The road that travels the north coast of Kauai ends at Ke'e Beach (Hawaii) and it's here that this impressively scenic hike begins.
Join both backpackers and dayhikers at the trailhead at Ke'e Beach's parking lot and start the climb up the cliffside. The views of the mountainous coastline are sure to keep you motivated to continue on.
Two miles in, you'll cross the boulder-strewn river at Hanakapi'ai Beach, a gorgeous stretch of sand that meets the rollicking sea, surrounded by lush mountains.
But don't swim in the ocean here, the currents are dangerous!
Instead cool off in the warm fresh water pool the river creates on the beach.
If you're up for more, head inland two more miles to Hanakapi'ai Waterfalls. You'll pass through a bamboo forest and criss cross the river several more times, before reaching the falls. The river offers more ideal swimming holes along the way, one of which we couldn't resist. Hiking with our 8 and 11 yr olds, we started to tire near the end but were so glad we continued on.
Hanakapi'ai Falls will not disappoint!
Make sure you bring enough water (or a water filter) along. We stayed and played longer on the beach and in the river and wished we had more water. Allow several hours for the hike, we spent 8 hours in all.
Written and contributed njdurbin