Kauai’s famed Na Pali Coast is a geological formation unlike any other, rising steeply from the sea with deep and steep valleys carving fingers in its lava face. This seventeen miles of inaccessible coastline is truly majestic when viewed from a boat on the ocean or by air. The rugged terrain of the valleys and pali (cliff) has not changed much since the era of early Hawaiian settlements there around 1200-1400 A.D. The early population of Kauai thrived in the valleys of Na Pali. Historians currently believe the great majority of people lived in these valleys until after the coming of Captain Cook in 1778.
The only land access to this remote area is via the Kalalau Trail. A popular hike for active travelers who enjoy wilderness camping, the Kalalau Trail is 11 mile each way and begins that at Kee Beach, just a short distance beyond Haena on the north shore. The trail crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. Camping permits are required and can be obtained from the Hawaii State Parks Division office in Lihue.
If you prefer a less rugged tour of this spectacular area there are several boat tours that depart from Port Allen on the west side throughout the year. For an up-close view and possibly some water cave exploration try a guided kayak tour during the summer months. Helicopter touring is another great way to experience the breathtaking panoramas of Kauai’s unforgettable Na Pali Coast.