On occasion parts of the Kalalau Trail is closed to visitors. Sometimes this is due to trail maintenance or a planned event like it was last summer for the feral goat and pig hunt. When these planned events happen, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of State Parks does not issue permits during that time period. This can be disappointing if you were planning a trip for that time period but at least you can find out ahead of time that there are no permits available.
December 2014, Andy and I went on a backpacking trip on Kauai's scenic Kalalau Trail. Little did we know that days of rain can cause raging rivers that are impassible. The only way across the rivers was to wait or catch the Kauai's rescue helicopter.
Several hikers were stranded at Hanakapi'ai on Sunday, April 6, 2014 when stream waters swelled up making it unsafe to cross. The Kauai Fire Department was notified of the issue around 4:00 pm on Sunday and were able to rescue 23 of the stranded hikers on Sunday evening, along with the remaining 98 on Monday morning. They were able to rescue up to 4 hikers at a time with each flight of Air 1, their rescue helicopter, making a total of 25 trips. 2 of the fire rescuers stayed with the 98 hikers overnight.