For the Hiker: Ke’e Beach and Kalalau Trail in Hawaii

Kalalau Valley, Hawaii© 2009 Shutterstock/Kevin SearleFrom Kalalau Lookout in Koke'e State Park, the Na Pali Coast gives hikers views of some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. The mountains rise up to 4,000 feet, sheltering the valley below.

End of Rte. 560, Hawaii

Ke’e Beach is protected by an offshore reef and, unlike other beaches in the vicinity, provides safe wading, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving even in winter.

Ke’e is part of Haèna State Park, a scenic wildland that includes the Waikapalae and Waikanaloa wet caves, which contain pools of glowing green water. Hawaiian legend says that chiefs of old used to gather here.

There’s much to see, and you can camp nearby, at Hanakoa, and Kalalau, but the real attraction is Kalalau Trail, used since prehistoric times to reach Kalalau Valley, 11 miles away. Beginning at Ke’e Beach, the trail follows the spectacular Na Pali Coast. You can backpack and make an overnight stop at Kalalau or make a day trip to Hanakapi’ai Beach.

Side trails lead to waterfalls and lush valleys, and hikers won’t go hungry. The way is lined with delicious wild yellow guavas. Swimming is not recommended, and in wet weather hiking the entire trail calls for caution.

Open year-round during daylight hours. Kauai/index.cfm?park_id=8

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