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“Best Place on Earth - The Kalalau Trail”
Review of Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail
Ranked #5 of 284 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Kauai's hiking trail along the Na Pali coast.
Reviewed October 30, 2007

This is the best place on Earth. This 11 mile hike is one of the greatest hikes I have ever done in my life. With all the beautiful views, I would recommend this to any backpacker. Even if you're not an avid backpacker, you can still get a glimpse of it by hiking in two miles to the Hanakapiai Beach and hiking to the waterfall, but no going past this point without a permit! This is a must-do trip when you have at least 3 days to spend on the trail. Don't forget your camera! I found tons of information about the trail at OutdoorHighAdventure.com and clicking on Kalalau Trail! Thanks!

7  Thank backpackerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,321 - 1,325 of 1,462 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2007

This is not an easy trail to the Falls. It is 8 miles round trip, bouldering in places, which can be very taxing. We were on the trail for a bit more than five hours. My son and I, 23 and 47, both in good shape, were really working. This is a strenuous hike. We are from Arizona, and have a fair amount of expericence with tough trails, so this was a bit of a surprise. It took longer than we anticipated. I highly recommend it, but be sure to do the following:

1. Take PLENTY of water, like a camelback. We took less than we should have. I don't know what we were thinking. I think we thought it would take less time than it did. There is no potable water that we could see near the trail head, or over at Ke'e Beach. Have some in your car for the drive back. Hopefully really cold.

2. Bring food. You will need the calories.

3. The trail starts off what seems like straight up. Bear in mind that you will be walking in the sun, exposed on the cliff, for some of the time. It is gorgeous, but very hot, especially uphill. Bring sunscreen and a hat.

4. If you are a new or novice hiker, I would not do this hike, unless you plan to just go up, take a few pictures of the coast, and come down.

5. When you turn in from the beach for the 2 miles to the waterfall, you will be hiking pretty much in shade, in the jungle. If bugs are attracted to you, bring spray.

6. Wear proper footwear. We saw people with flip-flops on, and you will NOT get far in those, not to mention, you could fall off the cliff!

That being said, it is a gorgeous trail, and we highly recommend it. The waterfall is worth the trek. Have fun!!

14  Thank karinnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2006

This trek is one of the best in the world.

I was recovering from major surgery...and was not in tip top shape...but was still able to complete the full hike with no problems.

It was well worth the work...as there were many things to see along the way...including panoramic views of the entire area, waterfalls or cliffs below.

Sometimes, there would be a helicopter whiz by to catch a glimpse of the different sceneries...but I believe that being on the ground and seeing everything close up...couldn't be surpassed.


13  Thank rosky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Virginia Beach, VA
Reviewed April 7, 2006

We three(ages 57,29, and 8) wanted to just go far enough to take pictures of Ke'e beach. The first part of this trail is straight up and a challange for those not fit,as it seem more like a boulder slide versus a trail. Good hiking shoes and an early start recommended. Ours was late in the afternoon and as the sun set the mosquitoes bombarded us. So bring repellant. We hope to hike to the first water fall next trip. Be carefull at that waterfall due to falling rock I was told.
Recommend the Holoholo catermaran cruise for those who
want to see Napali minus the hike. On the cruise we were told we might see naked people on the trail. From the other reviews sounds like he was telling the truth. Kaui is my favorite of the islands. It is a spiritual experience no matter what you do.

12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2006

After hiking in 1/2 way to the Kalalau Valley last year I came back prepared to go the whole way in and spend a couple of days exploring the Valley. However, the pack load of 30+ lbs really slowed me down and it wasn't until I shed about 10 lbs of excess food and clothes that I could maintain a decent hiking speed. The end result was that it took me two days to hike in and 1-1/2 days to hike out, leaving little time for exploring the Valley. But oh, oh oh, what a great feeling it was to enter the Valley for the first time and see it from the ground and to camp by the waterfall and anjoy a shower under it to wash of the tons of red dirt I had acquired on the muddy trail during the hike in. The trail is indeed a bit scary in spots (check out the pic), but only if you lose concentration or start panicking about the sheer drop to the ocean of perhaps 500 ft will you have problems. Keep your eyes focused on the narrow path and you'll be fine.
I did camp at about the mid-way point with several other campers because it really was impossible for us to complete the whole 11 mile length in one day. I have no idea why camping is not allowed at Hanakoa since there are two shelters, several campsites, and a composting toilet, plus plenty of water from the Hanakoa River.
Once at the beach, I found a great campsite (a stone-walled "throne" type of terrace built by one of the former residents of the Valley), just up from the beach and with a great ocean view. The wild life was extremely tame and hungry (mice and birds appeared immediately and my morning visitors were goats down from the cliffs to feed on fallen leaves).
All in all a magical place well worth the long hike in.

23  Thank cmasonwhf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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