Do I need a Permit?

One of the most common questions about the trail is “Do I need a permit?”. It all depends on what you want to do. It can be a little more confusing since the new reservation system started. Here’s a quick guide to make it easier to understand:

Do I need a permit if I want to…….

  • Visit Ke’e Beach?
  • Hike 2-miles along the Kalalau Trail to Hanakāpīʻai Beach and back? (4-miles round trip)
  • Hike to Hanakāpīʻai Beach and then 2-miles up to Hanakāpīʻai Falls and back? (8-miles round trip)

For any of the questions above, the answer is no, you don’t need a permit, but you do need to make a reservation. Reservations are made at You can make them up to 30 days in advance but must make it at least 1 day before you visit. I would recommend buying them as soon as they are available because they tend to sell out quick.

If the site won’t let you select a voucher for the day and time specified, they are sold out for that time. Choose another day. Reservations are $5 per car or $1 per person if you show up via shuttle, bike, taxi, uber, etc.

How do I get to the Kalalau Trail?

Do I need a permit if I want to…….

  • Camp overnight at Hanakoa or Kalalau?
  • Hike to Hanakoa or Kalalau and back in one day?
  • Trail run the whole Kalalau Trail?
  • Hike the Kalalau Trail past Hanakāpīʻai Beach even if I don’t plan to camp?
  • Kayak into Kalalau (During the summer months)?

For any of the questions in this section, the answer is yes, you do need a Napali Coast State Wilderness Park – Kalalau Permit. Permits are obtained at Permits used to be available 1-year in advance but currently they are issuing permits 90-days out.

How do I get to the Kalalau Trail?

Do I need a permit if I……

  • want to be dropped off by boat along the trail or at Kalalau? Answer: Commercial Boat drop-offs are illegal. This option is not allowed.
  • am a local? Answer: Locals can visit Hā’ena State Park for free without a reservation. Locals need a permit (discounted) to hike the Kalalau Trail past Hanakāpīʻai Beach.

Visit for more information about the permit process. How do I get to the Kalalau Trail?

Kalalau Trail Map
Kalalau Trail Map

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  1. I want to get the Kalalau Trail overnight camping permit in mid December 16, do you have walk in permits for that?

    1. Permits are only available in advance online. There are no permits saved for last minute pickup. Once they are sold out, they are sold out.

        1. You can’t register for a permit on this site. You must apply for a permit with the State of Hawaii. Instructions are listed on

  2. If a group gets a 4 night permit and only stays 2 nights, does the other two nights go to waste? Can you take someone elses unused permit? When sold out online does new permits ever appear?

    1. If someone returns their permits, they will re-appear online. There is no notification system used. They just re-appear and they are open for the first person who sees them.

  3. I’m in a party of 4 for the Kalalau Trail. Does each person need to purchase a camping permit or can one person purchase a camping permit for the entire party?

    1. One person can purchase it but you have to list everybody’s names who is going to go on the hike. Everyone on the hike needs to have identification with them that matches the permit.

  4. If I can get a camping permit and can’t get a parking permit what are my options as a tourist (not a local)? I understand the shuttles are not running at the moment due to COVID and landslide..

    1. It’s very hard right now. If you don’t get one of the overnight parks, you may have to park in Princeville and taxi/uber in. There are not very many overnight parking options. Or don’t rent a car at all and catch rides.

  5. If I can’t get a camping permit can I still hike as much of Kalalau trail if I want?
    Is there a trick to getting reservation at midnight Hawaii time online. I get on and reserve at exactly midnight and it loads and says the system is working on reserving reservations at this time. Thanks.

    1. You need a reservation to hike the first 2 miles of the trail. You can’t hike past the 2 mile mark without a camping permit whether you plan to stay overnight or not.

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