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Kalalau Trail, Kauai

Categories: Hiking Trails, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 1,100+ 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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  • It had rained earlier so the trail was a little treacherous, climbing on wet rocks. But, we forged onward. Along the trail the views were amazing. Everything was well worth the hike. We just took it s...  read more »
  • People had told me it wasn't "easy" but it was "doable" and I just wanted to do the first half mile up so I could get to the Na Pali lookout point. How hard could it be? :) Well, it was definitely a w...  read more »
  • I did it 2 x the hike and what can I say - this was definitely the highlight of my trip to Hawaii. But beware, the trail should not be underestimated and is a great challenge - depending on fitness level -. For me as a marathon runner and triathlete, it wasn't a problem, but a few people in our group were definitely at the limit of their performance... Principle: When it rains, I recommend not to go the trail. Then the path is very squishy and slippery, does not really that fun. And it can happen that the such swell small rivers (stream), that you can no longer pass them and then for days cut off (some hiker had to be rescued with helicopters). And always plenty of water to take, don't underestimate! Would you walk up to Kalalau Beach, I recommend litres per person 2-3. In addition these capsules so that you can the Streamwasser to clean and disinfect. Be sure before sunrise to run, so no pressure and at the end of the day has enough time to build his camp during the day. The 1st part of the trail to Hanakapiai beach is only 2.5 miles long and about 1.5 hours each way to run. Even for untrained hikers can take this route with sports shoes - but please no Flip-Flops - in attack. This does not permit required. Here, a very nice river beach offer unforgettable views over the NaPali Coast and at the end. Bathing on the NaPali Coast is but in general due to the very high waves and extreme flow must be avoided (at least in the autumn/winter months). Weather permitting, we can meet very many tourists on the 1st part, only to Hanakapiai Beach, it is quiet and lonely. Now the real challenge begins to Kalalau Beach (you can omit Hanakapiai falls). There are 2 or 3 hours more gladly again about 4 hours for athletic hikers at a lesser pace with breaks. The way is very difficult, it is continually downhill and uphill. I need not talk about the right equipment... Hiking boots, appropriate pants, shirt, change of clothes, sufficient food and beverages, sunscreen etc. are indispensable for the long tour. Also, you should tow with only as much as you actually need. You can clean dirty clothes at Kalalau beach under a waterfall and then dry in the Sun. Also please note the above note (trick) with the cleaning capsules so that you have to wear too much water. You should apply for a few months in advance the permit (yet I was never controlled two walks), at least an overnight stay is recommended, even more. The Kalalau Beach camp is very appealing and you can do a lot there. To stay, you don't need a tent. Sleeping under the open sky is memorable. And should it still rain, there is a cave where it is protected at Kalalau beach. Back again 6-9 hours (minimum) as well as directly at the starting point, the muscles relax Kee Beach in shallow water - simply unforgettable!
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  • Such a beautiful hike! Feels like you are in the rain forest :) 2 miles to the beach and 2 more to the falls. Definitely strenuous and sketchy at times (crossing fast water creeks, climbing down wet rocks etc). I would recommend good boots (no open toe sandals) and don't be afraid to get wet :)
  • As a resident and guide, I get pretty astonished by the ignorance of some of the reviewers who say things like "off my bucket list" or "must do". This trail will chew you up and spit you out if you do not respect it. We just had another death a couple weeks back. Is it Amazing, YES. but it is rated 10 for beauty and 10 for DIFFICULTY. no flip flops, no bare feet. Be ready to be challenged and please have trail manners, i.e. let people pass or get out of the way. This is not a sidewalk.
  • Magnificent hike.. parts of it are quite family friendly (not with active toddlers). The views are breathtaking. Several miles in, there is a river crossing and then a beach. Bring a bag/towel/change of shoes if you don't want to have to hike back with wet feet/socks.
  • If you love hiking and are fairly athletic this is a breeze for you. You must be careful and use your common sense (like maintain 3 points of contact when climbing over hazards, wear closed toed shoes, move to the side for others). Otherwise the views are quite amazing and the beach at the end is beautiful to relax near (watch the waves!)
  • Beautiful trail, with great lookouts. Even first mile is worth doing. Parking is packed so it is best to plan to arrive early (before 10 AM).
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