When I was querying the web for tips on hiking in Kauai, all links seemed to lead back to this trail. Clearly, it's considered "the" hike to take on Kauai's Garden Isle. No doubt, the hike has it's fair share of attributes; filled with beautiful views, lush plant life, and isn't too challenging at just four miles round trip.
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The most perfect beach
At the end of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail lies the most perfectest beach. Gorgeous 360 degree views of cliffs and ocean, fine white sand, natural waterfall for your bathing and hydration needs, tropical fruit ripe for the picking, sea caves, and semi-private. I could live there.
I think this is around mile 6. Really fun part of the trail where one clumsy step takes you rolling down the cliff and into the rocky waves. Note how I'm hugging the cliffside. Doubt I would've fallen, but I really didn't want to be *that* person! The incredible landscape made it all worth it!
I took this photo after convincing an elderly couple at the bus station in Kapa'a, about an hour drive from the trail head, to hitch hike with me. Their son had recently died, and the Great Spirit brought us together for a day. We ended up grabbing rides in a convertible and in the back of a pick up truck- the best way to get to the Kalalau trail. It can be a little muddy, but the trek is easy enough for nearly anyone to do for the first couple of miles. Overall, you have to hike 11 miles to get into Kalalau valley, but the trail rises immediately over the Nepali coast for some astounding views.
Hawaii conjures up images of sandy beaches, clear blue waters and Mai-Tai's at all hours of the day...NOT muddy hiking trails with steep, slippery switchbacks and waist-high river crossings but alas, that is what you will find along the Kalalau Trail at the Northern tip of Kauai.
It is arguably the most treacherous trail on the island but your agony is paid ten-fold in ecstasy with breathtaking vistas of the otherwise hard to see Napali Coastline as well as the face of a 50+ ft. waterfall 4 miles in.
If you're bravado allows you to trek the full 11 miles, you will land at an all but the uninhabited Kalalau Beach at the face of the Napali Coast. Once there, you may get the distinct impression you've just concurred the world. And by most man's measures, you have.