Kauai’s Napali Coast

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Napali Coast

Kauai's Napali Coast #1 Scenic Hawaii Coastline

A view of the Napali Coast from a fast-moving ocean raft. Photo: David Croxford for HAWAII Magazine.

Kauai’s NaPali Coastline Voted Most Scenic

Hawaii coastlines are stunning but one surpasses all others.  Kauai’s Napali Coast has been voted #1 Scenic Hawaii Coastline by Hawaii Magazine and we agree!

“Rugged, remote and seemingly timeless—it’s with good reason the Napali Coast was our reader ohana’s favorite by a landslide.” ~ Hawaii Magazine, December 2014


Kauai’s Napali coast is part of the incredible Nā Pali Coast State Park.  The park covers over 6,000 acres of land.  There are more than 16 miles of rugged coast running along the northwest side of Kauaʻi.  The Nā Pali coast extends southwest starting at Keʻe Beach in the Northwest and extending all the way to Polihale State Park on the West side of the island.

There are green valleys, many streams and dozens of waterfalls in Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast State Park.  After heavy rains there are even more waterfalls!  One can still make out the remnants of long abandonded loi kalo (taro terraces) and early Hawaiian settlements in some of the green valleys.

People love the drama of the Nā Pali cliffs.  Na pali  means high cliffs in Hawaiian.  Some of the cliffs rise as high as 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above the Pacific Ocean!  The Nā Pali cliffs are unique to Kauai. They are one of Kauai’s most photographed features.

How to See the Nā Pali Coastline

There are lots of ways to see the cliffs, valleys and waterfalls of Kauai’s Nā Pali coast but you can’t see any of them by car!  There are no roads into or around the NāPali Coast State Park.  Kauai’s main highway runs only part way around the island and ends just before the Nā Pali Coast State Park, at Ke’e Beach.  Views of the famous NaPali cliffs are only accessible by boat, helicopter or by foot.  You will see backpackers heading off to make the full trek along Kauai’s Kalalau Trail (11 miles long.)  This overnight camping/hiking trek requires a permit.

Nā Pali Coastline Day Hike

It is possible to see a good part of the Napali coast by foot in a single day.  Park at Ke’e Beach at the North end of Kauai’s main road.  There starts a two mile hike (four miles round trip) up to Hanakapiai Beach.  From there you have the option to hike two more miles up to Kauai’s Hanakapiai Falls.  This adds an extra four miles to your trip but is worth it.

Nā Pali Coastline by Air or Sea

Rugged & remote, the Nā Pali coast is worth any effort you make to see it.  There are a couple of helicopter tour companies making multiple trips daily. Conveniently, one even flies out of Princeville.  You can also go on one of several available Sea Tours.  Hawaii’s #1 scenic coastline should not be missed!  We can help you schedule the tour that’s right for you.  808.828.6530  Aloha!