By far the most difficult, dangerous and challenging I've done on Kauai, there is truly nothing as beautiful as the Na Pali Coast seen from the Kalalau Trail. We usually pick the nicest day in Poipu to head to the rainiest part of the island. This day we plan to trek from Ke'e Beach to Hanapaki'ai Falls. Located just north of Princeville and Hanalei at the end of the road is Ke'e Beach. Negotiating one way narrow bridges, you will know you have arrived as a speck in the center of the Pacific when you have reached the end of this one lane road.
To gain a good parking spot and take advantage of the cooler morning we stopped early to catch the sunrise at Hanalei Pier. Waiting until later in the morning will more than likely add a few miles to your hike as parking is limited at Ha'ena State Park near Ke'e Beach.
After viewing the scenic coastline over the first two miles, you will cross the Hanakapi'ai stream located adjacent to the Hanakapi'ai Beach. The stream crossing will test your abilities and let you know whether you should go any further up to the falls, continue on the Kalalau Trail, or take the trail back home. This trip we brought trekking poles and crossed each stream while balancing on the large boulders that are scattered about. I will add more about equipment later. Advice: Last trip I had no poles and wadded across resulting in sloggy hiking boots the rest of the day.
Hanakapi'ai Beach has these rock sculptures all over. Furthermore, there is no swimming at this beach due to the undertow and currents. You will see many warning and a recent memorial to a recent young woman who died there. Searching the internet, I've found an abundance of news stories about young people taking their chances crossing the stream at a time they obviously shouldn't have. My thoughts on the rock sculptures are, they have been placed here for people to stop and reflect on life and how fragile and short it can be.