Gain: 2500 ft
Distance: 8 miles
A beautiful trek along the north coast of Kauai.
On vacation with a few days in Kauai, we decided to check out Hanakapiai Falls off of the Kalalau Trail. Once could take the trail 11 miles one way, camp, and return, but we did not have the time for that. So we drove up to the north coast of Kauai just past Haena, where the main road ends, and you can park at the trailhead.
The trail is beautiful from the start, surrounded with lush flora and even a portion of ground covered in pine needles.
One gets exceptional views of the pristine blue ocean along the way, as every now and then the trail curves and opens to such views
After about 2 miles, we hit a beach which we will return to later. The beach is adjacent to a creek that pours into the ocean. This creek stems from Hanakapiai Falls from the south. At this point we veer from heading generally west along the coast, to generally south along the creek.
Along this part of the trail, there are some large collection of bamboo trees which were very interesting.
The trail gets more rocky and cross the creek a few times.
Finally, we get to the falls, which are a few hundred feet high. Lots of water, and cold at that.
A few of us got in the water and swam to the bottom of the falls. Let’s just say the water was freezing cold, enough to make it feel like my skin was burning!
After enjoying the falls, we headed back to the beach, where we did a bit of swimming and bodysurfing in some rough waves. We went back the way we came.
This trail used to be little known, but now it is quite popular. We passed 20-30 people along the way for sure. The trail has some ups and downs, as well as some variety in trail conditions, so it is definitely a moderate hike.
If you ever head to Kauai, check it out!
This entry was posted on Friday, May 1st, 2009 at 7:10 am and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.