Kalalua Trail - Member Hike

Hike Name: Kalalua Trail
Country: United States
State: Hawaii
Nearby Town: Hanalei
Rating: 5 stars
Directions: Fly into Lihue Hawaii. Follow highway 56 until the end at Ke'e Beach. Get there early to find a parking spot!
Total Hike Distance: 23.00 miles
Hike Difficulty: Very Difficult
Permit Required: No
Hike Type: In and Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: Kalalau Trail head
Trails Used: Kalalau
Backcountry Campsites: Yes
Backcountry Water Sources: Streams
Management: State Park Service
Contact Information: Kalalau trail is located along the Na Pali Coast on the island of kauai. http://www.kalalautrail.com/
Division of State Parks: 808-274-3444
Best Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Users: Hikers
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads
Hike Summary: Over the 23 mile hike you will go up 6000 feet and down 6000 feet. It crosses several streams for the first 6 miles, then crosses 2-3 more streams over the last 6 miles. At the end of the trail there is a waterfall and stream that you can soak/relax in before your trip back. I hiked solo and left the trail head at 6:30am and arrived at the Kalalua beach 5 hours later. The entire hike is along one of the most scenic coast lines I have ever experienced. Much of the trail is hiking up and down coastline ravines, the first 6 miles of which is in a tropical rainforest setting, while the last 6 miles is arid and dry-- similar to the Grand Canyon--except unique within itself. There are several "flat sections" where I was able to catch my breath after a 800 foot ascent. Once at the beach I was able to rest for an hour before heading back-- nothing like sitting under a waterfall and wondering if an "occasional" rock is going to ping you in the head... The way back started out well, then I ran out of water around the 14 mile mark-- which wasn't a bad thing because I had a purifier-- only it wouldn't work--- arrgggg. If you have never ran out of water in an arid hot climate, you know the feeling. As a result of the water shortage I became semi dehydrated and my legs began cramping. I could not eat as my powerbars, trail mix and snack bars would not dissolve in my mouth...imagine nuts turning into saw dust in your mouth! Long story short, I ended up drinking from a native stream (which I was told was okay to drink from by a trail regular) and bumming some Iodine tablets from a fellow hiker. Plus I had 3 liters of water stashed at the 4 mile mark. But, needless to say-- I was well prepared for this difficult hike, yet my mistake made the return trip very strenous. If it was not for the lack of water, the hike would have been difficult, but doable. The hike out took 6.5 hours with several stops and "soakings" in the cool streams--this really helped get me going! Also, I did not have the option of making it an over night hike, as I only had one day on my schedule. I would recommend obtianing a permit to stay a night or two at one of the many campsites along the way and at the beach. There is ample water to be treated along the way-- Always carry a backup filtration device!!! I've will going forward!



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