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“Bucket List Hike”
Review of Hanakapi`ai Trail

Hanakapi`ai Trail
Ranked #96 of 284 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 1, 2014

This is a spectacularly beautiful hike for the reasonably fit. The first 2 mile section leads you up to some jaw dropping vistas of the turquoise hued Napali coast and then back down to the golden sands of deadly Hanakapiai Beach. The second 2 miles lead you to Hanakapiai Falls. As others stated, this is an 8 mile hike round trip with the option of shortening the hike to 4 miles by just visiting the beach and turning around.

The hike to the beach is well trodden and marked. From the beach, the hike to the waterfall can be very slippery in places and is not as well marked. I was glad to have my hiking poles and hiking shoes for the second part of the hike. There are several places visitors must cross creek beds. One is before reaching and the beach, and there are a couple more treacherous crossing on the way to the waterfalls. At one point, I managed to stupidly slip and get one of my hiking boots completely soaked. I would advise bringing some flip flops and just walk across the creek bed rather than trying to navigate the rocks. Visitors should monitor the depth of the creek bed. We went during the rainy season, but the creeks were still safely passable on the morning we went.

Whatever you do… don't be one of the dummies swimming at the beach. Despite warning signs and references to the 82 drowning victims, there were idiotic people swimming, and this was in November when the currents pick up.

Thank woodlands12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 62 of 79 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2014

The views on the 2 mile hike to the beach were stunning and well worth the effort. Not such great views on the way to the waterfall, but the waterfall itself is stunning and worth the effort. And once you are there, you might as well swim in it! The parking lot is small, and I would certainly allow a minimum of 6 hrs for the hike; more is better. The hike to the beach contains a lot of uphill and requires you to be in reasonable shape. Swimming at the beach is hazardous due to rocks and currents and is not recommended. The first half mile of the hike to the waterfall is very muddy and slick, so expect to get dirty.

1  Thank Kevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I are in our 30's and are in good shape. We are not avid hikers, but enjoy the outdoors. We did not have hiking shoes and our runners were just fine. We accepted the fact that we would be walking through rivers in them. We are glad we brought bug spray because of the mosquitoes. It took us five and a half hours. With staying about 20-30 minutes at the beach and 45 minutes in the falls. Swam in the falls. Were told to not swim if we had any open cuts due to the water, but we were fairly scratchless. The second half of the hike was super muddy and the day we went was a dry day. Definitely start before noon for the 8 mile hike and definitely go for a swim at kee beach at the end. Drink lots of water before going so you don't have to carry too much with you. We brought 1.5 L with us but did not finish it. We drank about 2L each before going though. This hike is not physically challenging like the canyon hike, but the last half mile down was killing my knees and I don't have any knee issues. Take it slow in the mud and it's a fairly safe hike. But with that in mind, we went on a dry day. This would be more dangerous it it were rainy for sure. The views are amazing and the falls were the most beautifully I've swam under. Definitely worth it.

1  Thank Niklouiserae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

This hike is about 8 miles total, about 2 miles to the beach then another 2 miles to the falls, then back. Set aside enough time and be sure you take your time crossing the creek/river as I saw a number of people slip because they were rushing across and stepped on wet rocks.
I went swimming at the falls, cold but invigorating!
The views along the way are amazing. I'd would highly recommend!

Thank Johan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Many tour companies like to say the only way to view the Napali Coast is by air or by boat...but they are wrong! The best way is by foot, on this trail! We only hiked in to the beach (4 miles round trip), but it was absolutely breath-taking, beautiful, and a great time! We had wanted to go on to the falls, but after rains from prior days it had been washed out. You see so much more being right there on the trail, rather than from afar in a boat or a helicopter. We did do a boat tour, and found it a great trip and worth it as well, but this trail was awesome (and free!). Bring lots of water, some snacks, wear good footwear, and don't go on a rainy day...and read up and be prepared before you go!

Thank mdnich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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