Trip Planner:   USA  /  Hawaii  /  Kauai  /  Trails  /  Kalalau Trail

Kalalau Trail, Kauai

(4.8/5 based on 1,300+ reviews on the web)
Even the most adventurous hikers find the 18 km (11 mi) Kalalau Trail to be a challenge, a tremendously rewarding one. It has been noted as one of the most dangerous hikes in the United States--be sure to bring hiking poles with you. Average hikers need about two days to complete the trail. Expect steep drop-offs and a path as narrow as one foot. Don't cross streams if the water level is too high, and know that mudslides can be deadly. Plan to bring survival gear; water from the sources along the way must be purified to drink. You'll need to obtain a permit in order to camp at one of two designated sites. Don't let this place's beauty distract you from your own safety. Add Kalalau Trail to your Wainiha travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Wainiha itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We took five days for this hike, camping along the way there once, three nights at the beach, and camped once on the way back. The whole way is breathtakingly beautiful, but some parts are breathtakin...  more »
  • Kalalau trail at Napoli coast is a must- do on Kauai, but be warned. It's not easy. Please don't wear flip-flops. Lots of slippery rocks to climb over and very steep cliffs. You can hike the first 2 m...  more »
  • Backpacked in, starting late and stayed an Hanakoa. Second day to Kalalau. Out on the third day. First two miles, hike to Hanakapai'ai Beach are crowded with day hikers, but still the best day hike on...  more »
Google
  • Great hike. Outstanding views! First 2 miles took 1 hour, the second 2 miles took about 1+20. First 2 miles had some of the most breathtaking views I've ever seen on a hike. Recommend doing at least the first 2 miles if your questioning. Bring lots of water, and a change of clothes so you can swim at the falls.
  • Amazing trail. Bring a good pair of shoes (it is really slippery and muddy), a lot of water and some snack to re-energize. Even when you go just the short part (2 miles to first beach) we saw people exhausted and without enough water - we had to give them. If you are prepared it is easy/moderate hike to the first valley/beach.
  • Beautiful views. But not recommended for kids under 12 ish... super slippery (must have good shoes). Hike from beach to falls was pretty scary at times. And long.. took husband and I 6.5 hours to do the 8 miles (from trail head to beach, then falls and back) and we are both in pretty good shape (early 30s and run 15 miles a week). Amazing if you have the time. Don't forget a decent amount of food and at least 2L water per person if going all the way to the falls. Enjoy! - oh and the best part might have been the man in a full on dinosaur costume at the falls. He won the day.
  • Hanakapiai Part 2 You will be primarily hiking a gradual incline up the river, scaling a few small sections, faced with more shear drop offs, with the pungent smell of rotting fruit taking up your every full breath. Bunches of bamboo groves rise from the ground, creating an eerie racket as you pass by with the wind blowing. Towards the end of the second two miles, if you have the foresight  to look up, you will get an early glimpse at the final prize: hanakapiai falls. At the falls, if you are lucky enough to get the place to your self (go early) you will be treated to nature at its finest. A tumbling waterfall spilling into a deep blue pool, surrounded by a carved out ampitheater, Moss covered and visually intimidating. If you were smart, you brought water shoes and your bathing suit, and you are about to have the swim of your life.  Tread water to the back of the ampitheater and let the waters from above fill your soul, soothe your aching muscles, the coolness of the water will ease any pain you might have experienced. When you have soaked in nature's miracle, dry up, tie up those laces, get one last fill of this amazing place, and start your way out...being sure to let everyone you pass know, they are not going to regret their decision to tackle this arduous trail. I would recommend this trail to anyone who is in decent shape, bearing in mind it's not just the shape your in, but your preparedness to tackle ever changing condtions. You will inevitably see those in bathing suit and flip flops trying to coast along, and they may make it, but the danger they bring to themselves and the around them just doesn't seem a good risk. But, to each there own! Mahalo and Namaste
  • Prepare your self for one of the best hikes of your life. The trail is maintained very well. The views are amazing. Bring water and take your time. Enjoy.