Hawaii is the youngest U.S. state, consisting of 137 islands, and all of them are of volcanic origin. The capital of Hawaii, Honolulu, is located on the island of Oahu. It has a million inhabitants. Interestingly, Hawaiians arrived from Tahiti thousands of years ago.
Not far from the capital Honolulu, which means “protected city”, lies Waikiki and its beautiful beaches. The prime activity there includes surfing, which is actually invented by the natives, and kayaking. Hawaii itself is home to many other fun activities like fishing, snorkeling, various sports activities and even hiking. There are many great hiking trails in Hawaii, but here, we will present one of the most difficult ones (some say even the most dangerous), the Kalalau Trail.
Preparations for the Hike
The Kalalau Trail can be quite challenging so it’s not recommended for beginner hikers. Experience and good physical readiness will both prove quite useful on this trek. You should prepare yourself with resistance and cardio exercises, and do some research online before starting this journey. Expert hikers will have some great advice on what to expect on this trail. If you decide to go, be sure that it will be one of the most memorable experiences in your life.
Kauai Island – Hawaii
Kauai is an island in the north of the Hawaiian chain. It is considered the most picturesque and narrowest island of the 50th American state. Due to the lush tropical vegetation, many Hollywood hits have been filmed here, such as the Jurassic Park and 7 days, 7 nights.
Kauai is also a perfect tropical island, with plenty of rain, which caused the birth of lush green rainforests, tropical gardens and many other things, which is why it is known as Garden Island. If you are planning a visit to Hawaii, Kauai must be at the top of the list. This island has a lot of beautiful beaches and forests, and while you are there, there will be many activities and places to explore. The location you choose for your stay will determine everything you will see and enjoy.
On this island, there are numerous towns and villages that are worth your visit, and the island itself is known for its casual atmosphere and magnificent landscapes, with an abundance of beauty. You may have wondered what is the best of the best you can see here? Definitely the Kalalau trail.
To the north of this island is the coast of Napali, which is decorated with a multi-tiered green cliff that falls into the Pacific Ocean. These steep cliffs are accessible and visible only from the seaside or from the air. This is where the Kalalau hiking trail is located, and that is the name of the beautiful beach at the end of these 12 miles.
The Beauty of Kalalau
The Kalalau trail is considered one of the ten most beautiful picnic spots on our planet. There, the sound of the waves is mixed with the amazing tropical scents. You could just immerse yourself and forget about everything else out there. The Kalalau trail can be visited at any time of the year.
This trail is one of the most famous on the island, because of its numerous valleys, waterfalls, sea caves, rainforests and, of course, the beautiful Kalalau beach. You can explore the entire trail in 3-5 days, or you can reach a certain location on it, stay there and decide to enjoy all the beauties it offers you.
Hiking The Trail
The Napali Coast is truly a remarkable place. The cliffs (pali) give a breathtaking sight of narrow and deep valleys that suddenly end in the sea. Quick moving streams and waterfalls cut the valleys and the sea forms cliffs at the bottom. There are stone plateaus at the bottom of the valleys on which Hawaiians used to live.
The only access by land to this coast is the Kalalau Trail. It goes through 5 beautiful valleys before finally ending at the Kalalau beach. The trail is approximately 12 miles long and it crosses through green valleys and above sea cliffs. It drops down to sea level once it reaches the beaches of Kalalau and Hanakapiai.
The trail was built in the 1800s and some parts of it were rebuilt during the 1930s. It will take you a whole day to hike the trail, and it’s best to start early in order to avoid heat exertion. If you are an experienced swimmer or diver, there are a couple of opportunities during the hike for some great swimming breaks.
There is a lot for nature lovers here, as well. Many rare plants grow on the cliffs along the trail, and wild goats are often encountered on it. There is nature on the Kalalau trail that cannot be found anywhere else.
Camping on the Trail
The only places that camping is allowed at are Kalalau and Hanakoa. You won’t be able to pitch up a tent anywhere else on the trail and you will need special camping permits. The areas that are marked for camping don’t have drinking water or tables, so be extra prepared. Toilets can be found at Hanakoa, Kalalau and Hanakapaia. The camping areas are near streams and are protected by terraces.
Jack Kewell is a writer, science editor, naturalist, entrepreneur. He is focused on writing and illustrating books. Also, he is a regular contributor to Mountaintechblog