Rated as one of the the top hikes in the world, the Kalalau Trail did not disappoint. In fact, we found it truly inspirational. My wife Pam and I, ages 56 and 61 respectively, hiked the 11.2 miles one-way distance, with more than 2800 feet of elevation gain while carrying our share of the gear, all in one day with the assistance of our amazing guide Andrew McInerney of AHA KAUAI. It was our first time back packing and the trail alone was challenging enough without the additional weight of our packs. At the same time, we found the trek to be both exhausting and exhilarating. The views in a word were spectacular. Imagine hiking a red dirt trail, framed by yucca type trees, the beautiful blue ocean and pounding white surf, accompanied by breaching humpback whales. Incredible!
To reach the final destination-Kalalau Beach where a campground and a waterfall shower await -no plumbing here - you'll have to ford a couple of streams/rivers depending on conditions, brave Creepers Ledge and ascend the infamous Red Hill. If you are up to the challenge this part of the Napali Coast is the most spectacular. It is the final destination of the popular catamaran tours- my second favourite way to view the coast, hiking being my first.
Kalalau Beach is wide, sandy and long. The beautiful white rollers break a good distance off shore except at the beach's end where the thunderous waves crash against the near vertical cliffs.
Standing on the beach and looking inland one views the incredible fluted coastline covered in lush jungle, with ridges and spires of land reaching skyward, their peaks often shrouded by cloud. This is one of the most beautiful and unusual coastlines on earth.
If hiking the entire trail sounds too taxing, hike the first two miles into the first river and beach, but go early if you want to avoid the crowds as this is the turn around point for most.
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