The Kalalau Trail is a 11-mile (18 km) out-and-back trail on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The trail is located in the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park and is one of the most popular hiking trails in Hawaii. The trail offers stunning views of the Nāpali Coast and is a popular destination for hikers of all levels. However, the trail is also challenging and hikers should be prepared for a strenuous hike.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when planning to hike the Kalalau Trail:
- Not planning ahead. The Kalalau Trail is a popular destination and permits are required to hike the trail. Permits are available online and can be difficult to obtain, especially during peak season. It is important to plan ahead and apply for a permit well in advance of your hike. This article will give you all the details.
- Not being prepared for the terrain. The Kalalau Trail is a rugged trail that includes steep climbs and descents. The trail is also exposed to the elements and hikers should be prepared for hot, sunny conditions and rain.
- Not packing enough food and water. The Kalalau Trail is a long hike and hikers should pack enough food and water for the hike. There are water sources (streams) on the trail but the water obtained there should be filtered using a SteriPen or Water Purifier.
- Not being in good physical condition. The Kalalau Trail is a challenging hike and hikers should be in good physical condition before attempting to hike the trail. Several sources have the Kalalau Trail listed as one of the most dangerous trails in America.
- Not bringing hiking poles. Hiking Poles are a life saver on this hike. There are a lot of uphills, downhills, and moving between uneven terrain.
- Not being aware of the dangers of the trail. The Kalalau Trail is located in a remote area and there are no rescue services readily available. Hikers should be aware of the dangers of the trail, such as flash floods, falling rocks, and cliffs.
- Not understanding the permit and reservation system. There are two separate systems to gain entry onto the trail. There is the permit system which allows hikers to hike the whole trail and the reservation system that allows hikers to hike the first 2-miles of the trail. This article will give you all the details.
- Not understanding transportation issues. Getting to the trail is not easy. The roads are slow-going (10 miles does not mean 10 minutes) and parking needs to be reserved in advance. Most people will need to take the shuttle or arrange other transportation.
- Packing too much stuff. This is a hard trail. You don’t want to have too heavy of packs. Here’s a sample packing list to give you ideas of what to bring. Don’t think you need everything on the list. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it.
By following these tips, you can help to avoid the common mistakes that people make when planning to hike the Kalalau Trail.
Here are some additional tips for hiking the Kalalau Trail:
- Start early in the morning. The trail is busiest in the morning and it will be easier to find a campsite if you start early.
- Be prepared for the weather. The weather on the Na Pali Coast can change quickly and it is important to be prepared for rain, wind, and sun.
- Be careful of the cliffs. The cliffs along the trail are unstable and there have been accidents in the past. Be careful when hiking near the cliffs.
- Respect the environment. The Na Pali Coast is a fragile ecosystem and it is important to leave no trace. Pack out all of your trash and be respectful of the plants and animals.
- The Kalalau Trail is a beautiful and challenging hike that offers stunning views of the Nāpali Coast. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your hike is safe and enjoyable.