Zodiac Trip to the Na Pali Coast

June 7-14, 1987


June 11

You may click on any of the four destination islands at left to go to them.

We boarded one of the large rubber Zodiac boats for a trip to the mysterious, cloud-shrouded north coast of Kauai, named the Na Pali Coast. There are no roads to the Na Pali Coast, and no vehicles are allowed on the hiking trail. It is a very popular hiking and camping area, requiring a camping permit and a fee of $20/person per night as of 2012. It is 11 miles to the Kalalau camping area, and no outlet at that valley, so you have to hike back.

The word "pali" means cliff, and there are lots of those. The waterfalls and swift flowing streams have cut deep and narrow valleys.

Almost any view had a waterfall in it. Large numbers of waterfalls come from the almost continuous rainfall on the peaks.

We pass another Zodiac boat like ours along the way.

It was a magical-looking place, with long cascading waterfalls coming down out of the high misty mountains.

We watched a helicopter move alongside the cloudy mountains.

This was the only time we saw anyone on shore. This appears to be a small camping area with a small structure at left and a couple of tents.

Our view of this campground on the beach was about at our turnaround point. It was an enjoyable and unusual area. I think this location is Hanakoa, and there is another camping area at Kalalau.

Description from the state park literature: "The Kalalau Trail provides the only land access to this part of the rugged coast. Originally built in the late 1800s, portions of the trail were rebuilt in the 1930s. A similar foot trail linked earlier Hawaiian settlements along the coastline. The trail traverses 5 valleys before ending at Kalalau Beach where it is blocked by sheer, fluted cliffs (pali). The 11-mile trail is graded but 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. The first 2 miles of the trail, from Ha'ena State Park to Hanakapi'ai Beach, make a popular day hike."

To western Kauai

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