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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 29, 2019 via mobile

I took the 4 mile trail to the falls. It was just amazing. The hike is changing, but it has a beautiful beach at mile 2 and restrooms. Then, it gets challenging. Be prepared to muddy, slippery, step trail, and you will cross a creek at least 2. So, get good hiking shoes and a hiking stick.

The views are impressive and the waterfall one of the best experiences of my live.

Now, reserve in advance for parking. There are 100 spots only. Alternatively, there is a shuttle that goes every 30 min from waipa park. The staff is not the most friendly, but it was reliable.

Date of experience: September 2019
2  Thank Pipete40
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2019

My husband and I did this hike last week (9/18/19) and bought the permit via the website a few weeks beforehand and chose the 6:30am-12:30pm timeslot. We got there right at 6:30am (gorgeous drive there seeing sunrise at Tunnels Beach!!) We had decided we would do the hike to the beach and then on to the Falls. 4.5 miles each way, so 9 miles round trip. We wore our good hiking boots and packed lots of water and pistachios/peanut butter sandwiches/granola bars.

The hike to the Beach was pretty easy. and GORGEOUS. The only difficult part of this hike was the stream you had to cross over. Beach was beautiful but not meant for swimming which I later read- I went in to swim and the first wave knocked me over and my head hit the sand. Im fine but had sand in my hair for 4 days! We proceeded to the Falls. WEAR YOUR BUG SPRAY! I didn't and got bit up. This was a a great hike the first half and then got much more challenging. Multiple streams to cross via large boulders, some pretty steep parts, and just kinda difficult. But AWESOME!! Beautiful Bamboo forrests, streams, and then the waterfall itself was certainly beautiful and relaxing. We didn't see a soul on the trail from the beach to the falls but saw a handful of other people there once we got there. We ate and went back. We arrived back at the car at 12:40pm. Definitely took the whole 6 hours if you stop at both the Beach and the Falls! Hope this is helpful!

Date of experience: September 2019
10  Thank cupcake472
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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