We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Awesome trail and incredible Falls!”
Review of Hanakapiai Falls

Hanakapiai Falls
Ranked #7 of 238 things to do in Kauai
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 8 January 2018

The Kalalau trail is super crowded and touristy. Lots of kids and folks wearing inappropriate footwear, with no real understanding of trail etiquette. Once you get past the beach where most people stop for the day and then turn around, the trail becomes much less crowded.

Bring snacks, lots of water and give yourself more time than you think to complete the 8 miles roundtrip to the Falls. We met several people along the way who said they were "crunched for time" and couldn't finish the hike to the falls. Such a bummer. You go all that way, why not finish what you started?

Get to the trailhead EARLY. I can't stress this enough. Parking is a bit of a nightmare. We got there right before 9am and parked in the overflow parking lot. Ideally, you'll want to get there by 7:30am to beat the crowds.

Wear trail shoes with good grip, this will help a lot. Prepare for mud and possibly rain. There are several stream crossings along the way that will have you walking through the water and navigating slippery rocks, so get ready for an adventure. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and the Falls are unreal! Plan to swim, have lunch, take photos and hang out. Enjoy!

Date of experience: December 2017
3  Thank SFLF2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (450)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"stream crossings"
in 59 reviews
"ke'e beach"
in 46 reviews
"hiking shoes"
in 35 reviews
"tough hike"
in 22 reviews
"mile hike"
in 33 reviews
"bring plenty of water"
in 22 reviews
"slippery rocks"
in 20 reviews
"rock hopping"
in 12 reviews
"great hike"
in 25 reviews
"miles round trip"
in 19 reviews
"elevation changes"
in 10 reviews
"napali coast"
in 41 reviews
"trail head"
in 19 reviews
"bamboo forest"
in 9 reviews
"second half"
in 9 reviews
"take your time"
in 19 reviews
"four miles"
in 10 reviews

23 - 27 of 450 reviews

Reviewed 22 December 2017

This was a good experience as a solo traveler. You're not alone on the trail and lots of people will be there. Arrive early (solo or not) to get a head start on the trail and to get a descent parking spot. Take the break at the midway point on the beach. Have fun crossing all the waterways. Spend time at the falls. Just be with the nature. Lovely but hard trek.

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank CSTMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2017 via mobile

This was my third time hiking on the beautiful Kalalau and my first time hiking to the waterfall. It is absolutely worth the effort if you are well prepared, fit and enjoy hiking. A lot of the negative reviews from people seem to by those who expected a paved path in the park and didn't notice the warning signs at the trailhead. The trail is slippery and muddy in places but not dangerous or overly difficult footing for intermediate hikers with proper footwear.
-wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen and a hat
-consider packing bug spray in the summer months
-bring more snacks and water than you think you need
-use common sense at river crossings
The river crossing can be slippery and difficult. The water moves quickly and it's just as difficult crossing on the rocks as it is going through them. Take your time and don't attempt to cross if the conditions are too poor.
We started the hike at sunrise and had the waterfall almost to ourselves, coming back it was a zoo. Start early to avoid the crowds and find parking. Enjoy!

Date of experience: December 2017
4  Thank Travelfan353
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2017

The hike to Hanakapiai Falls can easily be done in an half day without the need for extensive gear. I'm a fairly fit and active person. I completed the hike in 6 hours round trip with athletic shoes and a backpack. The first portion of the trail to Hanakapiai Beach was very muddy but clearly marked. Actually the entire trail is very visible and apparent. There are a few stream crossings along the way that can become dangerous after heavy rains. Use your judgement, be smart, and turn around, don't drown if necessary.
I traveled as a solo female and felt very safe and comfortable during this activity.

Date of experience: November 2017
5  Thank Sadie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 20 November 2017

Some of the most breathtaking views you will see anywhere. And it's just so diverse. You hike up and down along the Napali Coast, make these wild stream crossings, (some of them have helipads near by so they can medvac people outta there--you don't want to miss a rock on some of these crossings or you're toast) You come upon an incredible beach, catch your breath and snap some pics. Pass through jungles of giant bamboo and banyan trees. If you are in it for the long haul, you hike another couple of hours beyond the beach stop to the top where Hanakapaiai Falls are. We parked on a big rock, ate sandwiches, had a beer. My husband swam in the pool right up to the falls... VERY cold. The return hike was kinda tough on the knees, so go easy on the return. If you have kiddies under 12, I wouldn't recommend hiking beyond the beach. I think the trip to the falls is for kids 12 years and up -- with a lot of stamina and a sense of adventure.

Date of experience: September 2017
2  Thank whitjohnw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Hanakapiai Falls also viewed


Been to Hanakapiai Falls? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing