May to
3h 57m
FKT (Out & Back)

About the Route


At just 22 miles – typically covered over 2 days – the Kalalau Trail is accessible to anyone in reasonable fitness. Just make sure you’re comfortable trekking along steep, slippery cliffsides, particularly ‘Crawler’s Ledge’. It may be hyperbole that Kalalau is ‘one of the most dangerous trails in the United States,’ but that reputable didn’t emerge from thin air. Besides high ledges, you’ll also face stream crossings with deceptively strong currents at times and occasional rockfall from ledges above.

“The Pacific Ocean is right in front of you when you’re passing the cliff section, and wild guavas are everywhere.”

- Minji Kim

If you want to hike the full Kalalau Trail, you’ll need a permit, which requires some advance planning. Permits can sell out months in advance, but you may get lucky and find one from a last-minute cancellation. But if you can’t be bothered or prefer a single-day option, you can hike to Hanakapiʻai Beach, 4 miles roundtrip from the trailhead, or Hanakapiʻai Falls, 8 miles roundtrip from the trailhead (passing by Hanakapiʻai Beach).

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