Ascent to Kalalau Trail on 1993-12-06

Climber: Greg Slayden

Date:Monday, December 6, 1993
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Place:Kalalau Trail
    Elevation:800 ft / 243 m

Ascent Trip Report

I woke up at 7 AM and drove the short distance on the very narrow, winding, pretty road west from Anini Beach to the end of the road at Kee Beach, where the Kalalau hiking trail along the scenic Na Pali coast began. This stretch of coastline is famous for the verdant green cliffs plunging down into the surf below, and the trail is supposedly one of the most scenic in the world.

I hiked the Kalalau Trail from 8:15 AM to 1:45 PM, going in about 3 miles before turning back where the path turned a high corner at a prominent split rock viewpoint ("The Gate", I believe). The scenery was awesome, and it was pretty sunny, since I was down near the ocean, but the tops of the cliffs--up at Kokee where I had been yesterday--were, predictably, socked in totally. The trail had lots of ups and downs, and the main obstacle was crossing the swift running Hanakapiai Stream at the point where it emptied into the ocean--I had to take off my boots and wade through the surf and use a tree limb as a walking stick to steady myself.

As I made my way back to Kee Beach I saw more and more other hikers, and was bothered by the plague of sightseeing helicopters that buzzed across the coast at five-minute intervals, taking rich but lazy tourists where they otherwise couldn't go. I have no problem with that, but there should be some sort of limit to preserve the wilderness atmosphere for hikers--I literally saw about a hundred or more helicopters or planes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1990 ft / 605 m
    Extra Gain:600 ft / 182 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Trailhead:Kee Beach  10 ft / 3 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes

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