top of page

West Side & NaPali Coast

The lure of the west side is always heightened by perpetually sunny skies and long walks on the remote and pristine beaches. Past the small towns of Kekaha and Waimea you'll want to drive the majestic, windy road up into Waimea Canyon.  4,000 feet above sea level, away from the beaches and resort districts is Kokee State Park.Don't miss the Kalalau Valley overlook or the delicious homemade chili and cornbread at the Kokee Lodge.

Our favorite trail in Kokee is the Alakai Swamp Trail, through scrub native rain forest and shallow bogs. There are excellent opportunities for birding and botanizing. We found it to be a unique and extremely challenging hike. It ends at a vista called “Kilohana” on the edge of Wainiha Pali. It is literally breath-taking! I should warn you, we hiked this entire trail in a white-out once, a surreal experience!

Kokee State Park offer some of the best hiking trails on the island. Spread over 4,325 acres, the Park features trails leading to scenic lookouts (like the Awaawapuhi Trail) and hikes for the family (Cliff Canyon and Black Pipe Trail).

Note that the temperature drops as you climb up to the 3,200 to 4,200 foot elevations of the park. Temperatures range from 45 degrees in January to 68 degrees in July with annual rainfall of about 70 inches, so remember to dress warmly.

Back down at sea level, if you continue on the highway past Kekaha it becomes extremely undeveloped. You'll pass the Pacific Missile Range Military Facility before approaching the 5 mile long deeply pot-holed dirt road ending at magnificent Polihale Beach, where you can look north and see the south-end beginning of the NaPali coastline. It is glorious! If you do a one-day kayak trip beginning at a north shore beach this is where you'll end up. The shorebreak at Polihali can be mean so don't overestimate your water skills... use caution!

Things We Love to Do

Hike the many trails in Kokee State Park:

Awaawapuhi, Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp Trail, Nualolo and Kukui Trails

Do a one day Kayak paddle down the
NaPali Coast, a
World-Class Adventure!

Stop for locally made Lappert's Ice Cream at the factory in Hanapepe on the drive home

Aloha Cottages Recommends


Museum at Kokee State Park

Galleries and Shops, Hanapepe

Things We Love to Do

Surf, Boogie Board, Kayak or
Walk the Beach at Hanalei Bay

Hike the Kalalau Trail,

NaPali Coast (permit required)

Miniature Golf in Kilauea, best course Anywhere!

Snorkel at Ke'e or Haena Beach Parks

Walking tour of Limahuli Nat'l Botanical Gardens

Aloha Cottages Recommends

Click Gallery to enjoy a larger view of photos, with captions.

A World-Class Adventure:
Kayaking the NaPali Coast

I cannot say enough about this... we first did it in 1997 as a one-day guided kayak trip, along the entire, magnificent, wild and dramatic western shoreline of Kauai, about 17 miles. Because of prevailing winds and currents this is a one-way trip, thank heavens. It was so amazing we ended up doing it every year for over 12 years as a supreme camping experience, spending a couple nights in each of the 2 campgrounds along the way.

If you are in good shape and feel comfortable in a small craft on the open ocean DO NOT MISS this! You will never forget the towering cliffs, the verdant valleys, the deep blue ocean!

Restaurants (Hanapepe):

Lapperts Ice Cream

Grandma's Café

Midnight Bear Bakery

Questions or Inquiries?

bottom of page