The Sierra Club rates the Kalalau Trail as one of the most difficult trails. I did not know that when I applied for a permit six months before flying to Kauai. I had heard that it was the most spectacular overnight hike, with amazing views of rocky cliffs on the edge of the ocean and deep jungles with countless flowers. I found both descriptions to be true.
We were lucky. Three of us, John, Eric and I, went to Kauai in February 93 on a work trip. All expenses paid. It sounded great and it was great. Three weeks on the garden island, but only a few days without working to see and experience all that Kauai has to offer.
At six a.m. on a dazzling Kauai morning, my husband and I stood impatiently in Captain Zodiac's storefront in the one-horse town of Hanalei, hoping that the drop-off boat to Kalalau would run. We were on our way to one of the most remote, and most beautiful, beaches in the Pacific. There are no roads to Kalalau. It's smack in the middle of a thirty-mile run of vertical sea cliffs, and devilishly hard to get to. The average person has two choices.