Hanakapiai Beach is a secluded beach located on the picturesque Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii. It is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) from the start of the Kalalau Trail, a very popular hiking trail which is located at nearby Kee Beach.
The name Hanakāpī'ai literally means "bay sprinkling food" in Hawaiian, which can be attributed to the fact that the location was formerly a fishing and farming area.
The sandy beach is only visible during summer months. Come winter, dangerously powerful waves and high tides wash away the sandy shore line. The beach is remotely located with no road access for vehicles. Hiking via the Kalalau Trail and helicopter rides are the only means to reach the area. The trail includes steep and rocky sections but offers breathtaking views.
Just like other beaches along the unprotected Na Pali Coast, the ocean conditions at the Hanakapiai Beach can be dangerous due to strong rip currents, high surf, and treacherous shore breaks. Numerous fatal drownings have been reported in the beach. Nevertheless, Hanakapiai Beach remains a popular tourist destination in Kauai despite its remote location and dangerous reputation.
Another nearby attraction is the beautiful Hanakapiai Falls and Hanakapiai Stream, which flows into the ocean. The stream has a series of pools offering good swimming opportunities when there is no flooding. A good sign that it is safe to take a dip is when the water is clear and slow moving. When the water is murky, stay clear of the stream as heavy rains upstream can cause flash floods.