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Kalalau Valley

Suitable for:
Everyone, nature enthusiasts
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Known and much going on
TouriSpot
Insider Tip
Time needed:
8 hours
Optimal arrival time:
09:00 o' clock
Cost:
Free
Suitable for:
Everyone, nature enthusiasts
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Known and much going on
TouriSpot
Insider Tip
Time needed:
8 hours
Optimal arrival time:
09:00 o' clock
Cost:
Free

Kalalau Valley - Beschreibung

Kalalau Valley is one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the Hawaiian Islands. There are several ways to visit or even explore this valley and its cliffs (na pali in Hawaiian). Most tourists (because they often only spend a few days on Kauai) choose the easiest option: they drive to Waimea Canyon by car for a day trip, further through Kokee State Park and up to the Kalalau Valley Lookout. From there, you have a postcard view of the crest of the 1000-meter-deep Kalalau Valley and the deep blue ocean. Although Waimea Canyon, over 20 kilometres long, takes up most of the trail, Kalalau is the highlight at the end with its own flora and fauna. Photographers will get their money's worth here but should bring enough time because of the tricky weather. The best results are achieved in the evening at sunset. This is when the cliffs shine in their most beautiful colours and the shadows of the cliff provide breathtaking drama. During the day, the sun is very high and the cliffs look a bit "boring". If you drive the road a bit further, you will reach Puu O Kila Lookout (from where the Alakai Swamp Trail also starts). The road ends here. The lookout offers a view over Kalalau from even higher up. However, this lookout is also closer to the "wettest spot on earth" and the chances are less to see the whole valley and the cliffs in clear weather.

On the way to the lookout, you pass Waimea Canyon with its numerous and unique lookouts and you can see the entire colour palette of the canyon. For the day trip (drive from Waimea into the canyon up to Kalalau Lookout and back), you should plan a whole day. Hiking enthusiasts should rent a cabin at Kokee Lodge and spend 2 or 3 nights up in Kokee State Park. This gives you enough time to hike unique trails such as the Alakai Swamp Trail, the Nualolo Trail, or the Waimea Canyon Trail. After the hike, you can head to Kalalau Lookout (about 10 min from Kokee Lodge) for a picnic in the evening to enjoy the sunset. Many vacationers are disappointed when they see nothing but fog there. So maybe you will have more luck the next evening.

Eine weitere Möglichkeit, das Tal zu sehen, ist aus der Luft. Dazu bieten verschiedene Helikopter-Anbieter ab Lihue Rundflüge über die Insel an. Für Fotografen empfiehlt sich ein „off door“-Flug mit „Jack Harter“, der etwas teurer ist als „Sunshine“ oder „Paradise Helicopter“, aber die Unterschiede lohnen sich!

Or you can choose a Zodiac tour to see the Na Pali Coast from the sea. You can book a tour with the "Na Pali Riders", who sail around the entire coast, including swimming with dolphins. They also take you to the water cave "Open Ceiling Cave" not far from Kalalau Valley, which can only be reached by boat. You can also rent a kayak and explore the coast in your own time. However, you will have about 20 km on the water in front of you on the way there and back. In the winter months, this is certainly not much fun and is even quite dangerous. In quiet summer months, however, for fit adventurers, it is definitely manageable.

To get to the valley on foot, the only option is to take the strenuous but unique Kalalau Trail. However, the 18-kilometre trail is only suitable for people who are physically fit and can take on a long and sometimes difficult or steep route. The prerequisite is good physical and mental preparation as well as a permit to run the trail. With that, you can camp in complete isolation for 1 or 2 nights on Kalalau Beach and share the paradise for with very few others.  

What we say

Florian
Kalalau Lookout, as well as the entire area of Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon, are among my absolute favourite regions on all of the Hawaiian Islands. Although I've seen this lookout countless times, I go up there again every time. The quietness at the lookout is almost a bit eerie, that is how indescribably beautiful the view into the valley is. Visitors even whisper here as if they were disturbing someone, that is how unique the atmosphere is up here. For photographers, this is a special location because the weather (fog, clouds, sunsets) constantly changes the atmosphere and offers fabulous and unique postcard motifs. I also explored the valley by zodiac and on foot on the Kalalau Trail. For me, still one of the most beautiful areas on all the islands.
Our checklist & tips:
  • Plan enough time (8 hours)
  • Hiking enthusiasts should stay 2 or 3 nights at Kokee Lodge to avoid longer travel times
  • Patience at the Lookout, if you can't see anything, you have to wait. The next clear view will come soon
  • Hiking equipment (rain jacket, sweater, hiking poles)
  • The upper lookout (Puu O Kila Lookout) is closer to the "wettest spot" and therefore not as nice

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Map and contact data

End of "Kokee Road Hawaii 96746
Longitude: -159.64597266954974
Latitude: 22.150936714536208

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