Explore Kauai

Napali Coast

This wild coastline is one of the most isolated areas in the state, where haunting, spiked peaks snake down Kauai’s west coast for 16 miles. These dramatic sea cliffs can reach as high as 4,000 feet, with hanging valleys that slope into a sheer drop straight into the ocean below. As inhospitable as the area appears, historians believe this was the first part of the island to be settled by ancient Hawaiians, who lived in Napali’s protected valleys for centuries. Archeological sites, such as temples and walled terraces, abound along the coastline, and are still being discovered today. Napali’s remoteness makes it inaccessible to vehicles. The experienced (and well-prepared) hiker or backpacker can traverse it on foot on the two-day, 11-mile Kalalau Trail, a difficult journey with numerous switchbacks that crosses past five valleys. Another way to see Napali is on a boating, kayak or snorkeling excursion, which can take you to secluded beaches and sea caves. The least strenuous way to experience Napali is via a helicopter tour, and the bird’s eye view will allow you to see the most hidden part of Hawaii.