Checking conditions crucial when hiking along Kauai’s Kalalau Trail, or any trail for that matter

A group of at least a dozen hikers and backpackers spent an unplanned extra night camping in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park along Kauai’s Kalalau Trail earlier this month after the Hanakapiai Stream flooded.

The decision to remain overnight was reinforced after one couple tried to cross the turbulent, flood-swollen stream, using a makeshift rope line, and nearly drowned. By the next day, the Hanakapiai flood conditions had subsided, and the stranded hikers were able to make it back to their cars, according to the Hawaii DLNR.

the executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said it’s crucial that people planning to hike along the Kalalau Trail, which is renowned for its stunning access to the Garden Isle’s jaw-dropping Napali Coast, check weather conditions and forecasts.

“Interior rain is a big deal,” she explained. “It can be sunny on the south shore and storming on the interior of the island, and that fills everything up that flows to ocean. Before you know it, what started out seeming like a good day for hiking turns into flash flooding.”

Hanakapiai, and other streams across the Aloha State, are incredibly dangerous during periods of heavy rain, in part, because flooding can occur so suddenly, but also because visitors don’t realize just how deadly crossing these waterways can be. Keep this in mind whenever hiking near streams no matter where you are.

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