For our third outing we had planned to travel inland to scope out some of the more obscure hiking on the island. According to our guide book, the access road, a 4WD road, was usually accessible via the average highway car, as long as the weather was cooperative. We followed the winding mountain road into the jungle toward the center of the island until we encountered a rutted Jeep trail which looked like it would probably have swallowed my Xterra whole. The Dodge Avenger was not up to the challenge.
Disappointed, we decided to head across the island and take a gander at the much ballyhooed Na Pali coast. In hindsight, the limitations of our wimpy rental car were a blessing in disguise. HIking the entire length of the Na Pali coast is said by some to be one of the best hikes in the world. The coast is a ragged jumble of rainforest and mountain which tumbles into the ocean at spectacular jagged angles around every turn. The entire trail is 11 miles long, stretching across steep cliffs, over rivers, across beaches and through the jungle culminating in the Kalalau Valley. The Valley is know for being a veritable hippie commune, boasting a sizable population of semi-permanent residents living off the fat the land – literally, hunting, fishing, farming gathering and bartering with hikers. It was like something straight out of Alex Garland’s The Beach.
Unfortunately we did not have time to to make the entire 22 mile round trip to this mystical land, so we opted for a short hike (2 miles) along the coast to the Hanakapiai Stream, which we then followed another 2 miles inland toward a stunning waterfall, which my humble point and shoot would not do justice to. After a late start due to our Avenger defeat early in the day, we had to to hustle if we were to make it to the waterfall and back before dark.
No amount of writing can sum up the splendor of this place (and even then, it’s difficult), so without further ado, we switch to photos!