The first 2 miles-no permit needed to get to Hanakapi Beach. Lots of folks do this. You can even go inland to an amazing waterfall, but the trail is not well marked and a bit tricky.
The next 4 miles to the first campsite. Some folks do this out and back as a day trip. After that it is 5 miles to Kalalua valley and the final campsite.
The very first sign post is where you turn around an look at Ke'e beach
like this! Totally worth it (even though it is all uphill) if you do nothing else. One of our zipline guys is a local, been on Kauai 35 years and has done nothing more than this quarter mile.
We were looking to recreate a photo that was taken on our previous trip in 1994. Of course I hadn't actually looked at the old photo until we got back-I think we got it right. Someday I will scan those old photos and put up a comparison....someday.
like this one.
When we hiked back the next day it was lunch time, filled with people and all the 'ducks' were gone (guessing that it was the tide).
The trail is wonderful
When you aren't on the coast you are in the jungle.
it is rocky
Note to self-long sleeves good, next time were the long hiking pants like E-. The trail is super narrow and I got bitten/scratched and was itching for days!
So we decided to spend the night at the first campsite in Hanakoa Valley rather than push on for the long hike and be miserable. Most folks on the trail are young and just bomb through. If you are not a regular hiker you might be able to make the 6 miles but it will be hard. I have heard it can be really wet but there hadn't been any rain for almost a week so it was sweet for us.
The sites are relatively unmarked, just some flatter spots scattered throughout. We found this one under a huge old mango tree. Logistics-wise you can totally bring all your own gear or rent. We brought some stuff but rented the tent, sleeping bags and pads from Peddle N Paddle. Super nice folks who can sell you any stuff you need. Also recommend using the North Shore Shuttle to get to the Trail Head. The parking is way bad-it is the end of the road and everyone comes to the beach and just to see the end. Plus it is better to not leave your car overnight.
Kauai has feral cats all over the place and this little guy (Pulgas) was still young and friendly. He ate a bunch of our Pad Thai. We were wondering if we should try to bring him back to the Humane Society but he was gone in the morning.
The hike back has the same amazing views but each day the ocean is different.
We are almost back to the trail head-yeah! It was a tough hike, knocked us on our butts and yet was also fantastic-would do it again!