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Hit the Kalalau Trail for an Epic Hiking Experience

March 06, 2017

Featured in TimeOut Magazine's "The Best Hiking Trails in America," Kauai’s own Kalalau Trail is one of the most challenging hikes in the U.S. This gem of the Hawaii Parks system also boasts breathtakingly beautiful views, with waterfalls, mango trees, and lush valleys along the way. The trail runs for 11-miles to Kalalau Beach, but most hikers camp overnight, or up to five nights, before returning. For newbies and the fitness-challenged, the first two miles of the trail make an ideal day trip to Hanakapi'ai Beach, and offer some spectacular scenery without the risks.


Regardless of which option you choose, here are a few things you need to know before you hit the trail.

  • Fresh water streams and falls abound along the trail, but purification is recommended.
  • Due to dangerous currents and riptides, swimming at either beach, or anywhere along the Na Pali Coast, is unsafe.
  • The Hanakapi’ai, Hanakoa and Kalalau valleys provide composting toilets.
  • Campers and day-hikers who continue on the trail beyond the Hanakapi’ai Valley must obtain a permit through the Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR).
  • Finally, check the (DLNR) for trail closures and emergency information at:

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