Kalalau Trail

One of the best ways to explore more of the Napali Coast is by sea kayak where a relaxing and undemanding journey will have you careening swiftly along the beautiful coastline. When the surf isn't too cooperative, or for visitors who aren't keen on traveling by kayak, the Kalalau Beach Trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning area by foot. For eleven miles the Kalalau Trail continues along the Napali Coast on a challenging yet gratifying route.

As you pass numerous sparkling streams on the narrow path you can scout out a good campsite for the night.

The eleven mile trail is tough to complete in one day so you'll likely want to take your time and stay a night in the beautiful balmy surroundings. If you hike extremely quickly you can make the trip in a day but you'll miss soaking up the scenery, which is the whole point of the trip. Make sure to secure a permit for camping. You can get all the information you need from Kauai Division of Parks and Recreation. You will also need a permit if you want to hike the Kalalau Trail Hanakapiai Falls route anywhere passed the beach. If you want to hike the trail for a half day only you'll need four hours to hike the first three miles in and back out.

The Kalalau Trail begins at the end of Highway 560 where most people make the two mile hike to Hanakapiai Beach. For those hiking the Kalalau Trail Hanakapiai Falls are one of the biggest attractions. When hiking along the Kalalau Trail Hanakapiai Falls is found two miles passed the beach. If you plan on exploring the Kalalau Beach, which is bordered by incredible, 2000-foot high volcanic bluffs, you have to cross a stream. It's wise to take reef shoes or tevas to change into to avoid walking the rest of the trail in wet shoes or boots.

The Kalalau Valley is a popular place for Kauai hiking. It's home to Kalalau Beach, plenty of wildlife and 360 degrees of exceptional beauty. The valley is easily accessed by kayak as well and many Kauai tours cover the area but it's an easy self-guided tour as well. There isn't much of a benefit to having a guide as the route is straightforward and a map is easily obtained.

The Kalalau Valley bottom is wide and quite flat and easy to navigate. Take along mosquito repellent as well as sturdy shoes with good treads. Forget your swim suit as this is one of the Kauai beaches you can't swim at due to extreme currents and the absence of lifeguards but there are a few visitor facilities. If you want to see panoramic vistas of the Kalalau Valley without an arduous hike there's a lookout point at Waimea Canyon.

Toward the end of the fourth mile along Kalalau Trail Hanakapiai Falls come into sight and create a breathtaking view. The waterfall is 100 feet high and truly spectacular. The sheer power of the torrent is a reminder of just how powerful Mother Nature really is. The waterfalls are named after a lovely yet wild Menehune Princess and flow ferally down a sheer, rugged, rock face into a wide, sometimes misty, pool below where you can swim.

There are three choices once you've reached the falls passed Kalalau Valley. There's a trail that leads to the more impressive Hanakoa Falls which is the most popular of things to do before you turn back and is only a half mile further. You can continue on the Kalalau Trail if you're hoping to complete it in a day. The last choice is camping in the area for the night and continuing on the next day. About 100 yards from the beach there's a camping area with a small waterfall nearby.

The Kalalau Trail is one of the most rewarding hiking trips in Kauai with natural wonders all along the way. There are certainly some challenges and though beginners are able to hike the trail, they may find it slightly difficult. You may need to arrange transportation to the start of the trail if you're staying far away or take your Kauai resorts shuttle service if there is one. Preparing well will ensure that your hike will be enjoyable and executed without a hitch so you can enjoy every minute of this magnificent journey through the ever-changing landscape.

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