Hiking One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Trails Now Requires a Permit

If you want to take a hike on the famous and gorgeous Kalalau Trail, be prepared to make an advance reservation.

Since severe thunderstorms and floods in 2018 ravaged the coastline on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, major recovery efforts have been underway to return Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park and Hā’ena State Park, and the Kalalau Trail to their original beauty.

The two parks and hiking trail actually reopened back in 2019, but officials are still concerned with potential damage to the environment, especially since Kauai has grown exponentially in popularity.

As of 2019, Hā’ena State Park has implemented a 900-visitors-per-day cap as well as restricting the number of parking stalls and adding fines for people who attempt to park on the roadside. If hikers want to get to the beginning of the Kalalau Trail, they would have to reserve space on a shuttle in order to get there.

But now there’s an extra hoop you’ll have to jump through before you get to the trailhead. If you plan on hiking the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail, located in Hā’ena State Park, you will need an advanced reservation and permit, due to the daily cap.

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