Hanakapiai Falls

Hanakapiai Falls, Kauai: Address, Phone Number, Hanakapiai Falls Reviews: 5/5

Hanakapiai Falls
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479 reviews
Very good

San Diego, CA1 contribution
Jul 2021 • Solo
Today is July 17, 2021. Has anyone hiked to the falls in the past few days, and what are the trail conditions?
Written 17 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fort Lauderdale, FL32 contributions
HIke to the falls
Jul 2021
We did this hike on July 2, 2021. First of all, at least for now, you have to have an entrance ticket and a parking ticket. There are two "sessions" for parking. The first is 630AM-12:30PM. The second ends at 5:30PM. Unless you are a Hawaiian resident, you must have this or they will ask you to leave. You can get them on the Ha ena State Park web site. You can purchase them 30 days in advance starting at midnight of that date Hawaiian time. I had to get up at 4AM 30 days before this trip because they will sell out in minutes. I was checking every day for a couple of weeks and it consistently sold out within 10 minutes. Set your calendar! Once covid restrictions ease it may not be an issue. You will need a mask to enter the park but once you park you don't need it.

Ok the trail....First of all we are fairly experienced hikers and have done dozens of hikes throughout the North American state parks. So - this hike, in my opinion, was moderate-easy in terms of stamina. The elevation changes weren't severe and the steep sections were few and far between. The first half of the trail is fairly smooth. You are in the sun quite a bit but it's not too bad. The views along this portion are wonderful. This will bring you down to a beach area. To continue you need to cross a river here. It's easier to cross the river by just going to the beach and around it. This segment took us just under an hour. You'll want to hang out at this beach for a while now or on the way back. The next section is the internal hike to the falls. This wasn't too difficult physically but this part is a solid moderate. There are some tricky river/stream crossings and the trail all but deteriorates for the final 300 meters or so. Wear good shoes because it's a rocky trail with some minor scrambling and some slippery sections. if you're one of those flip flop trail people (ugh) good luck. This segment of the trail is almost entirely shaded. At the end your reward is a fantastic waterfall and large pool area for swimming. It took as an hour to get here from the beach. The entire hiking part (round trip) was only four hours and that included stopping for pictures. You'll want some time to hang at the beach and the waterfall area (bring swimming clothes). Depending on your abilities and what you like to do, you might want to assume you'll be there for the entire 6 hours. Don't worry - they won't tow your car if you come back a little after your ticket time (I doubt there is even a tow truck for miles!). If you were planning on doing the 22 mile coast trek you will need a permit. Have fun!
Written 3 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oakland, CA16 contributions
Short, challenging, and worthwhile!
May 2021
This ain't your regular day hike. Don't be fooled by the distance (4 miles in, 4 miles out). It's muddy, hot, humid, and there are the requisite ups and downs. Between the beach and the falls, the trail sometimes disappears. However, if you're up for it, it's well worth it. Download the All Trails app and map, bring 1.5L of water, hiking sticks, and some flip-flops, and extra pair of socks, a small towel for the multiple water crossings. Take your time to enjoy the beauty. As some others have mentioned, make sure you assess the weather situation prior to crossing the stream.

Most important: Make sure that you get a parking permit and entry in advance at www-dot-gohaena-dot-com. They are relatively inexpensive and available 30 days in advance.
Written 18 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Fess S
Tucson, AZ233 contributions
Had the falls all to myself!
Mar 2021
I hiked today- March 25th and the trail was perfect. Not too muddy and the water crossings were all very easy. I did bring water shoes besides my boots and would put them on to cross the streams. I should have brought a small towel to wipe my feet. I was at the trailhead at 7:30 and took a total of about 6 hours including time at the waterfall. As the road is only open until 7:30 in the morning due to the mud slide if you go early, I think you will have the falls to yourself as I did. When I finished the hike there were only 7 cars in the parking lot.
Written 26 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Camas, WA61 contributions
Drive up falls no hiking
Feb 2021
If you want a drive park and step out to see a waterfall this is it. I'm a hiker so a bit disappointing however good if you have a mobility impaired travelers
Written 8 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vancouver, Canada159 contributions
Second visit, still awesome but water and mud definitely increase the challenge and risk
Feb 2020 • Couples
We did this 4 years ago and again this February. It is still one of the most spectacular things we have done. This year was quite different in two ways. 1. The new system for reservation and improvements in the parking/launching area are in place ( lots on that by googling but book early , figure out when each day opens up and stay up to book it as it sells out quickly. Each day opens at midnight Hawaii time. Book the parking. Walking in or the shuttle looked like a real pain)
2. The first time it was dry and sunny. This year it was wet and muddy . We did luck out in that the rain stopped 20 min into the hike and resumed after we finished. Still beautiful but it is much slower in the mud and we almost ran out of daylight.

This hike is challenging at the best of times (dry) and inherently dangerous but that is manageable if you heed the warnings and make smart decisions. You need to be careful and turn around if you might run out of daylight. At all points think about what you would do if someone is injured (a twisted ankle is highly likely and would really slow you down = caught in the dark). Also think about the stream becoming impassable and you on the wrong side.

