There are several stream crossings along the Kalalau Trail. These water crossings can be a great place to take a break, fill water containers and canteens or even cool off by taking a dip. While most of the time the streams are a blessing, they, like most other things, can have their negative side.
During or following a big storm, these streams can swell up and become raging rivers. They aren’t the harmless oasises that they usually are, but rather they become dangerous, sucking torrents of water that can injure or imperil hikers.
In the past year there have been several occurrences when people have become stranded or even been swept down the river during this trail’s “temper tantrums.”
- April 2014 – 121 Hikers airlifted from Hanakapi’ai
- August 2014 – Kalalau Trail Hiker Swept Down Hanakoa Stream
- December 2014 – 62 People airlifted from Kalalau on Christmas Eve
It doesn’t just happen during the winter months. The Kalalau Trail is near one of the wettest spots on earth. It rains very often, but you needn’t always be worried. Simple rain is not something that will affect the trail crossings as much as larger storms. Be sure that before your trek you check local weather reports, pay attention to any warnings from the state, and be prepared to change your plans if there are significant storms coming that authorities have sent out cautions about.