Kauai: Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

Explore, adventure, and discover, but listen to your body. Know the difference between pushing yourself to enhance performance and when to pull back for recharge and recovery.

Nepali coast state wilderness park, Kauai

Hike name: Kalalua trail to Hanakapi’ai falls 300’ waterfall.

Trail length: 8 miles

Trail type: out and back

Total elevation change: 2,396′

Suggestions: arrive early, the traffic on this trail becomes very dense the later you that you wait to start your trek. The parking lot was nearly empty when we started.

The first two miles of this hike is rated at an intermediate level going into forest and out along coastline. Proper hiking boots are a true recommendation as you will want solid grip on your shoes.

The trails are slippery, walking sticks can often be found at the beginning that others have left behind after they’ve completed their hike. If desired, this will provide another dimension of stability.

When you reach 2 mile point you will cross a river and you will find a beach, with high tides and rip currents. Swimming is strongly discouraged as unseen currents have killed many tourists.

This is the marking point in which you can continue the Kalalua trail or stay left for Hanakapi’ai falls. Keep in mind if you continue on the Kalalua trail a permit is required past that point. There is also a restroom at this fork in the trail.

Don’t attempt this trail after heavy rainfall, or flash flood warnings. There are many rivers you have to cross and with high water levels this will be a challenge.

YOU WILL GET MUDDY. So I wouldn’t wear your favorite new sneakers.

Bring a backpack that zips, and a dry bag in case you fall in the river while crossing so valuables don’t get ruined with you. Put all loose items in your bag while crossing rivers (sunglasses, hats, keys).

If you decide to take your shoes off to cross, do not set them down on a rock as the current can carry them away faster than you can grab them. Tie them to your bag before you cross. Wet boots are better than no boots.

Watch other people cross and the path that they use. If you see someone struggling to cross the river, guide them across. You can see the rocks they don’t necessarily see when crossing.

The path to the falls is rated strenuous with sections of climbing, the next two miles are tough, but the waterfall at the end is worth the journey!

The trail is pretty easy to follow so, I wouldn’t worry about getting lost. This is an out and back trail so you’ll follow the same route back to your car.

Happy hiking!

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