Hanakapi'ai Trail & Waterfall // Kauai, Hawaii

If you're following along with the Scripture Memory / Dwell Richly printable, here's the verse for week 27: 

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV)

*Like many hikes we post about, bring lots and lots of water for this one!!

If you're on Kauai and looking for a must-see waterfall - this is it! We finally made it to the Hanakapi'ai Trail after spending most of the morning at Queen's Bath. It's quite a trek (eight miles round trip) but it's totally worth it. The trail is filled with whimsy (like the Dr. Seuss-looking tree below) and the views are extraordinary along the way. You can hike the first two miles to get to a beautiful beach (also one of the deadliest beaches because of the waves) or keep trekking two more miles to get to the falls. Obviously, we forewent the beach and kept heading towards the falls. If you take the trail, just keep in mind that there are a few dangerous places with river crossings (shoe recommendations at the bottom of the post).

Hanakapi'ai Trail in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys

It took us about 2.5 hours to hike to the falls. We found a boulder under a few trees beside the pond and picnicked there with our pre-made wraps from the ABC store. We seriously cannot stress enough that you should bring lots of water on this hike. Forty-eight ounces between the two of us did not suffice. Swim out to the falls and enjoy some time behind them. (But also be aware of Hawaii's freshwater flesh-eating bacteria - this was the only waterfall I was brave enough to swim in. However, JD swam in all of them and he's fine so just know that I'm 99.9% more paranoid about things than he is. ) Pictures cannot capture this glorious waterfall! 

Hike Hanakapi'ai Waterfall Trial in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys
Hanakapi'ai Trail & Waterfall Hike in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys
Hanakapi'ai Trail in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys
Hanakapi'ai Trail in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys
Hanakapi'ai Trail in Kauai, Hawaii // via Jitney's Journeys

(Side note: does the above photo remind anyone else of the dwell richly verse for this week? He enables me to go on the heights? Yes. Absolutely.) 

The hike back was brutal. It's mostly uphill after the beach with very little shade. We walked back between 2:30 - 4:30 when the sun was blazing. Our words of advice: Be careful, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and enjoy the adventure!!

Other notes:

  • JD planned our meals / snacks perfectly. Eat protein-packed breakfast before the hike > snack on a mid-morning protein bar > grilled chicken wrap for lunch > afternoon snack of a juicy fruit and almonds. 
  • Lather on the sunscreen throughout the hike. Don't hold back on the SPF. 
  • Shoe of Choice: JD preferred hiking this trail in his Keens but I loved hiking in my New Balance Minimus shoes instead of my Keens. They felt like water shoes (which came in handy during the river crossings) and are flexible so my feet were basically hugging rocks. Great traction and not clunky like my Keens.