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Ways to Experience Kalalau Trail
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All reviews hiking shoes hanakapi'ai beach mile hike stream crossings amazing hike mile mark half mile slippery rocks miles round trip hanakapi ai walking stick challenging hike napali coast four miles wear good shoes entire hike bug spray
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Reviewed September 17, 2019

Come prepared! The hike is challenging if you are not a hiker. We live in Florida, so we do not have hiking around us. We wore hiking shoes, brought plenty of water and snacks, and were prepared! Also bring or wear your bathing suit for the beach.
The scenery is breathtaking!
The foliage is dense and colorful. The views along the trail open up to the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other.
The hike ends at a beautiful beach on the Nāpali Coast.
It takes a few hours round trip.
If it rains that morning or days before, the trail can be slippery, as it was the day we hiked. Just take your time!

We reserved the shuttle bus that takes you to the state park where the trail begins. You can not drive to the park unless you have a reservation. The shuttle buses run very frequently.

Date of experience: September 2019
4  Thank Flaladytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2019

With the parking system, the North Shore Shuttle, and the year long waits for a backpacking permit, you're almost exhausted even before setting foot on this justly famed Na Pali hike...but it's very much worth the wait: in my case, 19 years. Advice: Parking opens at six thirty. Be there. If you're in great shape, you might do the trail in six hours, but most of us will take eight, and then there's the must do hike to Hanakoa Falls, a 90 minute detour there and back, with time for a dip. If you're tired, you could camp there, but better to press onwards to Kalalua Beach, a magical place indeed, backed by the might Kalalua Valley; in fact, this is a reason to spend at least an extra day camping at the beach. You'll be too exhausted to turn around and hike back the 11 miles the way I did, the very next day. Rest. Do the day hike up into the Kalalua valley proper. Enjoy a couple of nights of stars and bonfires. Swim to Honopu beach early in the morning, before the current gets strong. Take four days, at least...you've waited long enough for the permit.

The coastal landscape reminds me of the Amalfi's trail, Il Sentiero degli Dei, albeit twice as long, with vertical shifts so brutal and endless that beauty is forgotten. Soaking wet, you'll fall upon slippery, muddy trails. Surely the premier trail in America shouldn't be so poorly maintained and marked. Easy to take a wrong turn and find yourself in trouble. The overgrown path is easy to lose. Come on Hawaii! E hele me ka pu'olo!

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

Gorgeous hike to Hanakapia'ai beach! We reserved the 6:30 am parking time and arrived to find no one there. We waited and eventually around 6:50 someone came to check our passes, island time I guess? Haha no worries. The hike was absolutely beautiful! Stunning views of the coastline and Na Pali. Somewhat challenging as we had some light showers throughout the morning which made the rocky stretches a little slick, but anyone who is somewhat fit and has good balance could manage! We took our time stopping to take photos and to relax on the beach, spent about 3.5 hours total. Loved it! A must-do on the North Shore of Kauai!

Date of experience: August 2019
3  Thank katyykat89
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2019

The 2 miles to the beach is definitely a challenging hike but it feels like you're in Jurassic park. Lots of amazing foliage and beautiful lookouts along the way. But be prepared for the stair master going up (for .25 miles) and also be prepared for lots of mud and rock scrambling at the end. Luckily, someone left hiking sticks at the trailhead, and I was thanking the Hawaiian gods for such a find. Bring lots of water, granola bars, and a hiking stick (or 2). It was hot when we did it, so take a dip in the ocean or waterfall if you make it there. Definitely a worthwhile adventure if you are prepared.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank dawngG2598ST
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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