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Ways to Experience Kalalau Trail
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Reviewed August 17, 2019

This is an amazing place to visit we took the hike to the falls. One thing I would definitely say is be prepared for a very challenging hike. It is not easy. Also, you will need to get a pass to go onto the trail, and a different pass to park at the trailhead. We took an Uber to the trail, it was $50 to go from the Cliff's to the trail head. Enjoy, it is an amazing trip.

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank YpsiSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2019

This is a very challenging 4 mile round trip day hike only. You must register two weeks in advance for parking and entrance fees, Website is gohaena.com. Reserved day parking is very limited, only 100 space, so if sold out you can book the dedicated shuttle. Go early morning when cooler,bring lots of water and a protein bar or two. A portable first aid kit too just in case. Up and down switch backs, a stream you have to go through to get down to beach. Big shore break waves and strong currents so unless you can swim like Phelps, don't go in the water. Allow 3-4 hours because you will stop to "ooh and aah" at the views.

Date of experience: August 2019
4  Thank lteez
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2019 via mobile

We are going on the Kalalau Trail tomorrow. And I am sure it will be beautiful. However, getting there has many obstacles that you have to reconcile with.

Since the reopening of the Trail, the local community is trying to protect this trail more than before. That is good and will help preserve it. I respect efforts of preservation of such an incredible beauty.

We thought the hardest part was to get the overnight camping permits, which were sold out one minute after we could purchase them for the days we were looking at.

However, since the opening of the trail in June, there is no overnight parking. So if you are planning to camp on the trail beware of the severely restricted transportation/parking options.

You can continue paying a hotel and then they let you keep your rental car there. Then you still have to get a taxi or Uber from your hotel to the shuttle in Princeville that takes you into the park.

Or you don’t have a rental and get a taxi to and from the airport.

We are returning our car tonight and getting a Uber back to our hotel.

Aloha and plan all steps of your travel to the Kalalau trail. Or you will have to try again.

Thomas

Date of experience: August 2019
4  Thank grafgoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2019

The Kalalau Trail starts at the most Northern Point of Kauai. You must park your car and have enough provisions in your pack for this 12 mile hike. 12 miles on flat ground is easy to do of you are in good shape, and one must be in good phsycal condition to attempt the Kakakau Trail.The trail is very wet and slippery much of the way. It gainnd elevation quickly. In no time you will find yourself looking down on Ke'e Beach. That might be as far as you want to go. Many go 3 miles to Hanakapiai Beach and then to Hanakapiai falls. Read and follow every sign. Many people drown at Hanakapiai bwach. Very strong rip tide there. The falls is beautiful and safe to swim in. I would not attempt this trail in the rainy season. Too dangerous. In the summer it can be an awe inspiring experience. The full walk to Kakalalau will take you 8 - 10 or more hours. Many stop mid-point at Hanakoa stream. Camp and continue to Kakalau the next day. To do the intire Kalalau trail, allow youself 3 -5 days. This is an experience, not a hike only. Do as much or as little as you like. Get in shape and go for it! It will be an adventure of a lifetime!

Date of experience: July 2019
8  Thank Kawika56
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2019 via mobile

When we were planning our trip back in April we fully understood there would be no guarantees that Kalalau Trail would be open. We kept checking and by June it looked promising and then the road and Haena State Park opened after being closed for a year and a half. The rules to access the park understandably changed, and then rules to get permits changed unexpectedly. The shuttle started and then the parking permits were being sold, although limited to 100 permits per day. The rules favored the parking permits at just $5 for the morning or afternoon spots while the shuttle was approximately $20 per person. At first you could only get the parking permits two weeks out and then one day they opened up the availability to an entire month. Suffice to say, we got two morning permits and an afternoon permit when the program only allowed for purchase 2 weeks out. We went today, arriving at 8:30 am (the drive from Princeville to Haena Park was approximately 30 minutes) and the lot was half full! And when we returned at 12:30 pm the lot was only a 1/4 filled! So even though the parking spots for today were sold out... obviously not everyone is using them. Personally I believe that because the spots are so cheap people buy multiple days and just go when they feel like it. We went this morning and will be returning for a full day in the next couple of days.

If you are looking for a challenging, life changing and jaw dropping experience hiking this trail is a must-do activity. My wife and I hiked it 20 years ago and brought our teenage sons to hike it today. And they said it was the most beautiful place they have ever seen. From the parking lot to the trail is about 300 yards. There are bathrooms and outside showers at the beginning of the trail as well as a nice beach at the beginning too with a reef just off shore which is good for snorkeling. The trail is very challenging AND YOU NEED TO BRING LOTS OF WATER. I was dripping sweat constantly and we took many breaks along the trail as the uphills and downhills are super challenging, as well as muddy. There are several points along the trail that offer amazing views and picture opportunities. When you reach the two mile point you will come out to a beautiful beach with cliff backdrops and a running stream over rocks that leads to the ocean. The stream water is much colder and super refreshing. The ocean beach is warmer and also refreshing. Water in both is super clear. The entire scene is a tropical paradise. If you are not continuing on to the waterfall (an additional 2 miles) and just staying at the beach... you do NOT need to cross the stream to get to the beach. Just follow the Kalalau trail to the stream and follow that side of stream down to the beach. You can easily spend an hour or more there relaxing and exploring... it is paradise! After about 2 hours we took the trail back to the beginning which took us approximately one hour. The trail to the beach took us 90 minutes due to stopping to look at the views and take pictures. The trail is not that wide so sometimes you need to pull over to allow people to pass you. The trail was never crowded.

We will return to walk the 4 miles to the waterfall... can’t wait!

Date of experience: August 2019
5  Thank war1today
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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