Hanakapiai Beach

Hawaii, Kauai

A hidden beach on the coast of Kauai, only accessible by hiking through the jungle.

Summer 2014

Starting at a bustling beach, we began the long hike up a well-warn trail through the jungle towards the secret beach of Hanakapiai.

The trail was slippery with mud, and we were careful to watch our footing. The first half of the trail was primarily uphill, and the second half was primarily down.

On our way there, we passed over lots of pretty streams. It rained on and off, but the thick jungle canopy above our heads distributed the water elsewhere. Ferns grew thick, and we could see bunches of bananas ripening on trees.

Every once in a while, the jungle would become less thick, and we could see the turquoise ocean spread out before us. The water was so clear that we could see yellow-green patches of coral underneath the surf, even from high up on the trail.

Hiking Toward the Secret Beach

Hiking Toward the Secret Beach

Small yellow butterflies and delicate white moths whiffled about, fluttering from one tiny flower to another.

We passed the smaller of two waterfalls on this trail. The second waterfall, Hanakapaiai Falls, was further along the trail than our destination, and we didn’t venture far enough to see it.

Seeing the beach was fulfilling enough.

Hanakapaiai Beach: only accessible through a hike through the jungle

Hanakapiai Beach: only accessible through a hike through the jungle

This beach was only two miles in from the starting point, but with slippery rocks, hilly inclines, and muddy obstacles, the hike took us a little over an hour. Not that I’m complaining, it just left us little time to make it back in time for dinner.

Getting to the sandy portion of the beach required crossing a shallow river, which was possible to do by jumping over protruding rocks.

Before we made it to the beach, however, we were greeted by a foreboding sign

82 total recorded deaths.

82 total recorded deaths.

This sign ensured that the area near the water was relatively clear of people, which was nice, as it allowed us to view the beauty of the beach without anyone in our way.

Area Surrounding the Beach

Area Surrounding the Beach

Lot’s of people before us had played the old-time favorite game of “put a rock on another rock,” and it gave an artistic element to the natural beauty of the surrounding area

Rock Stack on the secret beach.

Rock Stack on the secret beach.

And don’t worry, we made it back in time for dinner!

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