Hiking permits are necessary in order to fully hike Kalalau Trail, but you have to make sure to get them on time. In many instances people get to Kauai and decide last minute to hike, and are surprised to find that the permits are sold out. If this happens to you, you aren’t totally out of luck. You are allowed to hike in approximately halfway to a place called Hanakoa, and back with out a permit. That can be a good trip totaling approximately 12 miles.
For those looking for a shorter hike, you could hike in two miles to Hanakapi’ai and then come back, without a permit. A permit is needed if you are planning to camp or planning on going past Hanakoa. Anyone caught past Hanakoa risks a hefty fine and a day or two in court.
The earliest you can get a permit is a year in advance, so the more advance notice you have of the trip, the better, that way you can get permits before they’re gone. Permits for busy months like May and June usually sell out the fastest.
Go here for more information on hiking permits for Kalalau.
Click here for more information on hiking permits for Kalalau.