’t have time to do the entire trail there are small detours off the main trail to waterfalls and stunning views. It is a must do when you’re on the island. FYI you need a permit to do this so plan ahead and get one online.
Written April 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Aj P
Midland, MI39 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
My family just got back from Kauai. We stayed near the NaPali coast. We had anyone from age 29-64 with us. There is a new rule now where you MUST have a park pass weeks ahead of time before being able to hike the Kalalau trail. We made this mistake and got sent away the first time. If you can’t get a pass, the best way to get access to the park is via the shuttle. The shuttle pass comes with entry to the park which is nice. The shuttle system is actually pretty efficient too. We took our shuttle from Princeville. After arriving, you have a 0.5 mile easy hike to the trailhead. There are bathrooms and a beach with a lifeguard here. If you want to hike, the trail itself is well marked and reasonably safe for the first two miles. It is mainly rocks but is wide and easily hike-able for people of all ages. There are tiny streams that you may have to step over but nothing too crazy. At the end, you hike down to a river. We went during the winter and the river was too high and too fast to cross. I recommend bring water shoes in a backpack to cross the river so that your hiking shoes aren’t soaked. It was at least waist high when we went. There is a small beach that you can hike down to which is nice. Overall, this trail is beautiful. I’m bummed we couldn’t make it to the waterfall on the other side of the river but highly recommend this.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dregehr
48 contributions
Jan 2020
A word of caution this is a hike not a walk so be prepared with plenty of water and food. My husband and I did the two mile each way hike to Hanakapiai Beach (although beach access was very limited due to waves). The trail is rugged, with paths that are very narrow with cliff drops, lots of mud / roots to watch for etc. the trail goes up to an elevation of 800+ feet with alot of stair. We stopped lots to let people going faster by & to enjoy the many beautiful views! It took us 4 hours in total, with lots of breaks. You need to purchase a park pass ahead of time online to bring your vehicle to the park.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,522
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing