Hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai’s Napali Coast

This March I met Darcy Ottey on the island of Kauai to hike the famous Kalalau trail on the island’s rugged Napali coast. A pleasant hike, amazing scenery, cool wildlife, warm water, and excellent company made for an amazing trip.

Waves role in on Kalalau Beach, reached by an 11 mile trail.
Stunning views highlight much of the Kalalau trail on Kauai’s Napali Coast.
_MG_4846 Another ocean view from the trail.
The trail crosses several lovely streams cloaked in tropical forests including this one were we made our dinner and breakfast at our first camp during the hike in.
_MG_5289 A craggy peak juts out of the forest above the warm waters of another one of the streams along the Kalalau trail.
The Kalalau trail is known for being a bit treacherous in parts. We found it far milder than expected given all the hype. However attention to where you step is definitely required in places such as here where the trail winds through a particularly precipitous cliffy area.
IMG_3725 Hikers on the Kalalau trail, dwarfed by the cliffs and ocean beyond.
_MG_5139 Sign along the trail into Kalalau beach.
On the final decent to Kalalau beach.
Sunset on Kalalau beach.
An endangered Hawaiian monk seal hauled out of the ocean for an afternoon. Kalalau Beach, Kauai.
Hawaiian monk seal returning to the ocean as the sun begins to set.
IMG_3442 Evening light on the peaks and coastline. Napali Coast, Kauai
Darcy Ottey taking in the evening light from an ocean side perch.

Like what you saw here? Check out more of David’s Adventure and Expeditionary Photography here!








  1. jeffl jenkins

    i am headed to Kauai tomorrow on 7/25/13. the pics are beautiful! Are there any great places to track you would recommend? the first tracking eval we had in Montana was a great experience and you made the trailing experience even better by pointing out so many naturalist points while we were waiting our turn to trail. Thanks for that. hope to have you and Brian down soon to Arkansas to begin track and sign and trailing evals in the next year!
    Jeff Jenkins, MD

    jeff Jenkins, md

  2. David Moskowitz

    Jeff: Regarding tracking on Kauai, unless you want to track feral chickens, the most interesting wildlife is along the water, so hit the beaches early in the morning and see what sort of intertidal life has been out and about. Also a variety of shore birds and (unfortunately) feral cats! I think Montana and Arkansas are better bets for wildlife tracking but Kauai has them both beat hands down for sunsets over the ocean! ;-)

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