The Napali Coast, also called the Na Pali Coast, is a section of Hawaii, specifically on the island of Kauai.
This natural wonder is home to some of the most beautiful territories in all of Hawaii, which also makes it one of the most beautiful areas in the world.
While many people imagine nothing but endless beaches when they think of Hawaii (and there are certainly plenty of those on Kauai) the state is home to some of the most amazing hiking trails in the state.
Napali Coast hiking is popular for a reason, and although options may seem limited at first glance – no one who has spent time hiking those trails would agree with that assessment.
Kauai’s Napali Coast is an absolute must on any hiker do list visiting the islands of Hawaii.
Napali Coast Hiking - Knowing Your Incredible Scenic Options
Hiking Permit Requirements
The popular but challenging Hanakapi’ai day hike can be done without a permit. This is four miles round trip and is actually a very challenging hike so come prepared.
While the rest of the Kalalau Trail requires a permit for multi-day hiking and camping at the designated points where camping is allowed, Hanakapi’ai is open for the day. Anyone planning a longer hike will need a permit from the local DNR.
The Kalalau Trail
This is the name for the larger trail that is a 22-mile roundtrip hike, not including several extra sections that include little two-mile off-shoots to scenic areas worth checking out.
This is a trail that has everything: five distinctive lush Hawaiian valleys, wild and unpredictable streams, a disappearing beach, tiny footpaths along steep sea cliffs, isolated beaches, and beautiful tropical mountains.
These are 22 of the most scenic miles you’ll find anywhere, and there’s a reason so many fall in love with even just small sections of this trail.
If you are hiking the Napali Coast, you will want to check out the Kalalau Trail.
Hanakapi’ai Day Hike
This is the section of the Kalalau Trail that is most widely hiked, in part because you don’t need a permit to do so.
While only four miles round trip, this isn’t a trail to be taken lightly. There is a 4-mile roundtrip hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach that keeps you by the coast that defines beautiful coastal Hawaiian beaches or there is also an 8-mile round trip that goes to the waterfall.
Both trips are considered very difficult as there are large elevation changes as you hike up and down the large rising bluffs while rain equals mud – and there’s a lot of rain in this tropical area. However, the sights are beautiful.
Bring plenty of water as even the beach hike can take 2 hours each way at a leisurely pace and the waterfall hike – even longer. Add in even more trails, but also stunning ocean views from heights and impressive but sometimes gnarly trails hugging the side of the mountains.
The options might seem limited, but even if you hiked the entire Kalalau Trail a hundred times, it would never seem like it.
This is Hawaii at its finest and if you want to hike the best that the Napali Coast has to offer then these are the trails that you are going to want to hit.