Where We Be
The Na Pali coast as seen from Kalalau Trail
Kauai, Hawaii -- Kalalau Trail
Ke'e Beach itself is popular for a reason: Not only is it beautiful, but the strong surf
breaks out to sea so you have a protected reef area in which to swim and snorkel
We always love a good hiking day, and today's
hike along the Kalalau Trail was no exception.
At dawn we drove west towards Ke’e Beach
where the road ends at a parking lot. From
there we started hiking along the Kalalau Trail,
which is generally considered the best hike in
Kauai for its outstanding views of the Na Pali
coast. We did what many do and hiked just the
first 2 miles of this 11-mile trail to Hanakapiai
Beach. To go further requires a permit and
camping gear, but we extended the hike by
taking another trail for 2 more miles to
Hanakapiai Falls.

As tremendous as the Na Pali views were, the
surprise highlight for us was Hanakapiai Falls.
This wispy waterfall descends into a deep pool
of water perfect for swimming. The swimming
hole is big enough for many to enjoy at once,
and you can swim right up to – and under – the
falls. This is quintessential Hawaii! Everyone
dreams of swimming under a waterfall in Hawaii,
don’t they?
During the hike back we enjoyed the view looking towards Ke'e Beach
This bamboo grove was unusual in that it was covered
with bamboo graffiti -- something we've never seen before
We both swam out to the falls and put our heads under the pelting water
We swam around for nearly an hour. Twice I tried
touching bottom and couldn't, the pool was so deep.
The water at Hanakapiai Falls was cold but we took a local’s advice
and headed straight in while we were still hot from the hike
We enjoyed watching a handful of surfers brave the huge waves.
This looked more like Oahu's North Shore than the North Shore did!
The cairns make for an unusual backdrop for a photo
The hike up to Hanakapiai Falls offered some pretty views in its own right
I've always wanted to stand directly under a Hawaiian waterfall, and today was my day!
Hanakapiai Beach is unusual for the hundreds of cairns built all over it
Here you can just begin to glimpse Hanakapiai Beach --
the endpoint for most day-trippers on the Kalalau Trail
Near the beginning of the trail you feel like you're going to be swallowed up by the jungle
But then you break into open stretches like this offering glorious views of the Na Pali coast