A few weeks ago, we learned some devastating news about one of our all-time favorite travel destinations that will be forever changed. On April 14th and 15th, the Hawaiian islands were struck with a massive weather system. The hardest-hit was on the North Shore of the island of Kauai which received 28 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. River water rose 4 – 6 feet and overflowed into the postcard-perfect surf village of Hanalei; flooding homes and businesses and causing several landslides that destroyed bridges and roads along the Na Pali Coast. As if that news isn’t horrible in-itself, there came news that the rain had also destroyed sections of what has often been claimed as one of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails – The Kalalau Trail.
The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach along the stunningly beautiful Na Pali Coast. The trail provides the only land access to this part of the North Shore and traverses through multiple valleys before ending at Kalalau Beach. The trail is graded but almost never level as it crosses above towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys with incredible panoramas of the Pacific Ocean.
In response to the destruction inflicted upon the people who live in the communities along the North Shore, as well as the sheer amount of time and manpower it will take to rebuild these rural sections, the State Parks Service has closed the Kalalau Trail indefinitely. This was especially sad news to hear as we were fortunate to be able to hike this marvelous trail a few years back for RJ’s 30th birthday. The magic this place possesses that we were privileged to experience left a lasting impression on all of us that is hard to describe. The thought that access to this slice of heaven was now cut off to us and other adventure-seekers left a bit of a lump in our throats.
A feeling of nostalgia left us wanting to dig out the series of videos RJ shot and edited of our time spent on the Kalalau, and we realized we were letting these gems (to us) rot on a computer hard drive instead of sharing them with others who may enjoy them. We think you’ll see a transformation in us as what we may have expected becomes something so much more than we ever could have imagined. This place left an imprint on our soul for us to take back and cherish as an experience we will never forget, and one we hope everyone can return to as quickly as possible.
If you’d like to only see us hiking the Kalalau then skip the first video Arriving on Kauai. We included it in case people were interested in the backstory of why we wanted to hike the Kalalau and what it took to get there. There’s also some great aerial drone footage of Kauai’s beauty and our swanky lodging at The St. Regis Princeville Resort to start our adventure. Enjoy!
Arriving on Kauai
For RJ’s 30th Birthday, Megan, RJ, and their closest friend, Jenna fly to the island of Kauai in Hawaii to scratch off a bucket-list item – hike the world-famous Kalalau Trail.
We leave the comfort of the cushy resort and drive to the trailhead at Ke’e Beach. We then spend the next several hours hiking to the halfway camp at Hanakoa with a 2 – 3-hour layover at Hanakapiai Beach.
The three of us leave the campground at Hanakoa, cross the infamous CRAWLER’S LEDGE, and marvel at the intense landscape and raw natural beauty of the Na Pali all the way to Kalalau Beach.
Stay tuned for more videos from our Kalalau Hike coming in future posts!
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