Hike to Hanakāpī‘ai Falls

Hawaii Kalalau Trail

Added by Rob Witt

Be prepared to swim under a 300ft waterfall and get another perspective of the Na Pali Coast. This day hike should take about 5-6 hours, so be pack accordingly.

This hike is on the beginning section of the Kalalau trail, at Ke'e Beach. Your trip begins with a winding 2 mile trail to Hanakapi`ai Beach. The beach is a beautiful place to hang out and relax, there's a stream where you can take a dip, and bathrooms if you need to stop. Unfortunately, there's no swimming at the beach, due to strong currents.

If you're planning to continue up to the falls, be prepared for another 2 mile climb uphill. This part of the hike gets more challenging with steep climbs, crossing a stream multiple times, and a little scrambling over boulders, but the reward is worth it. Once you've reached the falls, enjoy it! Take some time to relax, eat lunch, and swim in the pool below the falls. Keep in mind though, you've still got 4 miles to hike back. Due to the length of the hike, we recommend getting an early start on it just in case; you want to make sure you make it back to your car by the time the sun goes down.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Good hiking shoes or boots
  • Lots of water (2+ Liters or filter)
  • Water filter
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Lightweight Clothing
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

500 Feet




Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

5 months ago

Gorgeous Hike

This is definitely a gorgeous hike and great for getting a glimpse of the Na Pali coast. I definitely recommend to watch the sunset after the hike at Ke'e beach before heading for dinner to the [Dolphin](http://www.hanaleidolphin.com/index.htm). Try the chef's roll, it's not on the menu!

5 months ago

10 months ago

Perfect Kauai day

This hike was amazing! The first stretch you are treated to views of the Nepali Coast, and the cliffs crashing into the sea. Then you have your first rest area at a lovely beach, with plenty of sea caves and rocky outcrops to explore. The waterfall is incredible and worth every muddy step. My top three tips: 1) Bring collapsable hiking poles, especially in winter! The trail is a total mud pit, and these really helped, especially when going down a steep, slippery section. 2) Bring water, and a filter. Plenty of fresh water along the way, you just need to filter obvi. 3) Go early! I made the mistake of trying this mid-morning one day, and had to turn around I was so over navigating around the masses of people - not to mention parking nightmare. Begin just before sunrise with a headlamp and watch the sun come up from high above the Pacific - win win.

10 months ago

over 1 year ago

This was an awesome hike! Plenty of breathtaking views along the way : gorgeous blue water, Na Pali coast, tropical trees, and [of course] the waterfall! I hiked the 8 miles in my Vibrams, and feel fabulous today. I even saw a few people walking it barefoot! (Albeit, I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't trained to walk barefoot). The second leg (beach to waterfall) is a lot rockier, so definitely take your time. Overall, it was a superbly enjoyable hike.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This day was beyond fabulous! Gorgeous views on this trail through the "jungle", with streams, beach, and waterfall. I did this with my 22 year-old son when I was 53. I had not been exercising much, but am fairly active and not overweight. I did not find this too difficult. Crossing one rushing stream was tricky. It was an amazing hike. Good shoes are super important and lots of water of course. Beware: Trail was muddy with puddles in places even on a relatively dry week. A recent rain will make it treacherous in places. One of the best adventures of my life!

over 1 year ago

Added by Rob Witt

More Adventures Nearby

Beach Day at Yokohama

Hawaii / Yokohama

Getting There:   Traveling from Honolulu, follow signs toward Waianae: the H1 turns into Farrington highway (93) as you reach the west side of the island.

Erik Holmes
3 Saves

Hike the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

Hawaii / Wiliwilinui Trailhead

Getting there:  Traveling eastbound on the H1, from Waikiki, the H1 becomes the Kalanianaole Highway as you pass the Kahala mall...

Erik Holmes
5 Saves

Swim in the Waikoko Stream & Waterfall

Hawaii / Waikoko Stream Parking Area

You will need a 4WD high clearance vehicle to reach this trail. To reach the trailhead, take Highway 580 which will eventually turn to dirt.

Dan Deublein
10 Saves