The recommended hike is well worth the effort.
At the two-mile mark of the Kalalau Trail, along Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, you will reach Hanakapiai Beach and Hanakapiai Valley. For those not wanting to walk the whole Kalalau Trail, a trip just as far as Hanakapiai provides a nice day hike taking about 1.5 hours each way walking at a very leisurely pace with stops to appreciate the stunning natural beauty you will encounter.
If you have some extra energy then hike another two miles up into Hanakapiai Valley to the thundering Hanakapiai Falls.
Camping is allowed at Hanakapiai with a state permit from the DLNR.
Need to Know
Don’t plan on swimming at Hanakapiai Beach as it is often subject to dangerous surf, and even when the water is calm there may be powerful rip currents and longshore currents caused by tidal changes and trade winds.
Hanakapiai’s currents can pull someone out to sea very quickly, and this is a primary reason that it is considered Kauai’s most dangerous beach. There are no lifeguards in this remote area. The best idea is to cool off in the Hanakapiai Stream so that you make sure you return from your hike safe and happy.
If you continue past Hanakapiai Valley along the Kalalau Trail it is another 9 miles to Kalalau Valley. This may take about 7 more hours of hiking as you wind up and down along the coast.
The Kalalau Trail that brings you to Hanakapiai begins at the end of the road on Kauai’s north shore at Kee Beach in Haena State Park.