Trip Report: Kauai 2012 (part 7) Hiking Kalalau Trail


Intro & United economy plus Chicago to Lihue
Sheraton Kauai resort and spa
Waimea Canyon
St. Regis Princeville
Kayaking to Secret Falls
Queensbath and Hideaway Beach
Hiking Kalalau Trail
Napali coast boat ride
Grand Hyatt Kauai
Westin Princeville
Food and Drink of Kauai


 Hiking Kalalau Trial

One of our favorite days in Kauai was hiking the Kalalau trail!  This is a good excursion that takes up several hours of your day and is completely free!  It was good exercise combined with the amazing beauty and scenery of Kauai.  Hiking the trail was fun, and tough at the same time!  It was very rewarding to make it through but there are some strenuous parts and by the end we were pretty tired.

There are a few ways to take this trail.  The serious hikers can take it the entire way which I believe is 11 miles in and 11 miles back out!!! There are also some extremely narrow parts of the trail past 4 miles that if you fall you could actually be seriously hurt or die. Im talking like two feet wide on the edge of a cliff-no thanks!  We chose to hike to Hanakapai Falls which would be an eight mile roundtrip journey!

We made sure to get up very early to beat a lot of the other foot traffic.  I think we arrived ready to hike by 730am.  We brought some rain jackets and two one-gallon bottles of water, some granola bars for fuel and some towels.  We also had a small sandwich with us as well.  The water actually made the backpack slightly heavy in the beginning of the hike which was somewhat uncomfortable.

The trail in many parts is extremely muddy and sloppy due to all the rain the north side of Kauai receives. There are a lot of elevation changes as well.  You will start off the trail pretty much taking steps up for about 10-20 minutes straight. Make sure you are somewhat in shape if your going to do a few miles. We made sure to buy some decent outdoor trail sandal type shoes before we left for the trip.  We saw one or two people with brand new white tennis shoes that were getting killed by the mud!

This is our plan

Lots of rules

Lets get this party started, new rain jacket ready to go!

Wow, not long after starting the trail

Coastline behind me

Muddy muddy muddy

On the trail

Getting a peek at some great views

Amazing coastal views

About an hour or so in during our hike we started getting treated to the amazing views of the Nepali coast line.  Many parts of this hike have stunning views and that is why I say the hike is very rewarding.  During the hike there was only one group of hikers that passed us and there was one group of hikers actually passing us the other way.  Otherwise it was just us and a group of two girls that we kept passing then they would pass us depending on our pace or if one of us stopped for a break.  There are some fruit trees on the trip and the fruit falls on the ground and gets stepped on which also makes for an amazing aroma in the air in some parts of the trail.

Lucky two girls were hiking together not far behind us to snap a pic for us

Further along the trail

Muddy and rocky here

wife made it down there

Some streams along the way

Streams to walk through or hop over

More mud trail
Getting close to the Beach

Looking down from the trail

The trail and ocean

Not a place to take a dip!

Do not swim here!

About half way to the falls or 2 miles in
More water and rocks to navigate over

My wife’s turn to carry the bag for a bit
The beach

DSC00603Someone forgot their cat!

Click on this picture and look closely you will see the rocks stacked on top of each other

Rocks stacked on the beach

The bathroom! Probably best you go before you start the hike!! Couldn’t pay me to go in that thing!

Two more miles to the falls per this sign



We made it!! Had the entire waterfall to ourselves.

When we got to the waterfall I was tired but I perked up when I saw it as it was an amazing sight to see.  I felt very grateful to be there at that very moment in nature with my wife.  Its a moment of my life I will certainly not forget.

When we first arrived a group of 3-4 guys were just finishing up their swim and left so we had this entire area to ourselves for about 20 minutes before the two girl group caught up to us.  Then another 2-4 people arrived about 10-20 minutes later.  I went into the water and it was in fact the coldest water I have ever been in.  I lasted about two minutes before I had to get out. I was surprised by how cold it was considering it was so warm on the hike.

My wife didn’t go in the water

DSC00641 DSC00642
Tall waterfall can’t fit in the picture

Let me eat my granola bar in piece!

Washing out my shoes on the way back…..very tired, six miles in with two to go
Almost back to the start

Surfers from the trail

Came, saw, conquered

Start and finish for us! Eight mile journey!

If you are an outdoors person or even if you’re not this is a must do!!  Even if you can’t make it to the falls most people can make it to the beach and back.  The next time we are in Kauai we will probably do this again.


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