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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Benson

Chasing Waterfalls: Hiking the Na Pali Coast

na pali coast

The Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii, is a natural wonder of the world. Where towering cliffs meet the restless Pacific Ocean. Beyond its dramatic shores and cliffs there lies a hidden treasure: an enchanting waterfall. My husband and I along with some wonderful friends took this venture deep into this untamed paradise to discover the awe-inspiring beauty of the falls along the Na Pali Coast.

na pali coast, hawaii

The Trailhead:

Our journey begins at the Ke'e Beach trailhead, after a quick bus ride. The path is lush and vibrant, covered by dense foliage, alive with the calls of exotic birds. There are warning signs everywhere, and it made me question my fitness level as well as my mental health. Our group was excited and ready for adventure.

For the hike, I packed:

Lunch & Snacks

Water - Used a collapsible water bottle.

Small First Aid Kit

My Camera (and unless you are a avid photographer I don't recommend it )

Sun Screen

Sun Glasses

Wet Wipes

The first two miles of the Kalalau Trail ends at Hanakapiai Beach. This was our first stop and I could have sat there all day. This beautiful beach cove had the the biggest waves I have ever seen. There are warning signs of beach, and small memorials of those that tragically lost their life in that cove. Even though it was a grim reminder, I only felt peace in that cove. We decided to move on, after all our destination was only a few more miles ahead.

A roller coaster of ups and downs on the trail, crossing the river several times we reached Hanakapiai Falls, a magnificent 300-foot cascade nestled within the heart of the Na Pali Coast. The trail to the falls is demanding but rewarding, weaving through bamboo forests, river crossings, and moss-covered boulders. At every turn, the distant roar of the falls beckons us closer.

Na Pali Coast Waterfall

A Glimpse of Eden:

Reaching Hanakapiai Falls feels like stepping into a mythical realm. The sheer power and beauty of the waterfall are awe-inspiring, the misty spray kissing our skin. Surrounded by towering cliffs and vibrant greenery, we're reminded of nature's ability to create true masterpieces.

We swam in the freezing cold water, but our feet were tired and our muscles craved the cold. We ate lunch and marveled at what a beautiful world we had surrounded ourselves in. After about 90 minutes we packed up and headed back, taking a break at Hanakapiai Beach.

Reflections on the Journey:

As we make our way back along the trail, I find myself reflecting on the privilege of experiencing these natural marvels. The falls along the Na Pali Coast are not just sights to behold; they're living, breathing testaments to the enduring power of our planet.

Hawaii Na Pali coast, Hawaii

Hiking to the falls on the Na Pali Coast is an adventure that transcends the boundaries of the ordinary. It's a journey that demands effort, but rewards with moments of sheer, unadulterated wonder. If you're willing to step off the beaten path, to explore and embrace the wild, the falls of the Na Pali Coast stand ready to welcome you. They're not just destinations; they're experiences that will resonate in your soul forever.

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Have you hiked or are planning on hiking the Na Pali Coast? Comment below!


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