The first time took less than 4 hours and this time took 5 1/2 hours round trip, and that was moving as fast as possible to beat sunset and still make it to the falls. Start as early as possible.

Don’t even consider swimming at the beach below the falls/river.

The water was running fast and higher due to recent rains. Watch for flash floods. We swam under the falls the first time. This time they were crashing with heavy flow such that it couldn’t even be considered. The whole area was a whirlwind of mist around the entire pool and last part of the trail. I think going under the falls would have been lethal from pummeling water not to mention the possibility of rocks falling.

We did all the river crossings by jumping from rock to rock but this required planning and the rocks are slippery. This also requires some athletic ability a some of the jumps were several feet onto a small rock which was sometimes just below the surface. At this water level apparently most people wade , up to their waists in this day , so plan for that. We managed not to get wet until we went for a swim in one of the pools about 3/4 of the way up which was safe and magical.

This time we were hiking most of the way in thick mud like glue which caked on you’re shoes. It is incredibly slippery and can’t be avoided. You will fall. The mud will go over the tops of your footwear and all over your legs (at least).

Wear hiking boots or shoes. Bring lots and lots of water. Bring extra socks. Plan to be longer than you think. Have a contingency plan for injury or being trapped. Keep a full set of clothes and shoes on your car.

We were happy that the new facilities include outdoor showers and washrooms at the end of the hike so you don’t have to bring tons of mud back to your car and then condo.
Written 12 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bratislava, Slovakia6 contributions
Most memorable hike!!!
Sep 2019
The hike should be taken seriously, bring more water than you think you will need.
The waterfall itself is incredible and totally worth the hike. We do quite some hiking back home in Europe but as long as you are not used to the temperature, humidity and sudden rain it will be a challenge.
Written 5 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Denver, CO97 contributions
Amazing but start early!!!
Feb 2020 • Couples
We booked a 9 am shuttle and in hindsight, we should have given ourselves an extra hour. We are pretty fit and from Colorado so used to hiking in elevation. By the time we started it was a bit after 9:30 so when we arrived at the beach it was already 10:35. After a snack and bathroom break it was already 11. We were told the last shuttle left at 5 & were warned that it could fill up. The sign from the beach told us to expect an additional 4 hours to hike to the falls. We started and by 11:50 had made it to the first stream crossing, however, in thinking through the anticipated hours ahead of us, we got nervous that we wouldn't make it back in time for the shuttle as once we returned to the beach, we'd likely have another hour ahead of us. We now think we made a mistake because in looking at the map upon our return we were almost halfway to the falls and less than an hour in. While it definitely got muddier the further we went and the streams had very strong currents and slippery rocks, we regret our decision to turn around. In catching our shuttle, the driver told us their was a "sweeper" that came around at 6 for any stragglers. The hike is definitely not for the novice or weary. The inclines are steep and the mud makes slipping undeniable. We saw many people with a simple water bottle on their way to the beach and I would highly recommend a Camelback or a backpack with several bottles. Unlike other reviewers, we found the trail greatly shaded with sunny areas not a long distance. Regardless, sunblock and snacks are also recommended. We decided to cross the streams by taking off our shoes and socks, which resulted in us covered in mud since our shoes were tied to our packs. I think that was right as otherwise we would have chafed the rest of the way. Next time we'll bring hiking sandals for these crossings. While we saw others in sandals on the trail, the amount for the of rocks and overall terrain, I would recommend great tread shoes. And be prepared for them to be caked in mud. The hike is absolutely spectacular and next time we will make it to the falls.
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

1 contribution
My only sister died.
Serious safety incident
Mar 2019
I beg you please don't risk your life on this trail. My beautiful, best friend and only sister died tragically hiking this trail. This park says danger everywhere, it should be closed because how dangerous it is. The Hanakapiai Valley is very deceiving and it's fast-moving streams can take you before you know it and no one would be able to rescue you.
I beg of you, please stay away.

If you do go, please make sure your living will is in order, and you buy arrangements for your death.

It may have amazing views, but look in the mirror and your precious life is much more beautiful, this place is just a horrific gamble.

Every day I wish I could pick up the phone and hear my sister's voice, laugh and see her, but this horrendous place took my beautiful sister away.
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

6 contributions
Must-do hike, but know what your getting into
Feb 2020 • Couples
This an amazing yet difficult trail. It really makes you work for it's awesomeness with the combo of slippery mud/rocks, up & down elev changes, near continuous cliff/ravine edges & rock scrambling as you get nearer to the waterfall. We've done a lot of trails around the U.S. & don't shy away from challenge. But I would highly recommend having good fitness, solid ankles/knees, proper shoes/supplies & not be in a hurry. Took us 6-7hrs with stops. We made it back in time for the shuttle but not by much. The day before we went the trail was closed because the main river crossing got too high. We lucked out today but were wary of that potential. Grab some walking sticks left by others at the trail entrance. They saved us from falling at least 4-5 times. The trail is also more like 10 miles, so plan your time accordingly as it's very slow going. In summary, this is a definite must-do trail, but respect it & know what you're getting into.
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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