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Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Seattle, WA
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Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

We are planning a trip to Kauai in June and will have an 18 mth old and a 7 mth old. Any thoughts on taking them on the Kalalau Trail to the Hanakapi'ai Falls? They would be in backpacks but not sure what the trail conditions are like. Thanks!

Denver
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for Poipu
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1. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

I wouldn't do it with my kids (they were 2.5 and 7.5 months when we were there last year) - there are steep cliff drop-offs, the trail becomes very slick very quickly when wet, and the stream crossing to get to H' beach can be as deep as thigh-high with fast moving water.

I certainly wouldn't take them to H Falls, since that is a VERY tricky hike, according to those here who've done it. It also makes for about an 8 hour day - will your kids be content to ride in the packs that long? Mine sure wouldn't.

Kauaihiker has taken his daughter and other people have done it or report seeing others carrying little ones in packs, but these are my thoughts.

Check out my trip report blog and activities with kids suggestions at http://kauaiflamingos.blogspot.com for other hikes and activities that are, IMHO, safer and more fun for the little ones.

Frisco, Texas
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2. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

I've done the hike to the falls numerous times and I wouldn't take them to the falls; however, if you're in good shape and have good balance, I would probably do the hike to the beach..with the caveat mentioned above about crossing the stream if it's too high.

Denver
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3. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Oh, and if you do decide to do it, definitely bring hiking poles to help with your balance.

Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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4. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I don't have kids, so my comment simply comes from having hiked that section of the trail a fair number of times - please listen to "blueflamingo"'s advice and don't do it!

I always cringe when I see people heading out on that trail with their little children in tow (or even worse, in a backpack type thing) - the conditions on that trail are very unpredictable and have lots of roots and rocks and steep sections (along with aforementioned steep drop offs to the ocean) - not to mention the slippery red mud that you can encounter very frequently due to the high rainfall in the area - I would NEVER put a child in a backpack and head out on that trail personally. Sounds like a receipe for disaster to me.

With so many other beautiful trails that are comparatively safe (Nounou Trail comes to mind) - why put you and your child at risk in this way?

"blueflamingo" describes the conditions very well - please listen to her advice.

Malama Pono,

Janet

Texas
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5. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

I made that hike and fell on my butt coming down the last 20 yards. If you don't mind falling and landing on your baby, you can take them. I wouldn't. You will be really tired carrying that extra 30 pounds.

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Only beanie babies ;)

Have mercy on such young children. They do not crave the experience; will not retain any memory of it; will not benefit from it in any way, and will only get hot, exhausted, potentially sunburned and/or hurt.

Volente, Texas
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7. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

As others have said, it is a difficult hike if condiitons are wet which is likely. More importantly, in the event of an emergency, getting help could be difficult. Cell phone service can be iffy and emergency help could take hours. I wouldn't take that risk with children that would be too young to appreciate it. I would think you would be better off finding a sitter for the day. I think hotels would have a list of accredited sitters or perhaps someone on this board would have a recommendation.

Tucson, Arizona
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8. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Absolutely not!

Wailua
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for Kauai
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9. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

Wow, after all the no answers, I'm a bit afraid to speak up. Yes, the trail can be muddy (less likely in June, though it does have seeps--small springs--that make it always wet in a few places); yes it is rocky, uneven, and steep, especially right at the start (and thus the end on the return); and yes, there is a stream to cross where you must observe all precautions (don't cross high or brown water); no, there is no cell coverage here, but this trail is actually crowded, so no worries about getting help.

But it is not an extreme trail nor a particularly dangerous one. Kids that age are 20-25 lbs with the pack (or less--I hiked with my daughter in a lightweight sling until she was 1)--and parents can't be expected to sit at the beach all day, every day with them. Assuming the parents are experienced hikers and kid carriers, take plenty of sunscreen, hats, water, food, snacks, etc., I don't see a problem with spending a nice half-day hiking to Hanakapi'ai.

10. Re: Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai ok w/ babies in backpacks?

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Removed on: 14 May 2012, 01:03
Edited: 14 May 2012, 01:03