Probably more well known than the Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali Coast has offered up great filming locations and great hiking. The coastal trail runs 11 strenuous miles and takes experienced hikers one day from beginning to end (and another day back – so one must acquire a permit and backpack to and fro). Luckily for us moderate hikers, you can hike in for two miles to the lovely Hanakapi’ai Beach (above) and back in a leisurely half day. We chose not to go the additional two miles to the waterfall.
We joined the long never-ending trail of other hikers (some in flip flops which I’m sure resulted in blisters) and headed up (really UP) the beginning of the trail over tree roots and big rocks after reading the warnings.
After a while, we were rewarded with views of not only our starting point, but then what lay ahead.
After 90 minutes or so of mostly up and some downs and a lot of stopping (to take pictures, of course), we arrived at the river just before the beach.
Of course, there was a warning not to go in the water.
Fortunately it had not rained for a few days, so the rocks were available for crossing. Apparently this is not always the case.
The rocky and sandy beach was a perfect place to spend some well-deserved sitting-time.
With lots of stacked rocks to contemplate and photograph
The hike back still required uphill climbing, but it didn’t take quite as long, and we were back in Hanalei for lunch. My calves and hamstrings are still tight, but it was such an amazing hike that I would do it again. I would say this was probably the highlight of our week.