Kalalau Trail, Kauai

7:56 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm heading to Hanalei Kauai for a week or so in March, so I though I'd do a little backpacking while I'm there. I'm looking at the Kalalau trail to Hanakapi’ai Beach. Maybe a couple of nights at the beach. Can anyone who has done this trail provide any tips?

Mike

9:11 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Just saw a show on the create channel (I think) about a young woman hiking in different parts of the country. One of them was on Molokaʻi he even got to camp ON the beach. I'm not sure how experienced a hiker she was. She was in a rain storm one night and the inside of her tent was soaked. Her tent appeared to be a single wall Walmart special.

The trail looked fantastic though. I went to Hawaii for my honeymoon wasn't into hiking then.  Kauai had just been hit by a hurricane and was not part of our itinerary.   The Maui and Hawaii was our favorite islands. If you get a chance take the bike ride down Haleakalā. We took the sunrise version.  Talk about cold.  Within minutes your fingers are numb.  It was the most enjoyable thing we did on the trip, even better than the heli ride around the "Big Island"

6:36 a.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Water is abundant, but purification is required due to leptospirosis. I'd like to hike this trail in the future as well. The 11 miles don't seem like much, but the continuous elevation changes coupled with the humidity make it tough. First camp (Hanakoa) is 5mi in and Kalalau Beach is 11. March will most likely be rainy, although HI weather is unpredictable. Prepare for wet, slick conditions. Trekking poles are recommended from all accounts I've read. Pack light; most don't require a sleeping bag. Ground fires for cooking are allowed. Watch the weather, as flash floods can make the multiple streams impassable, causing delay. Permits (required) can now be obtained online. Do so well in advance, as permits are limited. Further, I've read of actual fines of $500 and a mandatory court appearance -at which time the judge will most likely lower the fine -better to play it safe. These are basic tid bits of research that I've done. I'll post again if I remember something important. Check out http://davidlurk.wordpress.com/2006/12/17/kalalau-trail/. This is the best trip report that I've read. It's not a technical report of the trail, so much as a great narrative of his experience. Hope you have a great time!

6:56 a.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Mike, Sorry, it seems I jumped the gun. -You're only looking at hiking to Hanakapiai. No permit required, also no camping allowed from recent posts I've read. This is a mecca for day hikers. Head another couple miles up stream to Hanakapiai Falls. It's a nice destination. I've actually done this hike a long time ago. Bring plenty water or a means of purification. This can all be done in a dayhike. You can hike all the way to Hanakoa without a permit, but you will need one if you go beyond -even if you don't camp overnight. Aloha!

October 20, 2014
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