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Hawaii, Hiking

The Two Most Popular Day Hikes Along Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast

February 15, 2017
Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai

Hiking the Nā Pali Coast is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world! There are many wonderful reasons to visit Kauai, but hiking the Nā Pali Coast is at the top of the list. With emerald green jungles plunging down into aqua marine waters, it is truly a majestic sight. Ready to learn about the two most popular hikes along the Nā Pali coast? Let’s go!


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


A Guide to Hiking the Nā Pali Coast


About the Nā Pali Coast and the Kalalau Trail

The Nā Pali Coast is Kauai’s stunning coastline located on the Northwest side of the island. It remains surprisingly intact, but purely due to its remote location. The only way to access it by land is by hiking the Kalalau Trail. The only other ways to view the Nā Pali Coast is either by kayak tours, boat tours, or air tours.



The Kalalau Trail is a strenuous 11-mile hike, one way. It begins at Ke’e Beach and leads deep into the Kalalau Valley and along the Nā Pali Coast. The Kalalau Trail is a difficult hike, but also extremely rewarding. It requires multiple days to complete, and a camping permit from the Hawaii State Park. 


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


The Nā Pali Coast’s Most Popular Day Hikes

Although the full hike of the Kalalau Trail is 11 miles, most people only hike pieces of the trail. The first few miles of the Kalalau Trail is what’s most commonly hiked of the Nā Pali Coast.


There are two popular day hikes to choose from:

  • Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Beach
  • Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Falls


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


1. Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Beach (4 miles roundtrip)

The hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach is a fairly easy 4-mile round trip hike, two miles out and two miles back. This hike hugs the rugged Nā Pali coastline and is a well laid out path. There are even stairs in the beginning of the hike.

Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


Towards the end of the hike the path opens up to a lush river valley. From there it is a short walk to Hanakapi’ai Beach.


Note: Hanakapi’ai Beach can be dangerous depending on ocean conditions, so proceed with caution as there are no lifeguards.


Hanakapi’ai Beach - Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai

2. Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Falls
(8 miles roundtrip)

The hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls is an extension of the first hike. After hiking the first 2 miles out to the river valley, you will then hike another 2 miles into the Hanakapi’ai Valley to a remote waterfall.  Since you are hiking into the center of the island, you won’t have those gorgeous coastline views. But the waterfall at the end is a massive 300-feet tall, and definitely worthy of the 8-mile hike. 🙂


The two miles to the waterfall is more difficult, mostly because it can be muddy and slippery. The path is not as clearly laid out, and you have to walk through river streams. It’s important to be extra careful during this hike. During my trip a fellow hiker fell and injured her leg, and then had to be rescued by helicopter.


Hanakapi’ai Falls - Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai Hanakapi’ai Falls - Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai
Hanakapi’ai Falls - Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


What to Bring 

  • Proper Footwear
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Light rain jacket – depending on weather conditions
  • Camera (it’s freaking gorgeous!)


Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


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Hike Na Pali Coast Kauai


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Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.



  1. A Hearty Nomad

    February 18, 2017 at 6:44 am Reply

    A nice read and your pics look fab.

    Happy weekend!

    1. Tiffany Nicole

      Tiffany Nicole

      February 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm Reply

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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Welcome to Lavender Vines! 
Hi I’m Tiffany, a Jesus loving free spirit who can’t get enough of adventure, salted caramel lattes, & farmers markets. At Lavender Vines my mission is to help you grow in your faith, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest.

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