Hike to Hanakāpī‘ai Falls

Kalalau Trail, Kilauea, Hawaii, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    500 Feet

Bathrooms
Beach
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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This hike is without a doubt my favorite hike in Hawaii. The 8 miles roundtrip is not to strenuous which is very nice. I still would say you have to take on this hike. My biggest pieces of advise would be to start early, to avoid the crowds, and to wear a waterproof shoes. I wore water shoes when I hiked to the falls and it worked great since there isn't really any super steep parts to the trail and crossing the stream can be a little sketchy at times. Also the trail will most likely be muddy so having water shoes worked great in the fact that I just washed them off with a hose after the hike!

12 months ago
12 months ago

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!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

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.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years 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.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years 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!

about 3 years ago
about 3 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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