Location: Trailhead for Kalalau Trail at end of Kuhio Highway (Hwy. 56) in Ha'ena State Park; Kalalau and Miloli‘i Valleys also accessible by kayak from May 15 through September 7. Nu‘alolo Kai accessible for day use by commercial boat tours or by private boats.
Description: The Na Pali Coast is a very special place. The pali, or cliffs, provide a rugged grandeur of deep, narrow valleys ending abruptly at the sea. Waterfalls and swift flowing streams continue to cut these narrow valleys while the sea carves cliffs at their mouths. Extensive stone walled terraces can still be found on the valley bottoms where Hawaiians once lived and cultivated taro.
REHABILITATION OF KALALAU TRAIL, NAPALI COAST STATE WILDERNESS PARK, KAUA'I BEGINS
9/24/12 - LIHU'E - A project to identify and restore priority sections of a popular 9-mile section of the famed Kalalau Trail began this month. Work on the trail from 2 miles in at Hanakapiai and to the trail’s end (11 miles) at Kalalau beach is being conducted by Pono Pacific Land Management, LLC and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2013. This work is designed to stem and reverse the erosive forces of nature and feral goats that have contributed to the deterioration of this rugged historic trail.
Most hikers are not expected to face delays as work is happening after the 2-mile mark at Hanakapi‘ai. HIkers who go beyond Hanakapiai, and overnight campers with permits may experience short delays when trail work crews are encountered.
Preliminary work is currently underway, and repair work is slated to begin in eroded sections near mile 8. Work will then shift to other prioritized trail sections. Trail crews will camp for a week at a time near the work location, working long days to reduce the cost on helicopter transport, and then be off for a week.
The Kalalau Trail provides the only land access to this part of the rugged coast. Originally built in the late 1800s, portions of the trail were rebuilt in the 1930s. A similar foot trail linked earlier Hawaiian settlements along the coastline. The trail traverses 5 valleys before ending at Kalalau Beach where it is blocked by sheer, fluted cliffs (pali). The 11-mile trail is graded but almost never level as it crosses above towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys. The trail drops to sea level at the beaches of Hanakapi'ai and Kalalau. The first 2 miles of the trail, from Ha’ena State Park to Hanakapi’ai Beach, make a popular day hike.
ADVISORY: You may be exposed to the following hazards in this park:
Entrance Fees: None. Fee for camping permits $15 per person per night (Hawaii residents), $20 per person per night (non-residents).
PLEASE NOTE: CAMPING PERMITS FOR NAPALI COAST ARE EXTREMELY POPULAR, AND OFTEN SELL OUT WELL IN ADVANCE, PARTICULARLY DURING SUMMER. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
Permits Required: Camping permits required, special rules apply to Na Pali
Coast camping. AS OF JANUARY 1, 2012, DAY-USE HIKING PERMITS FOR THE KALALAU TRAIL HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED. DAY HIKING IS NOW ALLOWED WITHOUT A PERMIT UP TO HANAKOA VALLEY (6 MILES IN FROM TRAILHEAD). ANYONE PROCEEDING BEYOND HANAKOA VALLEY MUST POSSESS A VALID CAMPING PERMIT.
Services/Facilities: Camping at Hanakoa and Kalalau Valleys by permit only. Composting toilets at Hanakapi‘ai, Hanakoa, Kalalau, Nu‘alolo Kai and Miloli‘i. Rain shelters at Hanakoa, shelters with picnic tables at Miloli‘i. NO DRINKING WATER – stream water must be treated. NO TRASH SERVICE – pack out what you pack in. There is no cell phone coverage in this park.
PLEASE NOTE: IT IS NOT LEGAL FOR ANYONE TO PROVIDE COMMERCIAL BOAT TRANSPORT TO DROP OFF PASSENGERS AT KALALAU OR MILOLII CAMPING AREAS. PLEASE DO NOT ENLIST THE SERVICES OF THESE ILLEGAL OPERATORS, WHO CONTRIBUTE TO OVERCROWDING AND EXCESS TRASH IN THE PARK.
Gear: Travel light. Lightweight hiking shoes with good traction are popular. Camping gear should include a lightweight sleeping bag or blanket, sleeping pad, tent or tarp, cooking stove and fuel, water purification tablets or filter, first aid kit, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, rain gear, toilet paper, and biodegradeable soap.
As of November 2010, a portion of the Kalalau campground in the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is now permanently closed to camping to protect park users from potential rockfall hazards in this area. The closure was implemented following a rockfall hazard assessment and mitigation project which was conducted in Summer of 2010.
Rockfall hazard and no camping signs have been posted in the Kalalau trail segment now off-limits to camping up to Ho'ole'a Waterfall. The closure affects approximately 16 formerly popular campsites along the trail closest to the waterfall. Returning campers should be aware that some sites they formerly enjoyed are now unsafe and off-limits. Transit through the area is still allowed along the existing trail, however hikers are encouraged not to linger in the area.
A replacement set of composting toilets has been installed centrally within the new designated camping area at Kalalau. Campers are also allowed to set up camp on the sand beach fronting the now closed area, so long as they stay well away from the cliffs. Camping is not allowed beyond the waterfall/stream, including within the cave just west of the waterfall, which remains a hazardous rockfall zone.
NEW POLICY AS OF MAY 2010: In response to public demand and to promote improved public safety, beginning May 19, 2010, permits for Napali Coast will be issued for Kalalau only, the preferred destination at the end of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail. However, permits for Kalalau will also be valid for camping at Hanakoa, which is located a little beyond the halfway point of the trail, roughly 6 miles in from the trailhead. Permits specifically for Hanakoa will no longer be issued, but hikers are encouraged to stopover and camp at Hanakoa if they possess a valid permit for Kalalau and they feel the need to break up their trek due to such factors as fatigue, inclement weather, or impending darkness.
Permitted campers are cautioned that the new policy is not a license to camp anywhere along the trail. Hanakoa and Kalalau, which contain facilities to support camping activities, remain the only two authorized areas for camping along the trail. The total number of nights that are allowed for camping in the park is still 5 - so a stopover at Hanakoa, going either direction along the trail, counts as on e of the authorized nights, and therefore reduces the total number of nights permitted at Kalalau.
At the trailhead (in Ha‘ena State Park) can be found restrooms, outdoor showers, trash cans, drinking water and payphone.