Kalalau Trail to Hanakapiai Beach

People come from around the globe to hike this world famous, very rugged 11-mile trail that hugs the steep cliffs of Kauai’s Napali Coast hundreds of feet above the ocean.

You can get a wonderful feel for the trail and its fabulous views by hiking just the first two miles into Hanakapiai Beach and stream.

Begin at the trailhead in the Kee Beach parking lot at what is literally “the end of the road” on Kauai’s north shore.

As the trail ranges from large rocks that you must scramble over to easier dirt pathways and back to rocks again, views of the gorgeous ocean below and cliffs stretching miles up the coastline will leave you breathless.

When the surf is large, waves will sound like thunder echoing around you.

Exercise caution when you reach the stream and beach as strong currents have claimed lives.

From the beach, you can hike two miles mauka (inland) to the beautiful Hanakapiai Falls, a slow and muddy trek that can take another three hours, but well worth it if you have the time and stamina.

Kalalau Trail to Hanakapiai Beach
Location: North shore at “the end of the road”
Parking: At Kee Beach parking lot or the auxiliary lot ¼ mile before the beach
Length: 4 miles roundtrip
Time: 3 hours
Elevation: 1,000 feet
Difficulty level:
Rigorous; wear sturdy closed-toe shoes