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Kalalau Trail

Difficult

Trail

19.1 mile 30.8 kilometer loop
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 5,141' 1,567 m
Descent: -5,140' -1,567 m
High: 750' 228 m
Low: 28' 9 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Map Key

The Kalalau Trail, part of the famous Nāpali coastline, offers some of the best views on the planet!

Ryan P

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

The Kalalau trail, along the famous Napali coastline, offers stunning views and a challenging hike! It can be busy at times and draws crowds ranging from seasoned backpackers to walk-the-dog around the block enthusiasts. There are plenty of opportunities along the trail for amazing views of the coastline and ocean, so bring a camera!

Need to Know

There are streams that water can be pumped/filtered from. Water is unsafe to drink if not filtered. Use caution on this trail if rain is in the forecast. The Hanakapia'i Stream, Hanakoa Stream, and the Kalalau Stream are susceptible to flash floods. Additionally, the trail can become extremely muddy and slippery after rain. There are composting toilets at Hanakapia'i Beach, Hanakoa Camp Site, and Kalalau Beach.
As of June 2019, Advance reservations are now required for all vehicles, walk-in entry, and shuttle riders visiting Hāʻena State Park, as well as for day hikers accessing the Kalalau Trail. Plan your trip accordingly. Reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance, and no later than the day before your visit. Day permits see: gohaena.com; For overnight on the Kalalau Trail see: camping.ehawaii.gov

Description

The Kalalau Trail is the best of the best on Kauai! The trailhead is located in Ha'ena State Park, at the end of Kuhio Highway (Highway 560). The trail itself is generally well maintained but expect it to be muddy, slippery, rocky, and uneven in many sections. The scenery is typical Napali coastline - lush vegetation, gorgeous waterfalls, and views for miles. If you only have a few hours, the most popular section of the trail ends at Hanakpia'i Beach where you can relax and watch the waves crash. Note: avoid swimming at the beach due to strong currents! Relax for awhile and backtrack to the car!

If you have more time and consider yourself an experienced, sure-footed, and adventurous explorer then continue on. The trail can be steep and narrow, so be cautious - particularly in wet and muddy sections. Camping is ONLY allowed, by permit, at the end of the trail at Kalalau Beach - mile 11. This is a one-way in-and-out trail... so backtrack to reach the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Mountain Apple

History & Background

The current trail was built around 1860 by the Hawaiian Government to foster transportation and commerce for the residents living in the remote valleys. Local labor and dynamite were used to construct a trail wide enough to accommodate pack animals loaded with oranges, taro, and coffee being grown in the valleys.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Oct 7, 2019
Susan Kim
11mi
Sep 23, 2019
Michael Obi
Aug 12, 2019
Lily Yang
8/11-8/12/19
Jul 10, 2019
JD Weigle
11 miles from Ke'e Beach to Kalalau Beach on the first day. Camped at the beach overnight. Back the next day. Very strenuous, but beautiful. 22mi — 19h 00m
Jun 19, 2019
May Wang
22mi
Jun 18, 2019
Amy Boylan
Parts of over grown 8mi — 8h 30m
Apr 3, 2019
Mike Zhang
Apr 10, 2018
Jeff Blakley
19mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 44 votes

#119

Overall
  5.0 from 44 votes
5 Star
95%
4 Star
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Hike Rankings

#1

in Hawaii

#119

Overall
55 Views Last Month
11,146 Since May 20, 2015
Difficult

0%
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6%
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78%
17%

Photos

Kalalau Trail along the Nāpali coast
May 20, 2015 near Princev…, HI
Na
May 26, 2015 near Princev…, HI
Na'Pali Coast
May 26, 2015 near Princev…, HI
Descent into Kalalau Valley.
May 22, 2016 near Princev…, HI
The Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast, Kauai starts off with this incredible view.
Mar 24, 2017 near Princev…, HI
Na'Pali Coast
May 26, 2015 near Princev…, HI