Regardless of where your Hawaii vacation takes you, you don’t want to leave our beautiful state without a visit to Kauai. Nicknamed the “Garden Isle”, Kauai is both the oldest and greenest of the Hawaiian Islands. Filled with lush tropical forests, winding rivers, beautiful beaches, incredible cliffs and majestic waterfalls, Kauai is a nature lovers dream.
The Na Pali Coast is arguably one of the most scenic coastlines in the world. Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean combined with mountain ranges and green valleys make for a picturesque landscape that can’t be missed.
Unfortunately there is no road access to the Na Pali coast, so Hawaii vacationers wanting to see this natural wonder must do so by water, boat, or on foot via the Kalalau Trail.
The Kalalau Trail covers 11 miles between Ke’e Beach and the Kalalau Valley. With stretches ranging from moderate to strenuous, a round trip can typically be completed in 7 – 9 hours, although many visitors make it a two-day trek and camp at designated areas along the length of the trail. Campers must have a permit and it’s important to note that those found camping without one could be looking at a fine of up to $500.
The terrain ranges from flat to rocky and you will work your way both up and downhill, cross streams and rivers but in the end, the spectacular views you’re treated to along the way will be well worth it. The first leg of the trail is approximately two miles and stretches from Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Beach. The next two miles will take you to Hanakapi’ai Falls, with the last leg being a nine mile hike from the falls to the pristine Kalalau Beach with its turquoise water waiting as a reward.
You needn’t be an experienced hiker however a trek along the Kalalau Trail is not for the meek. A good pair of comfortable shoes is mandatory, as is plenty of water and mosquito repellent. Perhaps the most important take along though is your camera as the hike is full of incredible photo opportunities.
If you’re on vacation in Hawaii and would like to hike the Kalalau Trail, the following website can help you plan your outing. http://www.kalalautrail.com
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