A quintessential vision of Kauai: luscious valleys amidst towering sea cliffs lead to 300 foot waterfalls
his spectacular section of the famed Na'Pali coast on the north shore of Kauai switches back between lush green mountains overlooking turquoise waters before turning into and climbing upstream to the 300 foot waterfalls deep inside Hanakapi'ai Valley. A perfect day hike and introduction to the Kalalau trail. Traverse from the base of the hike at Ke'e Beach to the falls with me:
HANAKAPI'AI FALLS: THE SPECS
Hike time: 6 hours (steady pace with generous allotments for breaks, photo-taking, and snacking)
Distance: 8 miles
Impression: A fabulous introduction to the first 2 miles of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail. The section to Hanakapi'ai Beach is easy peasy, well-groomed and suitable for just about anyone (as long as the trail isn't wet). Turning into the valley up to the falls, you will have to climb over boulders and cross the river a couple times, so make sure to bring shoes suitable for that - and maybe a dry pair of socks. A bathing suit to hop in the waterfall at the end would be a great idea as well. This is a heavily traversed trail, which is a sure bet for novice to intermediate hikers and has most definitely enticed me to start planning for a return to complete the entire Kalalau Trail.