Kalalau Trail is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous hikes. The weather in Kauai is very unpredictable and it would often rain out of nowhere after an intense sunny day.
What was paradise yesterday is now a difficult hike back. We started the morning by quickly eating breakfast and giving away all the stuff that we didn’t want to bring back. We managed to lighten our backpack load in half which definitely help speed up our hike back.
We began hiking together at first but I started getting stomach aches throughout the morning. My body was being cleansed by the noni leaves I ate and I had to do my business several times leaving me weak and dehydrated at the very start of the hike.
My sisters and Karen went ahead without me and I started hiking on my own for awhile.
I hiked up the difficult steep incline up Kalalau valley and towards the long four miles towards Crawler’s Ledge. When I finally caught up with Sharleen, I had a massive headache from the blaring sun and dehydration. We know it is going to rain sometime that day and we wanted to make sure we were passed Crawler’s Ledge before that happens. As a result, we were all hiking at a faster pace putting more stress on our bodies.
Thankfully, Sharleen gave me some advil for my headache and some guava fruit to give me some extra energy.
Life saving guava fruit that Sharleen harvested the day before
A giant bee then attacked Sharleen and myself and we started running for it. By pure accident, we didn’t realize that we passed by Crawler’s Ledge already because we were so preoccupied with escaping the bee.
We actually made it back to Hanakoa in record time and started replenishing our supply of water. We probably drank at least six liters of water each during our entire hike back to the entrance of the Kalalau trail.
After Hanakoa, it started raining really hard. The second half of the hike was a brutal hike through a rain storm that poured on us the entire time. We were soaked and the trail was very slippery. I even slipped a few times where my foot was literally over the cliff side and almost giving me a heart attack.
I was concerned because it was raining so hard and the chance of flash flood occurring at the Hanakapai’ai stream crossing will be greater.
The one positive effect of the rain was that it helped cool us off during the hike. It was definitely more difficult to do the hike in intense heat than the cooling rain. In a way, I was glad we hiked while it rained really hard.
By the time we arrived at Hanakapai’ai stream, my feet is completely destroyed. It hurt so bad I can barely walk.
Thankfully, the stream wasn’t flooded and we crossed safely.
We still had two miles to go and I was limping the entire time. To make matters worst, the final two miles of the hike is full of slippery rocks making it extra difficult to get proper traction.
After going through hell hiking back to the parking lot, we finally made it. Eunice and Karen have already made it back two hours ago thanks to their fast hiking ability. Sharleen and myself took 10 hours to make it back to the parking lot.
We washed ourselves at the shower and drove off to buy some food. At this point, my body began to shut down from lack of nutrients during the hike.
Barely alive in the rental car
I ate lots of pizza that night and really cherished having a warm bed, away from mosquito swarms, and not having to worry about having food to eat.
I was a changed person after this hike. I never take having a nice comfortable bed for granted and I always feel grateful that I have food to eat. Hiking the Kalalau trail is life changing and to this day, I still feel the effects of the hike.
I hope you enjoyed following my journey through this hike. I will be posting a guide soon on how to prepare to hike the Kalalau trail. Thanks for reading!
3 thoughts on “Hiking the Kalalau Trail – Day 4: Stormy Hike”
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Great story! Susana and I would like to do this hike one day (within the next 2-3 years).
Thanks Tom, this hike is definitely tough! I will create a preparation guide for this hike soon.