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“One of the most strenuous hikes but worth it”
Review of Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail
Ranked #9 of 294 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Kauai's hiking trail along the Na Pali coast.
Reviewed June 12, 2008

My husband, mother and I decided to do the first couple of miles of this trail after reading all the must do's for this island. We started out at 8 am and glad we did it early. It was a more than I expected and lots of times my mother and I had to stop and rest. When we got to the first beach we all thought it was worth it. Stayed there for about an hour just to enjoy the beauty and to rest..Talked to some that were going the full 11 miles and camping out at the end. I don't think I could have done it and I am not in that bad of shape. Although signs are posted not to swim, many couldn't pass up the chance for a quick dip. It was pretty calm and so beautiful. Did not look forward to the hike back but just took our time and we were back by 1. We passed many people that were just starting out and I almost felt sorry for them as the sun was coming out and I could tell I was getting burnt and could not image how hot it would be for them. Try to find a walking stick. That helped both me and my mom. Found one at the beginning of the trail and my mom found one earlier to use. A lady asked us where we got them as she was not prepared for the steepness of this hike and had fallen a couple of times. Passed a couple on our way back and they did not have any drinking water. We shared some of ours. Please take lots of water. This hike was one we will remember for years to come. It was breathtaking...

4  Thank SeattleRain2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,424 - 1,428 of 1,577 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2008

My husband and I hiked the Kalalau trail this past Oct. It was wonderful. We hiked in to the first beach which is 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It took us 3 hours round trip. It was a bit challenging even though we consider ourselves in pretty good shape. It was very muddy and wet on many parts of the trail, quite a few people slid and fell on there butts. I wouldn't recommend going on a rainy day, it could be dangerous. It did spinkle a few times and that is quite normal in the mountains. The views were outstanding. Wear old hiking boots or old sneakers, they will be worthless after this hike. Mud everywhere! Also, take plenty of water and a snack. You will need it.
When we finished the hike, we went to the beach right next to the trail head. The beach is Ke'e beach, I have seen many beautiful beaches and have gone swimming in most of the top 10 in the world and this beach beat them all. It was stunning! You have to see to believe! Go at the beginning of your vacation because you will want to go back before you leave the island. I'm so glad we did this hike and beach, it was a highlight of our vacation.

10  Thank Alohababy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2007

My husband, son, and I hiked the Kalalau trail some years back. At that time, I was a 45-year old woman in reasonably good but not great shape. I had been utterly fascinated with doing this hike since first hearing about it and hiking the first mile up to the view of Kee Beach on a previous visit. We had gotten our permit in advance, but when we got to Kauai it was in the midst of a four-day tropical storm and was pouring rain. We did the hike the first day after the rain stopped. Oh boy, was it slippery! I slipped and fell down so many times I was literally covered in red mud. First thing we realized was we had brought way too much stuff. We stashed the tent and a lot of other stuff in the jungle and picked it up on the way back. I was willing to eat only granola as long as I didn't have to carry the 3 days worth of food we had brought. The stream crossings were terrifying, as the streams were rushing rivers as a result of the 4 day tropical storm, and if you slipped you were in big trouble. We made it to Kalalau Beach after maybe 10 hours of what was to me VERY strenuous hiking! But it was even more beautiful to us considering the difficulty of getting there. We slept on the beach, tent-less, with a light cover. On the hike out it started to rain again. The last 4 or 5 slippery up-and-down rugged miles seemed endless. I just wanted it to be over. But when we finally made it out, I was overcome with a sense that this was one of the most memorable, spiritual, beautiful things I had ever done! I soon forgot all the bad parts and only remembered the good. This hike is SO worth it!
My personal advice:
1. Start very early in the day.
2. Wait for a relatively dry spell.
3. Take a minimal amount of stuff.
4. Carry only a day pack if possible.
5. Bring PLENTY of drinking water, and stuff to treat stream water.
6. Bring a flashlight per hiker. It gets dark faster than you might think.

6  Thank bevatyahoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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.

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