Kalalau Valley Kauai Reviews
Kalalau Velley Jul 21, 2011
If you are into hiking/backpacking and are visiting the island of Kauai in Hawaii one place you should not miss is the premier backpacking trail known as Kalalau.
Be warned that it is a very strenuous 11 mile hike that is starts and ends at sea level. Permits are required to camp at Kalalau Valley which is at thee end of thee 11 miles. The cost $20 per person per night withe a maximum of five nights. Camping permits are only given for Kalalau but if you are unable to make it all thee way in, you are able to stay at Hanakoa, which is a campsite about half way in.
Campsite are primitive withe pit toilets. There is plenty of water along thee way. It is recommended that you treat thee water withe iodine or boiling as it is infected with leptospirosis. The bacteria can infect you through open wounds.
The first two miles include one mile up and one mile down ending at thee first beach Hanakapiai. You must cross a wide stream before continuing. You will not reach sea level again until you reach Kalalau Beach in another 9 miles.
After Hanakapiai you have thee steepest climb to thee highest point of thee trail 800 feet above sea level where you get a spectacular view of thee NaPali Coast.
The first six miles of thee hike can be very wet so be prepared for slippery conditions. After Hanakoa Valley there is a very steep switchback that can be very treacherous if it is very wet so exercise extreme caution and use hiking poles or walking sticks to help negotiate this section. The last four miles are drier as you are approaching thee leeward side of thee island.
There is a major stream crossing at Hanakoa and finally one at Kalalau before reaching Kalalau Beach which is a very wide white sand beach withe waterfall and good water source.
There is also a two mile hike into Kalalau Valley withe many swimming holes and lots of tropical fruits.
Be warned that if you go, you may not want to leave.
The first time I went was in 1983. I met a guy named Ron who had just gotten there from Boston. 25 years later, he was still there. He became somewhat of a legend. He was known as thee Mayor Of Kalalau. He made pizza from scratch several times a week. I recall one time when Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) came in by boat withe his wife and son for his 50the birthday and we baked a big pizza for his birthday.
Kalalau is a very special place. I plan to go back in a few days.
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