Hike for hours along a meandering path to reach a hidden beach or go kayaking along the shore to see soaring cliffs rising dramatically from the sea.
Nā Pali Coast State Park is a picturesque area of eclectic terrain that stretches along the northern coast of Kauai Island. It is a popular hiking area, with many mazy trails that lead through tropical forests. Admire the excellent ocean views from the vantage points of the walking paths.
Clamber up the mountains for picturesque panoramas of the vast, verdant valleys adorned with waterfalls. Look for rainbows hanging over the cascades on sunny days. Bring snacks and drinks to enjoy with friends as you find a spot to sit while enjoying the scenic Kalalau Valley.
Embark on a trek along the Kalalau Trail, which was constructed in the 19th century, crossing five valleys over a distance of 11 miles (18 kilometers). The path takes about 4 hours to reach the isolated destination of Kalalau Beach. Sunbathe in this secluded cove and enjoy the utter serenity. The beach is enclosed by tall, verdant green mountains and is worthy reward for completing the trail.
Take a guided kayak tour for a comprehensive overview of the park. Certain tours offer snorkeling, meals and even a visit to an archeological complex.
Spot the stone walled terraces that remain from the patchwork of taro crops cultivated by early islanders. Sleep overnight under the stars, providing you have a valid camping license.
Note that Nā Pali means high cliffs, in reference to the dramatic topography of the park. These mountains reach heights of about 4,000 feet (1,200 meters). As with most Hawaiian state parks, entry is free.
Nā Pali Coast State Park is in the northwestern part of the island of Kauai. It is 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Princeville but it is difficult to reach by car. Arrive in the park on foot or by kayak or helicopter. Start your trip on the Kalalau Trail at Ke’e Beach. Make sure to visit the adjacent Hono O Nā Pali State Natural Reserve and other state parks in the region.