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Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

San Francisco...
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Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

I am visiting Kauai next week (Feb. 5 - 11), and the first part of the week is rainy, then turning sunny on Wednesday. I am looking for advice on whether to do the hike to Hanakapi'ai Beach and Falls on one of the rainy days or a sunny one. My thought is that the trail will be slippery / muddy regardless due to the recent rains, so might as well go on a rainy day and save the sunny ones for the beach. Thoughts?

Hanalei
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1. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

The advantage of going when it is rainy is that the waterfall will be more spectacular with increased water flow. It will be more slippery so be sure to be mindful of where you step especially as you get closer to the falls as the trail gets narrow and steep. Another advantage is that there will be fewer people on the trail.

Have fun.

Soddy Daisy...
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2. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

If muddy, plan to dispose of your shoes when done. If you have any significant orthopedic issues, be very cautious. I have hiked this thing in the rain and the mud, and it was tricky. Slicker than snot on a door knob.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

Thanks for the responses so far. I bought Tevas specifically for this hike. I hope that I won't actually have to throw them away!

Follow up: since it has apparently been raining for some time, how long would it take for the trail to dry up?

Taylors Falls...
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4. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

I guess we would absolutely pick a nice, sunnier and/or drier day, over a rainy one.

For one, picture taking can be addictive there. Second, a little drier trail is so much nicer than a little wetter trail. Many parts of the trail do get sun, and therefore can be safer under foot. Heaven forbid an eight mile, strenuous hike when "everything" is wet and slippery, muddy, and wet from all sides!.

Third, the beach is a heavenly place to sit on a sunny day and enjoy waves crashing while eating lunch, talking with other hikers, and resting.

Fourth, swimming in the falls lake is so much more Edenesque, when the sun is out. The falls pool is really cool temperature-wise. Swimming is so much more enjoyable in the sun, or at least not in the rain (why swim?)

This was the single best thing we did while in Kauai. We want to do it again and would chose a nice day. The falls is so impressive no matter rain or shine, though rain would also make the stream harder to cross. Stream crossings are at least six. Wouldn't want to cross it when it is dangerously gushing.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

Go when it's sunny IMO. I've done that trail in the rain and it wasn't any fun.

You miss the views, your stuff gets heavy etc etc.

Beside, "rain" early next week may well be just overnight showers. If it's bucketing (a real winter storm), that trail will be miserable and dangerous IMO.

Don't know where you're getting the idea it has been raining for some time. The island looks bone dry to me. We've had 2 hard rains since Xmas and that's about it. I'm on the verge of turning the yard irrigation on it looks so dry.

San Diego...
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6. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

PS -- when it's raining hard, people get stuck up the side trail to the falls as the stream gets too big to cross safely. I'd also be very leery of that waterfall pool if the falls are booming . All those rocks came down from up there...

Taylors Falls...
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7. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

Take daves820 advice. Please.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

Man oh man, thank you so much for all your advice! I'm so glad I asked!

I guess I thought it had been raining because when I started checking the forecast 1-2 days ago, it was rain forecast for days. In my mind, I turned that into past rain as well.

Thanks again!!

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
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1,828 posts
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9. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

I second everything dave820 and miwkid9090 said. Do not rely on the regular weather report for actual rain. Here are some better links:

Forecast: forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

Rain forecast: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/data/HFO/AGFHFO

Past rain gauge readings: www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/rain_summary.php - select a 24hr period, select Kaua'i, click Go.

Dry as a bone the past day at least.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Kalalau Trail / Hanakapi'ai Beach

@KauaiHiker... Those links are so much better than the weather information I was using. Thank you so much for posting. Exactly what I wanted to know.