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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 October 18, 2019 via mobile

I've started the trail with a little heart because of the reviews who said it was dangerous.
I have a fear of heights but managed really Well the trail. We had luck (for me) that it was a sunny dat so the mud wasn't everywhere. I can imagine that with mud the trail is so much more dangerous.
We went only untill the beach and caught some waves, the tide is so strong but if you are cautios, it's do-able.
Such a beautiful trail. After only 30min you have already beautiful views.

Date of experience: October 2019
1  Thank MariekeV899
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2019

Me and my wife did this trail during our honeymoon in Kauai and I would reccomend it for sure for those who likes nature and hikes.

We couldn´t get a permit to overnight in the camp (it must be 90 days early), but we were able to do the hike to Hakapiai Falls. (About 8 miles, it take us about 6h30 hours).

we start early in the mourning (6.am) and it took us more a less 1h30 to the beach and then another 1h30 to the falls, being this part a lot more difficult than the first part.

But it worth it. the falls are amazing and we were there alone.

When we start coming back, it starts to rain, and when I say rain, is rain a lot until we get to the beach. The parts where we have to pass throug the litlle river, were a litlle difficult because the rocks were already under the water, and it was a little slippery. The other parts were muddy and full of water also, but that make the experience even better!!!

João e Filipa

Date of experience: September 2019
3  Thank Vacationer494370
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2019 via mobile

The trail is open and it is better than ever. With the new limited access to the trail it isn’t as crowded. Get your pass as early as you can, $5 each. We bought 2 (different days) to make sure the hike was on a sunny day. The afternoon ones sell out first. We preferred the early time slot because of the afternoon temps. The hike is difficult but well worth it. The trail hike should be on everyone’s bucket list. We have seen whales on this hike before when we came down in April of 2017 and 2018.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank bobbobbie1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2019 via mobile

Hiked the 8 miles to Hanakapiai falls. It ended up being about 11 miles total including the walk to/from parking lot, adding in a stop at the beach, and wandering around at the falls. We started at 7:40am and completed it around 4:00pm with an hour at the falls and 40 minutes at the beach (1/2 way). I’m female 38y/o, hiked with Dad 58y/o.
I read many reviews before going....This trail is hard to review accurately because sooo much depends on the weather. But here are my few tips:
1) WEAR BUG SPRAY if you’re one of those people who attract them. We made a special stop at the store just for the spray. When we got on the trail, I never saw or felt ANY bugs on me, so I assumed I didn’t need it, and didn’t put any on. ‍♀️I was wrong, and later in the evening ended up covered in 68 bites on my 2nd day in Kauai. I looked terrible, and itched even worse the next few days.(Note: I hiked with my Dad who received NO bug bites without applying bug spray)
2) Going against other reviews here, my personal opinion is the first two miles to the beach are harder than the second two to the falls. I’m basing this purely on incline. Once you cross the stream at the beach, the incline is not bad at all. (Note: at about the 1/2 mile nearest to the falls, there is a LOT of scrambling over rocks, but it’s not on an incline.)
3) The trail was dry when we started whi ch made the hike easy. Luckily, we didn’t encounter much rain on the hike to the falls (except once for 5 min). However, when we started our return back, the trail had turned into a muddy, slippery mess. This made the trail much harder, and more dangerous. I would definitely not recommend this trail if it’s raining or if the trail is super muddy right when you start. I thought coming back was a nightmare due to mud. (Note: this is why shoes with good traction is a good idea, and if you have a walking stick... even better!)
4) Keep your shoes on through the stream crossings! Not only does it save a ton of time, it’s also more safe and comfortable. We took our shoes off the first couple crossings and quickly learned this. Yes, you will have to get used to walking in soggy shoes, but most likely they’re going to be wet anyway from mud puddles. (The streams were all at least knee deep when we went 10/3/19)
Lastly....this is a MUST DO if you’re into nature and waterfalls. There’s something extremely beautiful and rewarding about the experience once you’re standing below the 300ft fall. We are not “hikers”, and while we were completely exhausted by the time we got back to the car, it was one of the biggest highlights of our trip. We even took a dip in the pool. Freezing, but exhilarating. Make sure you take enough water. We took 4, 16oz bottles each, (2 on way up, 2 on way down) which we drank all of. We were rained on the whole second half of the way down, so sun rays weren’t an issue, but I imagine more water would be needed if so. And snacks with protein!

Date of experience: October 2019
9  Thank TawnyLeann
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2019

I first hiked the trail in 1976. It was a real treat back then. My wife and I returned in 1981. We hiked to Kalalau Beach. It was a magical journey indeed. Only the boats brought some folks in. There were no helicopters. We checked out the scene in the 90's and one more time around 2005. The number of helicopters was so noisy. The airspace around the coast should be off limits to mechanized transport.

Date of experience: November 2018
2  Thank rastacubbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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