Tuesday, 10 September 2013 07:59

On The Trails – Epic Trail Spotlight – The Kalalau Trail – Kauai HI

On the Trail
Epic Trail Spotlight – The Kalalau Trail in Kauai HI
Photo Courtesy of KalalauTrail.com
The spectacular Kalalau Trail starts along the north shore of the island of Kauai and continues for 11 miles to end in the waterfalls of Kalalau Valley. It’s known as one of the most beautiful and transforming hikes in America, however, it also regularly ranks as one of the most dangerous. This trail is definitely a fantastic challenge for ultrarunners. The 22 miles of ever changing cliffs traversing five valleys can be done in a day with the perfect mix of training, fueling and luck.
Epic – This trail can be run in one push. Mere mortals can run it in 10 hours, super human athletes can aim for under 8 hours.
Endurance – The entire 22 mile out and back can be done in a day with a truly strenuous effort. However, camping passes can be obtained to complete the trip in two days. The extra day will also allow for more time to to savor the experience of this once in a lifetime trail.
Day Hike – There are many options to shorten the trail and still take in the breathtaking scenery that includes waterfalls, white sand beaches and unbelievable views. There are out and backs to Hanakapi’ai Beach (2miles) or Hanakoa Valley (4miles).
Location: From Lihue Airport in Kauai it will be 37 miles to the trailhead at Ke’e Beach in Na Pali Coast State Park.
Logistics: You will need to be prepared to carry food and water or a water purification system. Camping passes are required past the 6 mile point on the trail and need to be purchased in advance (available online) as there are a limited number available.
Length: Around 22 miles.
Weather: Weather is generally very pleasant but will vary along the trail. The climate is tropical and can range from hot sun to extremely wet conditions.
Elevation: 800 ft.
Terrain: Varied terrain ranging from wet valleys to exposed ridges.
Running season: The weather is warm and mild year round but will be less predictable in the winter months.
Details: Latitude/Longitude – 22.2003° N, 159.6203° W
Shop: After you’ve achieved your trail goal get your victory t-shirt at Kalalau Trail Store in Hanalei.