What to do in Na Pali Coast State Park

Na Pali Coast State Park encompasses over 6,000 acres on the rugged northwestern coast of Kaua'i. The Kalalau Valley lies within the boundaries of the park. The park is accessible only by foot or by boat.

The magnificently lush and rugged terrain is the biggest highlight of this park. The site includes tall sea cliffs, lush forested valleys and several waterfalls. Extensive stone walled terraces can still be found on the valley bottoms where Hawaiians once cultivated taro. The region is secluded wilderness with a few trails making it accessible to a select group of experienced hikers.

The Kalalau Trail provides the only land access to this part of the coast. The trail begins in Ha'ena State Park, at the northwest end of Kuhio Highway (Route 56). The eleven-mile trail traverses five valleys before ending at Kalalau Beach in Na Pali State Park, where it is blocked by sheer, fluted Pali. The trail is almost never level as it crosses above towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys. The trail drops to sea level at the beaches of Hanakapi'ai and Kalalau. For most backpackers in good condition, hiking the eleven miles will take a full day.

Permits required: Obtain all permits from the Kaua'i District State Parks office in Lihu'e. There are no fees for hiking permits. Day-use hiking permits for the Kalalau Trail are required when continuing beyond Hanakapi'ai Valley, even if overnight camping is not planned. Camping permits: A maximum stay of five nights is allowed in Na Pali State Park. Within the five-night maximum, no two consecutive nights are allowed at Hanakapi'ai or Hakakoa.

Recreation opportunities within this park include hiking, backpacking, fishing, primitive camping and hunting. Permits for anything more than day hiking are necessary. Swimming and wading are not recommended as ocean currents can be very deceptive and dangerous. Boat outings and aerial views are provided by various concessionaires.

This secluded state park is located on the northwest coast of Kaua'i. It is accessible from the Kalalau Trail or by boat.

The terrain is extreme in this park and the weather can be too. Streams can be treacherous and flash flooding does occur. Be careful if rain is in the forecast.

Throughout the year, temperatures seldom drop below 60F degrees. Summer weather (May to October) brings steady tradewinds and occasional showers. Winter weather (October to May) is less predicatable. Tradewind showers are more frequent during the night and early morning.

3060 Elwa Street #306
Lihue, HI 96766-1875

Phone: 808-274-3444

  • Na Pali Coast State Park Travel Q&A