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“Go the extra distance to Hanakapi'ai Valley and the Waterfall”
Review of Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail
Ranked #5 of 280 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Kauai's hiking trail along the Na Pali coast.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
215 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
“Go the extra distance to Hanakapi'ai Valley and the Waterfall”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

If you're in reasonably good shape, and have about six hours to kill, consider hiking from Ke'e Beach about 2.1 miles to Hanakap'ai Beach and then up to the Hanakapi'ai Valley to the waterfall at the end of the trail (another 1.9 miles or so). The trail from the beach starts out broad and winds along parallel to the stream, but it deteriorates from there. About half of the way up, the trail starts crossing the stream, and signs warning you of certain death during flash floods are posted. The stream was down during our hike, so we continued on. The trail deteriorates steadily as you approach the end of the trail, and so did the number of hikers over 50 years of age. I would recommend caution bringing small children on the trail, due to the numerous opportunities to slip and fall along the way. Many hikers had walking sticks, but it wasn't obvious that they helped.

After about 90 minutes from the beach, you arrive at a spectacular 300' cascade which comes from Koke'e State Park above. The swimming hole is entirely swimmable, but the water temp is definitely not the normal tropical temp you're used to. We estimated that it's 59F, or 10C. Very, very refreshing after the hike.

If you have kids, or if you're not in pretty good shape, consider the 4.2m round trip to the first beach. If you have the time, and if you want to see one of the great waterfalls of Kauai, consider going a little further and seeing the Hanakapi'ia Valley and falls.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Chuck, Santa Cruz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
1 review
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Amazing hike. Hiked to the beach, had lunch, and then hiked to the falls and had 2nd lunch. 8 miles in total and so worth it. We did it in 7 hours, but we stopped at the beach twice for half an hour each time, and we stayed at the water falls for another 30 minutes. We also stopped to take lots and lots of photos. My GPS said 7 hours total. 5 hours moving. Make sure you bring water and swim in the falls. Have good shoes. I wore Keens. My wife and I hike during the fall, so we felt pretty good at the end. We weren't that tired. Just really really hungry. I recommend this hike to everyone. It's well worth the views, beach, and falls at the end. I wouldn't recommend this to people with bad balance, or can't go up stairs really well. You have to balance yourself on pointy rocks, and you have to go up steep steps (rock formations). If you have trouble going up stairs, stay at the beach.

Visited October 2012
Thank Alex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
84 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Very beautiful, very strenuous!”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

The hike and views were worth every sore muscle i had the next day. The hike says its 2 miles out to the beach and 2 miles back but my GPS said it was further, more like 5 miles total. Only took us about 2 hours round trip...stopped for lunch at the beach. Watch out for lots of ants on the second half of trail - don't stop or put your hands on the rocks for support as they will swarm you. Also be sure to take lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray and a hat. Lots of company on this trail. We went around 10am on a Wednesday in October and we were rarely alone on the trail.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank Bobcat18793
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“the best”
Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

the best hike of my life. It was difficult because i had very heavy bag (for 11 miles). Weather was hot and sunny and views were so unbelievable and amazing. I recomend you whole trail, first 2 miles isn't enough... so beatiful that i cant describe it :-)

Thank Sjuzana
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“MUST DO!! Have to make it to the end :)”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

The end of this hike- a waterfall- is worth the hike. It was amazing. The hike was tough for me, I am not a a seasoned hiker, but not strenuous. WARNING: If it's RAINING- Come back another day!! It only sprinkled on our way back... and it was so slick I actually fell once. I can't image what it would be like if it was actually raining. You cross over water a few times (which was pretty cool, jump on stones to get across) but if it was raining I bet that would be scary. Bring water.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank rachelk333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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