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The Napali Coast is probably one of the most recognizable coastlines in the United States. Located on the island of Kauai, this beautiful coastline draws visitors from around the world every time of the year. With fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean to your right and lush green forests to your left, hiking the Napali coast is a once in a lifetime experience everyone must at least try. Just remember to use sunglass straps and a camera strap while exploring this hawaiian wilderness!
The Kalalau Trail:
The Kalalau Trail runs approximately 11 miles along the Napali Coast, starting at Ke’e Beach and continuing through Kalalau Valley. Hiking the Napali Coast can essentially be broken up into three different sections. The first part of the hike begins as you traverse through a jungle-like terrain. The majority of the beginning can be a climb so make sure you wear proper shoes. This is where a camera strap might come in handy so that you can climb hands-free. From Ke’e Beach to Hanakapiai Beach it is approximately 2-miles. (4-miles round trip) This beach holds excellent views and is the perfect distance for those looking for a day hike.
Camping inside Napali Coast State Wilderness Park:
Any camping done within Napali Coast State Wilderness Park must be done with a permit. This means that if you plan to hike further into the valley, a permit must be obtained to that you can camp along the trail. This can be achieved by visiting WikiPermits. Hiking the Napali Coast is extremely popular so be sure to plan and reserve early.
Hiking the Napali Coast:
From Hanakapiai Beach, hikers can take an additional 2-mile hike to the Hanakapiai Falls. (4-miles round trip) This is an extremely strenuous hike, but the falls can be rewarding. If you plan to on skipping this waterfall, continue along the Kalalau Trail towards Hanakoa Valley. Hanakoa Valley is a great place to camp for those trying to do the complete trail. After hiking through the 4 miles of Hanakoa Valley, hikers will stumble upon the entrance of Waiahuakua Valley. From here it is about another 5 miles to the Kalalau Beach which marks the end of the trail. The views along this trail are amazing, as you will pass by ocean blue waters and vibrant green forests.
Hike the Napali Coast is something out of a dream and those who can do it are very fortunate. Weather can change pretty rapidly along the coast, so always be prepared and be sure to check the reports before hiking. Although both beaches are very pretty, the current can be a bit rough and there are no lifeguards on duty. With that being said, hiking the Napali Coast can be the best experience of your lifetime or the worst. Just be sure to prepare accordingly and have a great time hiking the amazing coastline of Hawaii!
Written by @visualsbyry