Hike Review: Na’Pali Coast

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This year, I will be reviewing different hikes around the island for your interest and convenience. Now, I know what’s going through your head: “What does he know about hiking? He’s a monk seal?” Well my friends, I have my sources…and I’m here to share them with you!

First on our list is the Na’Pali Coast Hike. As one of the island’s most renown features, the Na’Pali Coast is a great place to start.

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image via www.wildbackpacker.com

Level of Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
Distance: .25-11 miles (one-way)
Distance from Villas at Poipu Kai: 50 miles
Trailhead: Ke’e Beach

Traversable only by water, air, or foot, the Na’Pali coast is a wonder. While experiencing the coast  from a helicopter or boat is mesmerizing, nothing gives you the full experience like taking it in by foot. While the coast may seem intimidating at first, you’ll quickly see that the trail can be adapted depending on your level of experience. Hikers can walk the trail for any distance desirable, but landmarks are located at .25, .5, 2, 4, 6, and 11 miles. If you’re an experienced hikers, you may wish to go the entire distance (11 miles one-way). As your reward, Kalalau Beach will greet you, peaceful and secluded.

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image via www.hpulamalama.com

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Though the hike can be adjusted length-wise, it’s important to remember that this is not a nature walk; you should come prepared with durable and comfortable hiking shoes and plenty of water.  Beauty abounds when abrupt cliffs and intermittent waterfalls provide stunning views and breathtaking topography. Still, remember hazards such as falling rocks and steep drop offs exist, so exercise caution.

If you enjoy camping, you may want to make it a two-day affair and bring camping gear to stay overnight on Kalalau Beach. If you’d like to make a day trip of the hike, however, take the 8 mile round trip to Hanakapi’ai Beach – only available during summer months. You can go at your own pace while still feeling challenged.

At the very least, this hike offers a view of the island that is truly unique, even if you only walk for a mile or two. So, check it out! The Na’Pali Coast hike may be the most strenuous hike of the island, but it is also the most rewarding.

For additional information:
http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/napali.cfm
http://www.napali.com/coast/hanakapiai/
http://www.dayhiker.com/directory/hawaii_nopali.htm
(great journal of hike)

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