Where We Be
The Na Pali coast as seen from Kalalau Trail definitely does not disappoint
Kauai -- Kalalau Trail
Ke'e Beach 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 in gorgeous
country, and today definitely did not disappoint.
At dawn we drove west towards Ke’e Beach
where the road ends at a parking lot for the
beach and trailhead. From there we started
hiking along the Kalalau Trail, which is generally
considered the best hike in all of Kauai for its
outstanding views of the Na Pali coast. We did
what many people do and hiked the first 2 miles
of this 11-mile trail to Hanakapiai Beach. To go
further requires a permit and camping gear, but
we extended our 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
itself. 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? At least we always have!
During the hike back we enjoyed this view looking towards Ke'e Beach
This thick 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, put our heads under the pelting water, and ventured behind where we could look back through the curtain of 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 uphill hike
With its "mini-hoodoos" and pounding surf and dramatic headlands, Hanakapiai makes for a unique beach experience
We enjoyed watching a handful of surfers brave the huge waves at Hanakapiai Beach --
this looked more like Oahu's North Shore than the North Shore did!
What 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! Looking straight up
from the falls you see a semicircle of blue sky above you, with the walls of the canyon all lush and green.
Hanakapiai Beach is unusual for the hundreds of cairns built all over it. Obviously visitors enjoy leaving their mark for future visitors!
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 deep jungle
Then you break out into open stretches like this offering glorious views of the Na Pali coast