The hike to the Hanakapi'ai Falls started at 5am. Tara and I woke up in the dark and slowly gathered our belongings, preparing for the hour long drive north to the Kalalau Trail.
The Kalalau trail itself is an epic 22 mile out and back along the north coast of Kauai. From the trail head, we quickly climbed until we could overlook the beach from where we started our hike. While we would be hiking a small portion of the trail, our ultimate destination for our day hike was the Hanakapi'ai Falls.
After 2 miles on the Kalalau trail, you reach the Hanakapi'ai beach. Normally, this beach is sand covered, however a squall a little over a month ago removed all of the sand on the beach, leaving a field of boulders in its wake.
After a rest and snack break, we headed south into the interior of the Hanakapi'ai Valley. The trail criss-crossed the river fed by its namesake waterfall, making the 2 miles a long trip and an exercise in patience as you either ford or rock hop boulder to boulder. The river fed into a number of inviting, cool pools, but we pushed on until we reached the falls.
Holy shit, the falls. At over 300 feet, the falls tower over the valley, dropping into a giant, deep pool below.
It was wonderful.