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Hawaii Itinerary – Kauai Active

Kauai 1-Day Hiking Itinerary

Kauai is widely considered to be the most majestic of all the Hawaiian Islands. The island is full of amazing hikes, and there are plenty to choose from even if you only have one day to spend on the island. One of the other things that sets Kauai hikes apart from the rest is the fact that there are so many beautiful waterfall hikes.

Should you have only one day to spend on Kauai and you are looking to get some hiking in, then here are a few can’t miss trails that you should consider experiencing.

Hanakapi’ai Falls, Na Pali Coast

You may recognize a lot of the hikes and scenery on Kauai from the movies you have seen in the past. The Hanakapi’ai Falls Trail on the Na Pali Coast is one of those trails. Not only has it been a popular Hollywood filming location (Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark), but it is also one of the more scenic and rugged hikes you can experience.

As is the case with most waterfall hikes on Kauai, the terrain can be a bit slippery and treacherous, so you will want to watch your step, especially if rain has been coming down. That being said, the rough trek through the 8-mile (in and out total) slippery trail is well worth it, as the payoff presents itself in the form of 300-foot tall Hanakapi’ai Falls. The falls are absolutely breathtaking and well worth the effort it takes to get to them.

This trail is a little more advanced, but it can easily be done I a few hours. Having a whole day on Kauai will allow for many great opportunities. Make sure you make this hike part of your day. It is one you will never forget.

Waimea Canyon

Often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” the Waimea Canyon is probably the most famous hiking area on Kauai. Stretching 14-miles long and coming in at around 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon offers a plethora of short and long hiking trails, plus one main one that takes you in and around the canyon before spitting you back out where you came from.

The Waimea Canyon hike has a great payoff, as the lookout point provides amazing panoramic views of a lot of the island and always for some great picture taking opportunity. This hike is and intermediate level and will take you quite a while, so make sure you have enough time to get it done.

Kalalau Trail

As is the case with many of the best hiking trails on Kauai, the Kalalau Trail is located on the famous Na Pali Coast. The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach.

What makes the Kalalau Trail even more special is the fact that it is the only trail that offers any type of land access to this part of the Na Pali Coast. This is one of the more advanced trails on Kauai, and while it is graded, it is almost never level. it crosses above towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys. The trail drops to sea level at the beaches of Hanakapi’ai and Kalalau before climbing again into the rugged Na Pali Coast.

The Kalalau Trail will take you the entire day, so if you have one day to spend on Kauai make sure that you start your trek on the Kalalau Trail early enough. You will more than likely see wild goats on the trail, as well as plenty of beautiful scenery and a number of tropical plant species. This is a great hike that not many can say they have done. If you have the chance this Kalalau Trail is a must do for any avid hiker.

Hawaii Tourism