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Kalalau Trail

Difficult
 5.0 (44) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

19.3

Miles

31.0

KM

78%

Runnable

743' 227 m

High

30' 9 m

Low

4,950' 1,509 m

Up

4,949' 1,509 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

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

Overview

The Kalalau trail, along the famous Napali coastline, offers stunning views and a challenging run! 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

Shared By:

Ryan P with improvements by Tammy Goldmann and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 44 votes

#150

Overall
  5.0 from 44 votes
5 Star
95%
4 Star
5%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Hawaii

#150

Overall
140 Views Last Month
12,077 Since May 20, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
6%
0%
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
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
Sunlight cutting through
May 26, 2015 near Princev…, HI

Weather


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Check-Ins

Aug 21, 2017
Andy Black
Mar 15, 2017
Eric Borer
11.4mi — 5h 03m
Aug 14, 2015
Gina E
19.1mi — 8h 30m