Where To Hike In Hawaii: Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park
Published by Rachael & Zak Farmer Family on
If you want to hike the coastal mountains of the Hawaii, you can't go wrong with the Kalalau Trail. It runs along the Nāpali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Locals will warn that if you want a parking spot near the trailhead, you’d best get up early, and they’re right. The parking lot is limited, and it also serves the beach goers at the nearby Ke’e State Park. After swimming through the sea of wild chickens in the parking lot, you’ll find yourself on the trail. If the bold chickens didn’t win, you’ll still have lunch in your pack.
The views will not dissapoiont
The first half mile or so has some significant elevation gain and gets you on top of a beautiful vista that overlooks the coastline. The water transitions from crystal clear along beach to a brilliant turquoise to a deep and calming blue as you look out into the vast Pacific Ocean.
Ahead you’ll see the Kalalau Trail wrapping through the jungle, up and over the land and down into the valleys that are gushing with freshwater streams. As you hike along the trail, you’ll cross these steams often and marvel at the tiny waterfalls along the way. Two miles in, you’ll find yourself at a quiet beach and the option to hike up to Hanakapi’ai Falls presents itself. The hike is an additional two miles upstream, or you can take off for what feels like endless miles of trail in the remote Hawaii mountains of the Nāpali Coast State Park.
Hawaii can be challenging ... be prepared
For all the magnificent views and memories that are to be had on the Kalalau Trail it is important to be well prepared for steep and slippery terrain with heavy amounts of mud and rain. Know the risks of flash floods in the area and don’t ignore the warnings of the undetectable rip currents in the ocean.
The air is warm and the humidity high. Water and electrolytes will be your friend. As you arrive back at the parking lot, there are communal outdoor showers and a beautiful beach where you can cool off with a swim or relax in the sand. If you enjoy snorkeling and sea turtles check out Tunnels Beach which is a few miles down the road on your way back into town.