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Hawaii, United States
The Kalalau Trail is a trail along the Nā Pali Coast of the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. The trail is very strenuous and runs approximately 11 miles (18 km) along the island's north shore from Keʻe Beach to the Kalalau Valley. An experienced, very fit hiker can complete the trail in about a day, but most people require two days and will camp along the trail. At this time camping is only permitted at Hanakoa Valley (6 mile mark) and Kalalau Beach.
The trail is located in the Nā Pali Coast State Park and access is controlled in the cause of conservation. A limited number of permits are issued for camping in Kalalau Valley every year. In spite of the efforts of the state of Hawaiʻi, many people camp at Kalalau Beach without permits.
The trail starts on the north shore of the island, where the main highway ends at Keʻe Beach. The first two miles (3 km) of the trail are moderately strenuous and open to the public. It is one mile uphill and one mile downhill. This portion of the trail leads to Hanakapiai stream and beach. The trail beyond Hanakapiʻai used to be only open to those with camping permits or with day use permits. As of January 1, 2012 hikers are now permitted to day hike to Hanakoa Valley which is 6 miles from the trail head. From Hanakoa you can then hike about 1/2 mile to Hanakoa Falls which is a large spectacular waterfall, better than the falls at Hanakapiai. Be aware that the trail to Hanakoa Falls is not well maintained and sometimes difficult to follow. The trail begins after the Hanakoa stream crossing, just before the covered shelter.
The trail continues for approximately four miles to Hanakoa Valley, which is a hanging valley with no beach access. After Hanakoa, the trail turns more toward the dry side of the island. About four miles (7 km) later is Kalalau Valley, a large, flat-bottomed valley almost a mile across. After hiking down Red Hill, it is about a half mile to Kalalau Beach requiring crossing Kalalau stream.