Located on Kauaʻi, Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is a 6,175-acre state park on the northwestern edge of this Hawaiian island. It’s perhaps one of the most picturesque areas in Hawaii and was formed to protect the Kalalau Valley. The only legal ways to access the valley are by kayak, paddleboard or hiking via the 11-mile Kalalau Trail. Helicopter tours of the area are also available. The nā pali (high cliffs) along the dramatic coastline climb as high as 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
Camping permits are available 90 days in advance and visitors to the park have to access it via the Hāʻena State Park (you’ll need to get parking and entry reservations from them). Campsites are first made available for local residents, so getting overnight permits can be a challenge for visitors, especially in summer months. But with some planning, it’s plenty doable.
Camping permits for Kalalau Valley also allow for camping at Hanakoa Valley, which is located roughly six miles from the trailhead.
Keep your eyes peeled for the waterfalls and quickly-flowing streams that continue to cut the narrow valley today.