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“Good Muddy Hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Hanakapiai Falls

Hanakapiai Falls
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$135.99*
and up
Entire Kauai Island Air Tour
Ranked #13 of 279 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good Muddy Hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

Park at the end of the road at Ke’e beach the hike begins at the Kalalau Trailhead and splits of after you get to the beach. Get there early the hike will take a while and there is not a lot of parking. Bring plenty of water, lunch, and bring a walking stick! This is a strenuous and challenging hike for sure. Wear good shoes but ones that you can get muddy. On the shady sides of the cliffs, and the trail after the beach there are very muddy parts even on dry days. I would not attempt this hike if rain is in the forecast. There are hardly any flat sections of the trail, most is up and down with mostly muddy wet rocks. It is a mostly shady hike through the rain forest with lots of neat plants and trees to see, and the first half of the hike beautiful views of the Napli Coast. It took us 8 hours total with breaks but I have to admit I am a super slow hiker. I really did not want to fall and get stuck out there. I do step aerobics 5 days a week but I walk slow as my husband constantly reminded me.
The 1st time you cross the river is right before the beach and is the deepest crossing of the hike and will need to wade across the stream that was about thigh deep when we were there. There are maybe four more river crossings you need to cross. A couple of them had some challenging spots to jump from rock to rock. There was also one river crossing were we started heading in the wrong direction. There were a couple of spots near the falls where the trail was not well marked. We saw some pink ribbons in the trees to helping us out. I brought a pair of sandals to wear while crossing the river then hung them off a D ring from my pack to dry. We were there in January and the beach was all rocks and the surf had 30’ waves. It was very impressive but no swimming! Just after the beach there is an outhouse but it was most absolutly the most disgusting outhouse ever.
The water fall is maybe 300 feet high and worth it. Many people were jumping off rocks swimming to get on some rock under the falls but the water was so cold we only went in up to our knees.
I do believe a walking stick would have helped me immensely.

Visited January 2013
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Thank zackandradar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Unreal... 2 completely different hikes.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2013 via mobile

We did the 8 mile round trip to Hanakapi'ai Falls on a cool April day, the first sunny day after a week of rain.

Part 1: Trailhead to the beach
Started around noon so we knew we had to hustle in order to make it back before dark. Lots of tourists with kids in flip flops (not recommended!). Trail at this point was dry and easy to navigate rocky inclines. But that can (and did) change in seconds. Unreal views of the coast! Beautiful panoramas from the cliffs. And in between its an amazing rainforest hike. Odd animal alert: 4 house cats at the beach sunning themselves and meowing like they own the place. Tame and people friendly. Weird!

Part 2: Beach to Hanakapi'ai Falls
Don't bother trying to cross the rivers without getting your feet wet. Bring Tevas or just go for it... better to get wet sneakers than risk jumping across slippery boulders. All rivers on this day were white water with limited 2-3ft deep crossings. This half of the trail is completely different. Fewer inclines but denser rainforest terrain... really is spectacular! Halfway in it rained for 10-15 minutes. (Not recommended to be crossing a river at that time as the water immediately starts to rise!) Made the trail muddy and slippery. Onward! Lots of rock scrambling and 4-5 more river crossings. When we finally got to the falls, it was... THUNDEROUS. Probably because of the rain. Windy and cold, just standing near it we were completely wet. No swimming possible today. Most spectacular place I've ever been! By now trail was empty, and we were nervous being the only ones out there with dusk approaching.

Part 3: The return
Twice as muddy because of the rain. We kept passing families still on their way out wondering if they had headlamps for later or were just that stupid. We timed it perfectly to be on the trail with reduced amount of tourists but also be back before dark. Gorgeous sunset too!

Overall the hike is unreal, like a movie set but its not! Just raw nature, there are no words to do it justice. Awe inspiring mountains and surf. Couldn't believe I was in such a place.

Do it if you're able and fit. I wouldn't say you need to be an "experienced hiker" for THIS part (I'm not) but we didn't see one overweight person on the trail. Bring lots of water and snacks. And be careful, better to go slow than twist an ankle.

Visited April 2013
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1 Thank kauai18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caledon, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Hike”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

We did this 8 mile hike with our two kids - 8 and 11. They rocked it! It was a great way to spend the day. The first two miles you have great views over the Napali Coast. Making it to the Falls is cool - not too many people carry on to the Falls - most stop at the beach at the 2 mile mark. We swam in an amazing pool of water just down from the Falls. It was like something out of a movie. My kids were in heaven!

Visited March 2013
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3 Thank rockside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna
Level Contributor
388 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Exciting,wonderful hike,but caution is in order”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

A hike to a waterfall in Hawaii is one of the highlights of a vacation.This hike is a full day program.You need to wear sturdy hiking boots, carry enough drinking water and wear clothing that is suitable to protect you in a sudden shower.Only go in stable dry weather,otherwise mud,slippery rocks and run offs will make this hike a nightmare instead of a wonderful day outing!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank CharlotteKelowna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeville, Hawaii
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Best Hike on Kauai”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

Four hours if you're moving fast and minimize breaks. Enjoy the experience and allow 5 or 6 hours. Arrive at the Ke'e Beach parking area before 9:00 am or you'll need to add another 10 minutes to your hike from the auxiliary lot. I've hiked this section 25+ time's and seen everyone from 6 year old kids to 70+ women.
Hiking boots are best.
Plan at least 1 liter water per person.
Hiking pole very helpful.
Look for the ping flagging tape from the beach to the falls.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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