Hiking the Kalalau Trail – Day 1

Hiking the Kalalau Trail is something I have always wanted to do. I’ve seen the awesome pictures on google of people hiking the beautiful ocean cliff side of Napali Coast and immediately felt eager to do the hike.

I started recruiting people right away to see who would be interested in joining me in this journey.

One of the happiest moments in life is when you get to travel with close friends and family. I was fortunate enough to have my girlfriend, Karen and my two sisters, Eunice and Sharleen, come join me in this epic adventure.

We started the hike right outside Ke’e beach in Hawaii located in the Haena State Park in Kauai. The day before the big hike, there was a yellow tape blocking the hiking trail indicating that it is not safe to hike. Being the rebel that I am, we decided to do the hike anyways. To our surprise, the yellow tape has now been removed the next day and we didn’t have to break any rules.

Hiking the Kalalau Trail will take roughly 10-12 hours according to everyone we’ve spoken to. The distance is a total of 11 miles per way. We originally planned on hiking the Kalalau trail in one whole day.

Kalalau Trail Map

Kalalau Trail Map

Looking at the map, our first goal is to reach Hanakapai’ai Beach which is roughly two miles from the entrance of the hiking trail.

The initial two mile incline proved to be challenging but we managed to push through. We finally reached the infamous stream where people have reportedly been swept away during flash floods.

Crossing the stream


Arriving at Hanakapai’ai Beach

We decided to stop to rest and eat at Hanakapai’ai Beach


The next six mile proved to be one of the most challenging hike we have ever done in our life.

We got lost in the trail, got burnt by the blaring sun. We also underestimated how steep the incline is and we were quickly losing our energy. The hike felt endless and it was a never ending up and down.

Stopping to rest during the hike


As beautiful the place is, it was difficult to stop and enjoy the scenery because we were just too damn exhausted. We did our best and managed to capture some nice pictures.




After eight hours of grueling hike while carrying a 30lb backpack, we finally reached Hanakoa.

Despite all the warnings we received, we were so tired that decided to stay and camp in Hanakoa.

Hanakoa is hell on Earth. The sheer number of mosquitoes that swarms you is ridiculous. You will never find comfort in this camp site. The area is muddy, and again, mosquito infested. Everyone we met in Kauai that has done the Kalalau trail hike always tells us not to camp here.

Preparing our dinner in Hanakoa


If we weren’t at the brink of death, there is no way in hell we would have stayed here. But I’m glad we did because we badly needed some rest, and sustenance after the most grueling hike of our life.

Day 2 is coming up.

2 thoughts on “Hiking the Kalalau Trail – Day 1”

  1. Pingback: Hiking the Kalalau Trail - Day 2 - Travel and Live Free

  2. Pingback: 5 Things You Ought to Do in Kauai Hawaii - Travel and Live Free

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