The Na Pali coast on Kauai's north shore is well known for dramatic coastline, primeval character and incredible scenery. Starting at Ke'e Beach, at the west end of the Kuhio Highway, lies one of the coolest day hikes anywhere. Leaving the lush forest at Ke'e Beach, you hike two up and down miles miles west, above the coast on the Kalalau Trail. Finally, after a drop down to the coast, the trail crosses a large stream and arrives at Hanakapi'ai Beach. Many people hike just this far, and eat lunch along the beach. That in itself is a great day. But if you turn south here hike inland along the stream for two more miles you will be treated to pristine valleys, lush forests, groves of bamboo, plenty of mud, and a 200 foot waterfall (Hanakapi'ai Falls) dropping down a great, green wall and into a cold and crisp pool. If you feel so inclined, top off your hike with a swim under the falls.
The Kalalau Trail continues for 11 miles along the coast, ending at Kalalau Beach. Overnight backpacking is permitted at several beaches, with a permit.