Hanakapia Beach Trail

Hanakapia Beach Hike: Moderate

The hike to Hanakapiai Valley encompasses the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail.  From the Kalalau Trail Head at Ke’e Beach, you will climb your way to windy point (½ mile) and find your first stunning view of the sea cliffs.  After that you will switch back from coast to valleys, over freshwater streams and waterfalls for another mile.  As you make your final descent into Hanakapiai Valley you will discover jungles of twisted vines, wild ginger, banana’s, guava, varied Ti plants and at the end the cool waters of Hanakapiai Stream. The crystal clear river that flows from the falls two miles up river is a refreshing reprieve for tired, hot and muddy feet.  Cool off in the river, as the ocean here is NOT for swimming.


When you reach Hanakapiai stream you will need to cross the stream by boulder hopping (careful as the rocks can be slippery).  The beach is on the other side and during the summer months this beautiful beach is great for sunbathing, exploring the rocks and caves.  But at no time is swimming recommended. The views from the beach back up the valley are magical. Most people make this their turn around point, but for those with the time and endurance can trek up the river trail another two miles through bamboo forest;


During heavy rains and high surf this trail can be extremely dangerous near the river and the shorelines. Do not attempt to cross the river during heavy rains. Flash flooding can occur without notice.

Distance – 2 miles each way

To view more, please visit our Kauai Hiking Guide.
Important Information regarding safety


  • Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) and when you plan to return.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated.  Do not drink from the waterfalls and streams.  Kauai has been known to have seriously harmful bacteria in its fresh water.
  • Bring snacks as its always a good idea to provide your body enough calories to support the physical activity you are engages in.
  • Its important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be closely monitored.  Do not expose open wounds or cuts to the river.
  • Comfortable footwear with good tread that can stay strapped to your feet is a must.  Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting stained with the Kauai red dirt.
  • Dress in layers so you can easily remove a layer when you get hot.  And add one back on when it cools of again. Because we are close to the equator the trails heat up quickly.  However, conditions cool just as fast; winds picking up speed and a passing showers causes wind chill factor.